I am invigorated today. Excited. Thrilled. There aren't words to express how fantastic the day was. We met at the Lawrence Arts Center at ten and spent the morning hashing out who we want to be as a group. Officially, the Wake Up Coalition is a group of like minded teens who, after recognizing a serious lack in accessible, effective, trustworthy outlets for themselves, decided to create a peer mentoring program that would provide a sage, non-judgmental, open environment for young people to discuss and work through their problems. It's a big task, but I truly believe this is the right group to make it happen.
After figuring out who we are, who we want to help, and how we think we can make that happen, we had two great afternoon sessions with Jamie Johnson McCall (local theatre Jane of all trades and current MA candidate in Drama Therapy at KU), and Christie Dobson (Outreach Coordinator for the Gadugi Safecenter). Jamie and Christie helped the students envision the relationships that currently exist between themselves (and teens like them) and the adults who are responsible for helping them in times of crisis. Once we'd finished some great role-playing exercises and discussions, it was time to write.
Students were broken into small groups and wrote scenes or monologues related to the themes we had been discussing each day. Check back over the next week as I will be posting each of the really powerful, funny, and interesting pieces created by students today.