Being a teenager is hard. They need our help!

Do you remember those teenage years? We do too! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone, but Teen Life exists to equip, encourage and empower teenagers to live life better. Get involved in one of the following ways:

Why Support Groups?

We believe that Support Groups offer teenagers a safe place to ask questions, receive the emotional support they need, and develop healthy peer and mentor relationships.

If these support groups do not exist, teenagers are going to continue to fall between the cracks. Instead of complaining about the current state of our culture, let’s encourage, equip and empower this next generation to make better choices.

# of students helped during 2017-2018 school year

# of trained Teen Life facilitators

We were so thankful to have Teen Life available to meet with our students. With more demands on the school counselor’s time, it is great to have a reliable option for help with our students. We are already thinking about how we want to use TL next year.

Dawson MS Counselor

Carroll ISD

It has been a great blessing to walk beside these kids on their turf, to equip them with some tools to help break the generational cycles of self-esteem, relationship, and spiritual poverty, and to assist them in casting a vision on where they want to be and how they might get there.

Jacob

Decatur ISD, Support Groups Facilitator

YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!

How Aware Are You?

Recently my husband and I were watching Brain Games on Netflix. The episode we were watching was called “Focus Pocus”, and it was about attention. It gave several tests for viewers such as counting the number of passes in a scene and watching a pickpocket in action before selecting him out of a lineup. Despite considering myself someone who pays attention to details and despite knowing I was playing a brain game, I was amazed at all the things I missed. It led me to contemplate what am I missing in other people, and even what am I missing in myself.

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The Mess of Loving Teenagers

Loving teenagers isn’t always easy. Some days it is actually really difficult. I had a tough Support Group this week. I did not walk away with a great feeling of accomplishment or even much hope. The conversations seemed to revolve around gangs, drugs, and baby mamas (yes, multiple). The students were distracted, disengaged, and at times disrespectful. In situations like this, it would be so easy to walk away and not come back. I am not forced to like these teens. I am under no obligation to see them again. But we don’t always have the choice to walk away…

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Navigating Relationships

Talking to teens about love and relationships is awkward. They have questions, they say inappropriate things to test boundaries, they may have more experience than they should, they may witness unhealthy relationships at home, they may not even know what they are feeling. Relationships in the teenage years are difficult, and they need trusted adults to help them navigate how to have a healthy relationship. Teens who have relationships in high school are beginning to build the foundation for which they will base future relationships, so we need to do our best to set them up for success by remembering how emotional teens are and how hard learning to be in a relationship was for all of us.

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The Girl Who Could Not Lift Her Head

I looked around the circle of students seated around the table and saw little eyes staring back at me in anticipation. All of these students were from different parts of the world and had arrived in America as children of immigrants and refugees. None of them spoke english, and for the most part, none of them spoke the same language. Maybe it wasn’t anticipation in their eyes but more of a fascination of an english-speaking white dude like me who had no idea how to interact. As I looked around the table, I saw one student whose eyes were not on me. In fact, we couldn’t see her eyes at all. She had her head down in her arms and didn’t speak. While all of the other students seemed excited about being in one of our Teen Life groups, she was not.

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The Red Line

In 1934 as part of the New Deal, the government created the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) and the Federal Housing Administration with the goal of preventing foreclosures through mortgage refinancing.  The Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC), a government sponsored lender, proceeded to draw maps of American cities to determine which areas were worthy of mortgage lending and which areas were too high-risk. The term “redlining” was coined to explain this practice of denying loans and services based on a neighborhood’s demographic makeup. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act made these maps and practices officially illegal, but the long-term ramifications continue on 50 years later. We, as parents, teachers, youth workers, or mentors have often grown up with “red lines” in our lives, especially those of us raised with a faith-based background. Red lines are topics, or even people, we aren’t sure we want to be involved with.

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4 Thoughts As I Exit Teen Life

What an amazing time the last 10 years have been. I want to take some time today and share why it might matter to you that I have gone from Program Director, to Executive Director, to CEO, to Founder, and finally to the first Teen Life Team member to resign. You see, none of those roles have been easy, and my guess is there are things in your life that are not easy either. I hope that sharing from my story over the last decade will encourage you to stick with what is in front of you. I am excited and sad about my transition away from Teen Life as Founder, but I am also thankful since I do not believe this will be my last connection to Teen Life. The reason for that is I think I will be able to use the skills I have learned at Teen Life wherever I go next, and I will use the principles that helped me learn those skills and tools to learn new, and even better ones, down the road.

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Teen Life

2501 W. Southlake Blvd | Southlake | TX | 76092

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