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Tuesday September 19th 2017

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Shining Light on the Backyard Initiative’s TEENS Project

Carl Lobley (BYI Resource Center) & Sergio Nahun (BYI TEEN Project CHAT) and Minkara Tezet (BYI Circle of Healing) preparing to participate in a KMOJ Radio show. (KMOJ)

What is the goal or purpose of this CHAT?

TEENS stands for Teenagers Entering Existing Networking Systems. We are a youth leadership and entrepreneurial skills development program that develops our members’ capacity to produce various youth engagement programs. TEENS Projects programming is designed by the youth, for the youth-to enhance the basic networking skills of its members via community engagement.

The TEENS Project and The Backyard Initiative Resource Center

The Backyard Initiative (BYI) Community Resource Center is important to the Backyard Initiative because it is a place where members of the community can come and participate in discussions, knowledge shares about health, and other activities important to developing health consciousness to improve the health of self and community.

TEENS Project is currently developing curriculum aimed at ensuring activities happen in a structured and organized way that creates access to the BYI Community Care Giving System. Discussions happen through connections; making the invisible visible. TEENS Project, through the work and efforts of youth and young adults, share knowledge about health and living healthy. The TEENS Project believes changes happen from within community and by creating generational spaces for connection to take place. Young people become more open to listening to one another in order to discover how to grow health together.

Within the TEENS Project, youth and young adults have an opportunity to have a facilitated discussion with others their age in order to create solutions to address the harmful conditions in their lives. The young people are very intentional about their desire to share space with elders in order to learn from those who walk before them in health.

Participant Spotlight: Brother Sergio

Why did you become involved with the Backyard Initiative?

I became a part of the Backyard Initiative because I wanted to be involved with the creation of T.E.E.N.S Project. At the beginning of the project, we wanted to create a space where we could solve our own problems. As we developed the foundation for the TEENS Project , we had a strong desire to collaborate with other people in the community. One of the main reasons I became involved with the BYI was to learn, develop and spread knowledge to my people; young people who want something different for themselves. I’m grateful we collaborate with the BYI.

How long have you been involved?

I have been participating with the BYI since the TEENS Project came into being or since 2014. I will be celebrating three years with the TEENS Project in January 2017.

What makes you want to come back to the BYI?

What makes me choose to return constantly to the Backyard Initiative and the TEENS Project is for the future of my family. When I say my family, I am not just speaking about blood relatives. I am speaking about the ones who have earned that title by living in community with me. I continue to participate in activities with the BYI for the sake of not only my family but the families of others. Being in the Backyard Initiative reminds me that as a future elder, I have a duty. My duty is to lead the next generation of young leaders toward healthier living.

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