During the past twenty years, there been many strategies and programs addressing the personal and social challenges within the communities of teens and young adults. Professional health care providers, researchers, educational specialists, and judicial systems were desperately hoping to gain some momentum against the self-destructive behavior invading each generation.
Prevention and intervention have been historically conceived to address the self-defeating behavior that our youth is experiencing. Anti-drug campaigns, motivational speakers, group support, mentorship, and family counseling services have been utilized repeatedly; all with some but limited success.
Students Step Up
Students in our school district asked for more. Too many friends were depressed, struggling, anxious, angry and hopeless. They voiced a need for groups that were more effective and more meaningful, while providing a pattern for positive living. Several of the students, who had read about “The 12 Steps” felt that they would be an excellent choice for a plan of action for healing no matter what the challenge. They wanted to create an action plan that would give teens a voice while addressing those concerns most relevant to them.
Over a five-year period with over 150 teens involved, they would accomplish that very plan. Together, they developed their own meeting format, one that would be relative to teens, one that would continue to bring thousands of teens together each year. Their vision would assume that each student would have a voice and each individual would find unconditional support. Meetings would center around prevention and leadership.
Teens initially named their group Teen Addiction Anonymous but changed it to MPOWRD (Empowered) since the group was centered on building positive personal growth within a structured curriculum of discussion and team building. Their 12 Steps for Healing became their own version of addressing life issues on their own terms. The title MPOWRD would center on personal empowerment for both today and the extended future.
Moving Forward with your Organization
The time is now. Meet with your school administration, youth support organizations, and legislative contacts to develop support for prevention programs for teens and young adults in your community. Where youth are faced with continuous challenges, where families are often struggling, and where teen lives are in constant jeopardy, MPOWRD meetings are an opportunity for this generation to witness individual potential with a focus to commit to positive life decisions.
Teens discovered the need for SEL (Social Emotional Learning) over ten years ago. Today MPOWRD can support any and all culturally diverse communities.