BackTalk 1993 – “What are some of the major issues facing young people today?”

As we assign searchable FOCUS categories to our compiled 30 years of archived writing, we are celebrating the gold of re-reading and learning from perspectives, wisdom and statements offered by young people over 3 decades navigating their personal change in our city.

We thought you may be interested in the following responses directly from the past to people still listening in 2018.

“We had been in business 6 years when we asked the young people in our space the following question: “What are some of the major issues facing young people today?”

Responses published in our BackTalk magazine . 1993 [now Archives]

“ A recent summary list compiled by participants included:
1. Systems which nurture dependence so you don’t learn how to make choices and manage your life.

2. Lack of affordable housing

3. No transition help between legal system and rejoining community.

4. Lack of planning for social realities (by government systems)

5. Parents more worried about work, putting food on the table, no time to show love or teach life skills. “

Do the points sound familiar? We recognize them as accurate and consistent over multiple conversations and years. This is the way young people continue to experience the world we offer them.

And no matter what you have heard over these same years, meaningful social change has not been the experience of young people who live here.

The rhetoric, conversations and announcements in our city somehow have a prevailing failure to launch something better for our young people. ‘Different ideas’ do not count unless they are growing understanding of how and what we need to be more effective as the adults creating and driving the interventions and initiatives. Engagement without impact is good for organizations but irrelevant and unintended consequences for individual young people.


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