New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Bridgeton’s Youth Leaders Visit STEAMWorks
June 5, 2018 / Next Gen Leaders

Rediscovering My Community through STEAMWorks and My Next Generation Community Leaders Team

This photo shows a lady who visited STEAMWorks that day along with my peers (l-r, Nubia Jordan, Josue Ruiz-Ramirez, and me) painting wooden Christmas ornaments that we could take home for the holidays.

As a “youth”, I believed that there was never a variety of activities to do in my community of Bridgeton. It wasn’t until I became a part of the Next Generation Community Leaders team that I was able to participate in various events, gain experience and become more involved in my community. Not only has this group educated me about my community, but I am having fun working with my peers and other youth who are dedicating their time to finding ways to improve our environment.

One of my most memorable experiences with the Next Gen. group was our visit to STEAMWorks, a creative, “do it yourself” place where people can gather, invent and learn. They provide the opportunity to grow and try new things. We were able to participate in numerous hands-on activities such as painting Christmas trees, decorating ornaments, and taking a tour of the building. There are so many activities that I believe Bridgeton’s youth would enjoy doing at STEAMWorks. I was able to engage in fascinating conversations about activities we enjoy doing, or just about life itself, with my peers and the adults. The staff was very energetic, which made me even more interested in what they had to say about all of the intriguing things to do at STEAMWorks while discussing the history of the building.

We often think adults can’t relate to us.

It isn’t often that the younger generation gets to engage with the older generation and have a good time. We often think that adults can’t relate to us. However, being a part of this group has changed my perspective on adults. There are some who are willing to help our youth and support us. I am not afraid to talk with different people about this group and all the great things we have done in our community and for its residents. The leadership, communication and life skills we are learning by participation in Next Generation Community Leaders will carry on with us forever. This overall experience has been great so far and it will only get better.

Connect with the Bridgeton Next Generation Community Leaders team and follow their progress on Facebook. Track all of the Next Generation Community Leaders teams through the hashtag #NJLeaders2030.

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Project
Author
Kayana Clue
Organization
Bridgeton Next Generation of Community Leaders