Here is our list of the top 5 things we know to be true about the most vulnerable assets in our community, and ways that all of us can step up and make a difference.
- Vulnerable youth need people to look up to, people who care about them, people who will last in their lives and people who believe in them, despite all odds.
- When working with vulnerable youth, conflict is inevitable in some form; patience, suspension of judgment, and love are important characteristics in the resolution. Working with vulnerable youth and their families requires an approach, not just a program.
- Vulnerable youth are the same as all youth, no matter whether they live, with or without their families close to them; they yearn to be a significant part of their family, to live in and be loved by their natural support system.
- Remind yourself that vulnerability is an equal opportunity employer. Any one of us can find ourselves suddenly thrust into a position of weakness, illness, unemployment or family strife in the blink of an eye. Having resilience, confidence and a natural support network to draw upon is exactly what you would need to get through, and it is also what you can help a vulnerable young person learn to create for themselves too.
- We can all be significant in the lives of vulnerable young people. Inspiration to them comes in many forms and you can be powerful in an individual’s life. You don’t have to sign up, join a program or volunteer in a formal way. Just look around you and find a young person in whom you can invest. Give of yourself in a small or big way that will help build the natural support system of friends and mentors that our young people desperately need.