UCAN extended an open call to participants ages 12-20 to take part in its quarterly teen talk session on June 28 entitled, “The Social.” During this session, topics will include peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, say no to drugs and other critical issue topics facing teens. The free event was held at the House of Mtenzi from 2 to 5 p.m., 1298 Madison.
Each quarter “Let’s Rap” Teen Talk session gives teens an outlet to be empowered, discuss hot pressing topics, socialize with other teens and be creative. Each session carries a different focus with varying topics. Young people are interviewed to get their take on current news issues, while a host of motivational speakers are enlisted to enlighten and encourage throughout the year.
This quarter “Let’s Rap” was entitled “The Social”. This quarter we discuss sensitive topics such as peer pressure, drugs, sex and more that teens may not feel so comfortable to discuss with parents. Brandy Flynn of Brady J. Flynn Counseling and Consulting Services, Elder Jessie Jennings, author of On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! and UCAN President Leshundra Robinson was this quarter, “The Social”, guest panelists.
The teens were engaged to the questions asked by host James Wesby. The panelist answered the questions with honesty. They shared their own experience as a teenager and how they handled some of the issues dealing with peer pressure in college, dating and identifying your own identity. Here are some of the takeaways from “The Social”:
1. Identify your “Self-Identity” early, if possible
2. Say ‘no’ to any substances that may cause addiction
3. Don’t make “this is just my environment” an excuse – select the right environment (good soil) to plant your seed (you).
4. Be purposeful – (i.e. selecting college)
5. Based on your career aspirations or who you are, what type of music tell about yourself? What’s your personal ‘soundtrack’
6. Utilize music to provoke positivity in your life
7. Know who you are internally before adding or take away from your body, externally (hair, tattoos, losing weight, etc.). This can be the determining factor towards your decision.
8. Don’t get caught up how someone thinks about you, but make sure you’re confident in yourself
9. Relationships – Love yourself, but prepare for that season……..prepare during the “pre-season” before the actual game
10. Get a mentor……today!
The next teen talk sessions are Sept. 27, which will have a focus on networking and the 30-second elevator speech and Dec. 27, which will focus on a student’s hidden talents, emphasizing self-expression through song, dance and poetry.
UCAN’s mission is to impact young adolescents through mentoring, personal development and education with a goal to foster positive growth in the community. The organization, co-founded by Leshundra Robinson in 2005 as a community giveback to her former neighborhood, primarily mentors young female teens in the North Memphis area. For more info on the rap sessions or UCAN’s other community and educational programs, visit ucanofmemphis.org or call 262-8642.