Posted 7 August 2015 12:00 AM by Jenna
The first day on tour spirits were high but nerves were also settling. After four intense weeks of workshop development, we were asking the Teen Leaders to go out into the city and execute a 60-minute workshop. For many of our teens, this was their first experience in an educator role. Not only were they being asked to balance lesson planning and execution but also classroom and time management. What was truly amazing was bearing witness to the enormous growth that took place between their first workshop and their last. I saw them emerge as peer educators following the powerful model of students teaching students. I saw them struggle through, practice, support, debrief, and refine their craft in a truly sincere, and beautiful way.
The last day on tour the Teen Leaders were filled with an unprecedented energy. We flash-mobbed and sang our way through the streets of Boston, dance battled team Jeremy and clearly came out victorious. The Teen Leaders had found their groove, performing “freeze” in the subway cars and finding harmony in their voices and in working collectively with one another. We arrived at our last workshop to find the smallest group yet. Instead of this deterring our teens they decided to let it fuel them. Together they decided that only the younger student group would lead their workshop while the older student group would offer support. Not only were the Teen Leaders of the workshop smooth and energizing but also the support was strong and consistent. It was a joy to watch the Teen Leaders connect to and relate to the students whom they were teaching. To see our teens grow from helping their students grow. For the last activity the Teen Leaders had the younger students say something that they liked about themselves. I watched the group of 6-8 year olds at first perplexed and then find meaning and power in stating what they saw as their strengths. It was a moment of transformation for everyone involved and I felt grateful to be a part of it.
On the way back to the Shubert we met back up with Jeremy’s group and performed one final flash mob. When it was all said and done a voice called out “Who are we?” “CPAC” some others responded. For the rest of the way back to the theater the teens performed this chant. For me, this was symbolic of the pride they took from being leaders, advocates, educators, and CPAC family.