The problem is many of these teens are never shown or taught how they can start making a difference; in fact, we're usually told we can't.
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We need to tailor more volunteer positions to appeal to teens and create programs to help connect teens to the right volunteer position for them. We need to make opportunities and change more accessible, rather than blocking teens out and later claiming that we're impossible to deal with and that we don't care.
Even so, teens have achieved pretty amazing things. Have you heard about the group of middle school students who conceptualized an app to help blind and visually-challenged students learn at school? They were inspired by their visually-impaired classmate!
What about the year-old girl who created her own algae biofuel lab under her bed to show that natural oils produced by algae can be converted into biofuels for diesel engines? She won the Intel Science Talent Search!
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Have you seen HuffPost Teen's list of the most fearless teens of ? In terms of the quality of teenage voices and our opinions, this is where so many adults couldn't be further off the mark. Teenagers ask some of the most thought-provoking questions. We have unique perspectives that many adults miss when they overlook my generation. We can come up with creative solutions and answers to complex problems. We have something to say, and we have a right to be heard. I strongly believe that we could come closer to solving so many of the problems facing our world if we approached issues with the open-mindedness, curiosity and unique perspectives that teens have.
Most importantly, we're largely optimistic about the future and have high ambitions to better the world. The bloggers for HuffPost Teen are a stunning example of this.
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We have so many interesting and unique thoughts, as well as a plethora of new ideas to share with the world. We produce some of the most insightful pieces of advice for other teens. We aren't afraid to share stories from the hardships we have faced, and we talk about real problems in high school, in our lives and in the world. Furthermore, we aren't afraid to tackle some of the most controversial topics around, like gun control or LGBT rights. We put the spotlight on things that really matter to us, like when Jackson wrote about sharing Christmas with everyone no matter who they are or what they believe in or when Celeste wrote about cultural stereotypes or when I wrote about childhood cancer.
You can't talk about these kinds of issues without research and without knowing what you're talking about. We put in time and effort into our work because this is what we love doing and we're proud of the entries that we publish. We love writing and sharing our thoughts with the world, and we deserve more than to be cast off as pesky, self-important teens.
Have you seen some of our work? My mind is constantly blown by the way my fellow bloggers will approach subjects, talk about something I've never thought about, or challenge the way I think about the world. I'm constantly awed at how other teens will tackle recondite concepts and put their own unique perspective into it. So many other teens like us exist everywhere in the world, too. Look at the students who participate in speech and debate competitions. Look at the students who compete in the Intel Science Talent Search.
Look at the students who are in robotics teams, math clubs, national honor societies and more.
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How can you look at Malala Yousafzai and then turn around and say that teens are a hindrance to our society? How can you disregard an entire generation of teens, many of whom are ready to start taking the reins and change society? Many of us are actually more informed and educated on global affairs than some adults, especially those who are close-minded and ignorant to everything outside of their own lives. Teenagers are some of the most courageous people I've ever seen, and so many of us are willing to stand up for what we believe in and for justice.
We're prideful, but we have a good dose of humility and can admit we're wrong when we are. Perhaps most importantly, we have hopes and dreams for the future, dreams that haven't yet become embittered. Isn't this something we should be cherishing and nurturing rather than ignoring and suppressing? Every generation thinks differently, and by dismissing my generation, the world loses the opportunity to further develop and explore our ideas as well as find a new way of thinking. Our minds work differently, and instead of deriding this, we should foment this difference to strengthen our future.
Like adults, teens deserve to speak and to have the opportunity to be heard, and we deserve the respect that any other adult would expect. We shouldn't be counted out just for our age when many of us are mature beyond our years. We shouldn't be belittled or disregarded for having the audacity to believe we can make a difference. As for claims of self-important, know-it-all teens, I guess there is an element of self-importance if we think our thoughts and opinions are worth sharing with the whole world.
But does this really merit the pejorative comments about how we think we're "so great and all that"? Besides, how does that make us any different from the millions of adults who share their own opinions on the Internet every day? Isn't one of the best qualities of the Internet its ability to connect and share ideas and opinions? Aren't those gratuitous comments hypocritical in that the commenter is being self-important, too? After all, those comments to not further the discussion or have much to do with the topic of our blog posts; they're just another way for other people to assert their own supposed superiority.
And when adults tell us to stop thinking we're the only ones with teen angst, they completely ignore the fact that we never asserted that. They also forget that the point of the post is to say our own ideas and maybe even start a societal conversation about dealing with that angst or widespread problem. Isn't it crucial to talk about our problems so they can be resolved?
Shouldn't all of our voices be important? Shouldn't the voices of our future be important and worth listening to? Shouldn't encourage this discussion of ideas rather than discouraging it from other happening? What kind of participation are we teaching our students and future?
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I recently read a blog post on HuffPost Teen about how a fellow blogger, Alexa, hates being 16 because nobody that young is taken seriously. She pointed out the societal problem of how age is a deterrent no matter how responsible and mature you are. The reaction?
Ironically, all the comments did not take her seriously because of the very problem she wrote about -- her age. They denounced her for not enjoying her age and being grateful for it. No matter what your child's emotional age might be, physically he or she will be maturing into an adult body. It's a lot to consider, but transition planning can help. With forethought and help from your child's school, doctors, and your state's government agencies, you can make the move to adulthood as smooth as possible for you and your child.
Register your child with your state's developmental disabilities agency. This branch of state government must be made aware that your child has special needs. Registration is required in order for your child to qualify for a group home placement as an adult. And because the wait for group home placement can be as long as 10 years, the sooner you register, the better.
To learn more about the benefits available to your child and how to apply for assistance, visit the U. Some schools start planning for a teen's future at age 13 or 14; by federal law, a transition individualized education program IEP must be started by age The transition IEP addresses whether a child is able to complete the educational requirements needed for a high school diploma. If your child is not on the diploma track, what will it take for him or her to earn a certificate of completion or attendance?
If going to college or trade school is an appropriate goal for your child, the IEP will detail how your child will get there. If higher education is not possible, maybe employment with or without support from a mentor or a day program in which your child engages in the arts and other activities might be a better option. The IEP team will talk with you and your child about goals for the future. The transition IEP also addresses where your child will live in adulthood. If independent living, institutionalized care, or a group home are options, the IEP will outline what supports need to be in place to make this possible.
This could include instruction on the basics of navigating the world alone, such as how to take a public bus, or lessons on how to manage money and plan healthy meals. Young adults with cerebral palsy are entitled to remain in school until age However, they can only stay until they graduate. So if your child is eligible at 18 for the diploma, you may want to talk to your child's school about deferring it until age Find out if there is a young-adult education program in your school or community.
This program focuses on teaching life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, job training, and financial literacy. Once kids turn 18, no matter what their cognitive abilities, they're considered adults in the eyes of the law.