As Recreation Leaders in the Teen Center, one of the many jobs we have is acknowledging how current trends affect teens’ daily lives. The most current trend is social media!
Social media is a huge part of teen’s lives. Knowing this, it made sense that the Teen Center meets teens where they are, which is online. Over the course of the past year, we have strengthened our online presence in hopes of connecting with teens that may not be able to visit the Teen Center in person on a daily basis. We have developed a vlog, we take pictures and videos for our Instagram, and we are even working on developing a TikTok! We’ve found that enhancing our Teen Center through an online presence is a lot of fun for both staff and teens. One of the best parts creating an online Teen Center is that it quickly became something that was relatable and engaging for our teens.
Having an online presence, especially during COVID, has been a way for staff to continue to engage with teens and their parents/guardians to show a glimpse of what we are doing throughout quarantine, and how we were able to reopen safely. We understood that we had a unique opportunity to make something good out of a year that has been so tragic and devastating for our community.
Mental health is a topic we really focus on, especially with the emergence of mental health issues brought on by COVID and quarantining. Bringing the Teen Center online has given us a way to convey how mental health can look differently for each individual. Our vlog series allows us to show that if you do struggle with mental health issues, you are not alone. We understand talking about these difficult topics can be hard, so our goal is to talk about them in a creative and engaging way so that it makes it easier for others to share. Our goal is to inspire hope through difficult times.
While we plan and create our videos with the teen viewer in mind, our vlogs and social media posts are able to entertain and inform people of all ages. Being online has not only allowed us to reach teens that we regularly see at the Community Center, but we are now able to reach teens from all over the world. It has given us a way to interact with our own community, while reaching out to other communities that we would not have been able to reach without an online presence.
Our content is meant to be both enjoyable as well as helpful. It has allowed us to create lighthearted videos that highlight our skills and activities that we do in the Teen Center. We strive to make it better with each post, and we hope that you enjoy them. Please feel free to follow us on our Teen Center Instagram: @mp_teen_center, where you will see all of our posts, vlogs, weekly riddles and occasional giveaways!
Your Teen Recreational Leaders,
– Hannah, Maggie, Nate and Marysol