Tour Week Love
Posted 8 August 2016 12:00 AM by Courtney Elliott
With Week Five of the City Spotlights Leadership program in our rearview window, and the home stretch right around the corner, it seems as though our cast of talented and ambitious Teen Leaders are as close to one another as they have ever been. Week Five was Tour Week, the time where the teens really earn their money. It’s the week where they show up to work earlier than usual, and leave later. The week where they are sent out to various locations in our beautiful city to wear themselves out for the sake of spreading hope, unity and good vibes, using the performance skills they worked so hard for weeks to perfect. In an imperfect world, this could be a considered a recipe for disaster. In any other group of 60+ teenagers, hoping for a seamless week of hard work, dancing, singing, traveling and promoting our final showcase can be seen as somewhat of a pipe dream--but not this group, not this year.
There is a clear love for the arts among this group, a passion that is on display every time they put their all in their flash mob dance. Even under the hot sun, which I feared could bring out the worst in teens with as much on their plate as these Teen Leaders had, they were able to gel, as if they were solid steel allowing themselves to be melded together by the heat of the moment. It was beautiful to witness. Even in the communities, where Teen Leaders were tasked to perform hour long workshops in different camps, recreation centers, community centers and classrooms, they found success engaging participants in understanding the complexity the American Dream. Participants included young kids with little to no perspective on the concept of the American Dream, as well as teenagers who have begun to explore their understanding of it, and everything in between. I was impressed with how, with a few adjustments from workshop to workshop, our Teen Leaders were able to facilitate effective activities and discussion that participants of the workshops seemed to value.
I am in a somewhat unusual head space right now after seeing these teens rise to the occasion during Tour Week. I am conflicted as I am both dreading each minute that flies by, knowing that every tick of the clock brings us that much closer to the end of the program, and impatiently anticipating watching the Final Showcase, where these teens will get a chance to get on stage, and use the spotlight to call, cry, and claim who they are in display of their endless talents. I am looking forward to more hard work to prepare for Thursday and am thankful for the opportunity I have to play any role at all in City Spotlights. One love, all.