Houstonian Honors Youth at 18 Under 18 Brunch
Bell TotallyRandie.com | 11/21/2018, 3:59 p.m.
We have songs, books, speeches, and more about how the youth are our future; yet there is still a disconnect. If you were to speak to a young person they will tell you from their vantage point that communication is the disconnect. Adults seldom listen to children. Our youth go to extremes to get the attention of adults and its just sad.
Someone who giving youth the attention they crave is public relations maven Latorria Lemon. She is the founder of Let's Talk Teen Talk, a platform to allow youth voices to be heard. Through this organization, she honored 18 youths under 18 at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum. This was an extremely monumental occasion for a couple of reasons: 1. outside of school our youth are rarely recognized for their efforts, 2. connections, and 3. motivation.
Our youth are recognized often at school, but most of the ground breaking work that is being done by them is done outside of school. Think back to Santa Fe High School. Those students didn't just all of a sudden find a voice and confidence to speak out. They have always had that passion, confidence, and sense to stand up for what’s right.
One of the honorees at the 18 Under 18 Brunch was 15 year old Iyanni Pradia. This young lady has been advocating for harsher punishment for bullies whose victims lose their lives. Another young honoree had been djing since she was 7. One thing they had in common when I spoke to them was the fact that they never thought they would be receiving an award for anything other than sports or academics. Why not? We do it for adults for less. We need to start recognizing our youth for their outstanding efforts to become entrepreneurs, speak up against gun violence, start petitions, and more. This is what the first annual 18 Under 18 Brunch did.
It also gave these youth connections. Often times youths of this caliber are the only ones in a particular radius. They don't have access to other youths who think like they think or are as serious as they are. This brunch let them meet peers of their caliber. You saw a lot of the youths taking pictures, making friends, exchanging numbers and talking about how they could network with each other. As adults, we know how important connections are. In Houston alone, there are hundreds of networking events held each month just so businesses, artists, and more can connect.
Finally, it also gave these youths the motivation they needed to keep going. Our youths get tired as well. Maybe success doesn't happen as fast as they would like. They also have school, extra curricular activities, family time, spiritual time, and more. It can be challenging to find time for community service, their talent or business. This brunch, being honored, gave them a boost. It showed them that they have accomplished great things but can accomplish so much more if they continue to push forward.
The 18 Under 18 Brunch impacted so many people. Our youths have a voice and Lemon has been giving them a platform to use it thru her Let's Talk Teen Talk. Now with honoring our youth with an annual brunch, she expanded their platform. I was honored to be a guest and to meet so many young ones doing amazing things. I began to think of how I know so many youth that are making waves. I can only imagine how huge next year is going to be. Can you think of an 18 year old or younger in your vicinity making waves?