Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Teens Helping Others

on March 24, 2012

When I wrote Stained Glass Summer, one of the big themes I explored is teens helping someone else. In Stained Glass Summer, Jasmine learns to be a mentor to five-year-old Sammy. So often, I read YA books where the teens are self-absorbed, and only care about boyfriends, friends, and make-up.  Part of being a teen, IS about things such as friends, boyfriends, and clothing–BUT not all teens think only about these things. In fact, my experience running writing workshops is that teens have a lot more empathy and concern about people and causes outside themselves than are reflected in a lot of YA novels.

And, to prove that point of teens helping others, I’ve seen two great examples. The first took place a few weeks ago when students at Snohomish High School Students organized a day to all wear purple to show support for an eight-year old girl who was accidentally shot by her classmate. The school where the young lady was shot is not in the same District as Snohomish High School. Purple is the eight year old girl’s favorite color. But, I think what is significant about this Day of Purple is the students at Snohomish High School understood about school violence because last Fall, one of their classmates was stabbed in the bathroom.   Three football players confronted the attacker, and a boy the girl knew from her geometry class held her in his arms until the paramedics arrived. The girl survived the attack. When asked about the day of purple, one teen said this:  “It was a really good way to show we have healed and we could support other schools as well,” Lindsey said. “We hope it will brighten her day a little bit and put a smile on her face.”

To read more about this day of purple click here

The second example of teens helping others is a video that teens in a Wisconsin High School made for a contest musician Lady Antebelum is holding. The contest asks teens to create a video which demonstrates why Lady Antebelum should speak at their prom.  The teens at D.C Everst High School in Wisconsin made this video not for themselves, but for the students at Henryville High School in Southern Indianian. Henryville High School was recently hit by a tornado.  D.C. Everst High School is hundreds of miles away from Henryville and not connected to them at all. To watch the video:


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