Listen up, adults. The kids have got this.

When young people find their voice, positive things happen.

Right now, students in Marquette and around the nation are joining survivors of the Parkland school shooting in organizing March for Our Lives events that will take place tomorrow. These aren’t college students, but high schoolers, middle schoolers and even elementary-aged kids. They are stepping up to be heard, to lead this matter of life and death. I am in awe—and oh, so encouraged.

I am proud of our U.P. students who participated in the recent school walkouts. From accounts I’ve seen, they conducted themselves in exemplary fashion in recognition of the 17 students whose lives were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. I am also proud of the adult school personnel who encouraged and supported their effort.

Those adults have as much at stake as the students do regarding school shootings. But they are letting the students lead this effort. They get it—this is the kids’ turn to be heard. The adults of our nation have had ample opportunity to tackle the epidemic of gun violence and have gotten nowhere. Now the kids are stepping up to the microphone. And we need to listen.

Young people see things differently than we do. They have a way of cutting through crap. They have insight and perspective, ideas and vision that are essential in our nation’s collective discourse—around this issue and all issues that affect them. But they have few opportunities to be heard. Bravo to those courageous young souls who are standing up for themselves and saying “Enough!”

So, where should adults be during the marches taking place tomorrow? At the back of the crowd, listening intently and respectfully to what our young people have to say. That’s an important first step.

And after that? We need to help keep our young people engaged, to work with them collaboratively—as allies. We need to help them navigate systems and learn from setbacks and keep moving forward toward solutions together. We need to let them know that their voices are valued and that we are listening.

And positive things will happen.

Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award Application Available

Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award Application Available

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Judy Watson Olson Education Enrichment Award in honor of former GLCYD President and CEO, Judy Watson Olson. This $500 award assists Upper Peninsula K-12 schools, teachers, or organizations with programs that help youth succeed academically. Examples… Continue Reading

A New Way for the New Year

2018 – A new year. Resolutions. Deals on fitness equipment and vitamins. Look at what you didn’t accomplish in 2017 and start filling your schedule and to-do list. Though our culture promotes 24/7, instant communication and gratification, and doing and having it all, the pendulum has been swinging the other way and self-care and living… Continue Reading

Bereavement Leave Policies – Helping Adjust to a New Normal

As part of Grow & Lead’s annual review of policies, we are reviewing our bereavement leave policy.  Do you have one?  Here is what the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) has to say on the topic from their September 2017 issue of “HR Magazine”: The vast majority of employers provide only two to four… Continue Reading

Board Development Month is here!

Board Development Month is here!

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development is excited to present Board Development Month! Grow & Lead has seen an increase in nonprofit organizations having questions about how to be a better board of directors. “We routinely get questions from board members,” said Amy Quinn, CEO of Grow & Lead. “We developed this series of… Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday 2017 in the UP

#GivingTuesday 2017 in the UP

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the US) and the widely recognized… Continue Reading

2017 Year In Review

Giving Nonprofits Tools to Succeed so they can Focus on their Missions At Grow & Lead, a large part of our work is capacity building. We help nonprofits utilize tools to make their work more efficient. By building up the nonprofit sector, we create communities with opportunities for youth to thrive. “In 2016, Accelerate UP… Continue Reading

Meet the U.P.’s unsung heroes

Meet the U.P.’s unsung heroes

You meet some of the nicest people in the nonprofit sector. This was especially the case at the recent U.P. Nonprofit Conference hosted by Grow & Lead. There were a lot of first-time attendees at the conference this year, so I met a lot of new people that day. Every one of them was nothing… Continue Reading

Granting Wishes Plus

I currently serve as board chair for the Youth & Family Center at Lake Superior Village. The program is a collaboration between the Marquette Housing Commission, the YMCA and GLCYD.  Earlier this year, Tyler McCabe, the program director, and I applied for some local grant opportunities through Zonta of Marquette and the Community Foundation of… Continue Reading