It’s 10:30 in the morning and you walk into the CI Café. You watch as our campers are engaged in small groups discussing their newly formed companies. It’s loud and you aren’t sure what they are discussing. PowerPoint is open on many of the computers around the room as they build their pitches. As you listen closer, our teens are discussing values and missions; what their company can do to help the world or how their product will revolutionize their industry.
This current generation of teens is often referred to as apathetic, disengaged, and non-voting. Many suggest teens would rather have their face buried in their iPhone scrolling through Instagram than be a contributing member of society. We hear parents say “will you please put that away and talk to me” as a common theme among teenage households.
In my opinion, teens today are just misunderstood. Adults assume because they aren’t interested in the same things or aren’t connecting with news and current events, they aren’t invested in the world today. Teens care. Teens care a lot. Teens today need detail and options. Our campers were constantly asking questions, wanting to delve deeper into our content. Our guest entrepreneurs were surprised by the depth and thoughtfulness of the questions.
Over the course of the summer, we had the opportunity for our teen campers to explore several non-profit organizations in the Boulder area. They read RFPs, met the executive directors, and had the opportunity to tour each of the 4 pre-screened non-profits. Their startup team was then able to allocate $100-200 to the organization of their choice. One of the organizations that our campers chose was There With Care, which supports children and families during the critical phase of a medical crisis. Over the summer, we were able to support There With Care with $1100 for their programs.
In the words of Development Director, Dana Bacardi, this was “LOTS OF CARE”:
$1100 = Supplemental groceries for 22 families for an entire month
$1100 = 11 car seats for babies leaving the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
$1100 = Transportation assistance for 24 families to get their child to their treatments
$1100 = 50 prepared meals for families spending long days at the hospital
Our campers left There With Care with a longing for more. They want to go back, meet the families and children, and be a part of the operation. Giving money was not enough for them.
There With Care is currently collecting gently used baby clothes (premie-2T), diapers sizes 0-4 and diaper wipes, port-a-cribs.
They also have some specific needs right now: school supplies (notebook paper, folders, binders, pencils, markers) games and books for teens, and fabric donations: patterned fleece, solid colored felt and patterned cotton fabrics.