I’ve been spending a lot of my time lately with college students. During recent conversations at city pubs and coffee shops in Boston, I couldn’t help but think: young people have a lot of energy.
Their energy is wrapped up in many different areas. Channeled appropriately, it can change the world. The same holds true for young people in the Middle East—and there are a lot of them. No doubt, they have energy. The question is: how will they use it?
Youth in the Middle East are one of the most marginalized populations. They also hold the most potential. Young people who have experienced prolonged trauma and loss are like pressure cookers of energy trapped inside feelings of powerlessness and isolation. Untapped and ready to burst.
The energy of youth in the Middle East will be used, and it can be used for good. We cannot ignore them and we must protect them. Positive and trusted mentoring relationships give youth a critical network of support to accompany them as they navigate fear and uncertainty. In their mentors, they find heroes—champions that empower them to uncover the heroes that exist within themselves.
Youth in the Middle East provide promise and hope for the future. They need us. And we need them. They have better outlets for their energy. So do we. Instead of narratives of fear and violence, let’s pour our energy into the narratives of hope that the youth in the Middle East represent.
- Curt Rhodes
Questscope Founder and International Director