Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Hali Smith & Kaylan Freeman (Central High School & Kingsbury High School)
As students come close to approaching graduation each year, it is common for them to seek advice on how to navigate through life after high school. However, more often than not the seeds of wisdom they receive come from adults that are far removed from today’s generation.
The Teen Appeal alumnae panel provided a remedy to this problem by offering valuable guidance in the form of an hour-long Question and Answer session with four students. These students were Morgan Moore, a graduate of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School and current student at Middle Tennessee State University; Alexis Ditaway, a graduate of Ridgeway High School, and current student at the University of Missouri at Columbia; Keturah Harris, a graduate of White Station High School and current student at University of Tennessee at Knoxville; and Briawnna Jones, a graduate of Cordova High School and recent graduate of St. John’s University in New York.
Topics the group covered ranged from parties, time management, recent graduates, making important connections, 15 page college papers, and the do’s and don’ts of Greek life.
A large contribution to the success of the group discussion came from both the humorously blunt answers from the staff and the small, but still significant gap in age.
“Today adults are unforgiving and they expect everyone to know aspect of life they didn’t even know when in your shoes,” Ditaway said to the group. “You simply need to ‘Get your plan together.’”
The informality of the session also created a sort of safe space to ask question freely which may not have occurred in a stricter, more formal setting.
Harris advised to group, “You will make mistakes, you will need breaks and you have to forgive yourself.”
She also suggested students study with classmates, get to know their community, and to get involved on campus. Campus and career involvement themes continued when Jones talked about her journey to internships at The Wendy Williams Show, VH1, and MTV, based on her networking skills.
It’s easy to be afraid of the future. Now more than ever it is even expected.
However, it is important that high school students hold on to the idea that anything is possible with hard work. Students who were a part of the session reported that the tidbits definitely helped combat that line of thinking.
All in all, many students found it both a fun and an informative session. Those in attendance left the conversation with a bit more confidence and assurance about the future.
And Moore left students with a bit of simple, but important advice, “College waits for no one.”