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Hope Rocks!

2 Hours. 50 Teens. Lots of Paint!


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In February 2013, the National American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) asked us to develop an afternoon Community Listening workshop as part of their 2013 Convention, which brought thousands of teens to the LA area. On one afternoon, students visited dozens of LA nonprofits and “do-gooder” organizations, and a small group of more than fifty students chose to spend their time with The Hope Chronicles. Our goal: help these teens listen to the hopes of their unique community, create a quick art installation that would remain in LA, and teach them about the importance of their neighbors.

During the two-hour-long workshop, teens spent the first half-hour in small groups having facilitated discussions about hope. Then, we had a group discussion about the what the NFTY students hope for at this moment in time—for themselves, their organization, their families, and their own communities.

For the remainder of the workshop, students got messy and creative! Garden stones of all shapes and sizes were passed out, along with brushes and paint of every color imaginable, and every teen was invited to create one or more Hope Stones based on a hope they heard during the morning’s discussion. Other than that, there were no rules, and everyone had complete freedom to create whatever they’d like. Meanwhile, The Hope Chronicles team and NFTY leaders were continuing to lead impromptu discussions about hope, keeping the room buzzing, learning, and growing!

When the stones were complete, they joined dozens of others at the Fusion Hope Garden in Pasadena, California, where they’re still on display today. It’s the only place in the city where students can be fully immersed in the hopes of two unique communities.

After the workshop, each student left with their own personal Hope Journal and the invitation to continue listening to the neighbors each and everyday.

Check out the photos below for a quick look at the event!


Hope Rocks!

15

 [Our teens] absolutely loved their time with you! Thanks for sharing your experiences, for the story of The Hope Chronicles, and for inspiring our teens.”
Dan Lange. Associate Director, NFTY Convention

Are you interested in a Community Listening project in your neighborhood?
Contact us today, and we’ll help you create the perfect project for your community.

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