"Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Strange days indeed….” - John Lennon
It is hard to believe that it has only been 4 weeks since the schools were shut down statewide, and many public facilities, including the Teen Center, were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During those first few weeks it felt like things were changing on a daily basis, and our work at the Teen Center was no exception. We went from trying to develop some sort of online programing that we could do with just one or 2 staff onsite at the Teen Center to Eli and I delivering computer equipment to our staff's homes to get them set up to work remotely. It all happened in the span of about 5 days and the entire Teen Center staff has been working from home since about a week into the closures.
If you are reading this you have found our first effort to engage our members online, this fancy new technology called a webpage. The webpage was the first idea, but it honestly dropped in priority when we launched our Discord server.
The server went live on Thursday 3/20 and teens were involved right from the start with suggestions and feedback. A majority of the credit for getting it up and organized goes to Ryan Schultz, our recording studio instructor. When he is not working on music Ryan is an avid e-sports competitor and coach. He also works with one of the major e-sports event promotion companies and has helped put on major tournaments around the country. Needless to say, Discord has long been part of his world.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Discord is an online platform created initially to provide better communication for online gamers, but it has grown into broad variety of vibrant online communities. For more information go to https://discordapp.com/company
While there have been a number of cool things happening on the server including:
first Teen Town Hall meeting was held on Thursday 4/9 with County Councilor James Robinson as the guest. The 2 hour session covered a broad range of topics from the recreation needs of teens to the lack of affordable housing in our community. James was invited to return the following month to follow up on some of the questions the teens raised.
Upcoming guest include Kristine Coblentz (Director, LAPS Health Schools Initiative), Carter Payne (LAHS Principal), and Kurt Steinhaus (LAPS Superintendent). Click here for more info on events and activities on the Discord server.
If you have not yet gotten involved with the Discord server I encourage you to check it out. It is a great way to virtually experience some of the community we have built at the physical Teen Center. These are strange times and we need to get creative to find ways in which we can connect.
Take care or your self!