5 reasons why working with young people is the best

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Team Spotlight

Our providers and partner organizations support some of the most brilliant young people in Washington. Lex Gavin explains why working with young people is the best

  1. They are our future.
    People say it all the time, but it’s true! Youth have always been at the forefront of social change and pushing for a better world. They’re also my teachers and help me break out of the cynicism of focusing on whether something is impossible and instead strive relentlessly towards justice.
  2. It’s a reciprocal relationship.
    I don’t take for granted the opportunity to build a strong foundation in a young person’s life, and I hope that when they grow into peers, colleagues, politicians, entrepreneurs, and visionaries they don’t take for granted the opportunity to better the lives of others and support their communities.
  3. Everything is in earnest.
    Young people are refreshingly, sometimes brutally honest—which keeps me honest, too! When youth are sad, or angry, or proud, or amazed, it radiates out of them and I get to share in that with them. I feel more connected to my own emotions, and to the ups and downs that shape our human experience.
  4. They call for my growth.
    I strive to be grounded, present, and patient in my interactions with young people, and to honor the principals of transformative justice—that all of us are capable of growth, that no one is irredeemable, and that accountable communities start with my own ability to repair my mistakes.
  5. It’s so much fun!
    Playing games, cracking jokes, being creative, solving problems… If you’ve never seen someone learn a new skill, and move from frustration into excitement, you’re truly missing out.

Lex Gavin
Lex Gavin—Best Starts for Kids Program Quality Manager