“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
—Melody Beattie, American author
by Joy Goff, Mentorship Director, The Launch Pad Teen Center
Reflecting on these words, we asked our teens what they’re especially grateful for.
They noted free meals that can feel like feasts, strangers turned friends, the comfort and safety to take a long nap after an exhausting day, a host of mentors to ask for help with any creative, academic or social challenge, and a community celebrating them for who they are.
Age, Ty and Quentin say they have gratitude for The Launch Pad because they value having a space where they can find community and hang out, a place where people can gather, share ideas, and have a good time.
Age and Ty work at The Moon Cafe and say they appreciate having employment and support in learning job skills. And of course, we’re all grateful for pumpkin spice lattes (which they make skillfully)!
During the fall, we are also grateful for time outdoors and the opportunity to see the positive impact these challenging adventures, which include moments of quiet reflection and joyful connection, have on teens.
One teen says that, “Being in nature and being surrounded by the canyon walls and waking up in the morning and breathing in fresh air and looking to the left and right of me — seeing the sun and the water.
“I wasn’t worried about the stress at home or what was happening on my phone. I didn’t feel a need to be worried. I just felt like I could go and have some breakfast and have conversations with the people I was with, and later that evening we’d be canoeing and eating dinner. And it all felt very relaxing. I was at peace the whole time. I wasn’t anxious. I wasn’t worried. It helped me.”
We see Beattie’s words play out. We are grateful for teens’ positive impact in our community and the way they bring the “fullness of life” by showing up with curiosity and passion as they form a “vision for tomorrow.”