Teen Village 2022-2023
About Teen Village
- What is Teen Village? Teen Village is an opportunity for youth to connect with themselves, and each other in a meaningful way. Something sweet and magical happens when a group of youth get together to talk and create. They open up. They listen, laugh, feel, and share. They trust.
- When and Where will Teen Village meet? Teen Village schedules will be decided by parents/guardians. The groups are expected to begin meeting in October; youth will meet in Ashland, at the Body Basics and Beyond Clubhouse, near the public library.
- Who Attends Teen Village? We welcome all girl-identifying youth, and youth questioning their gender identity and/or expression, from 7th to 10th grade; groups are determined by the number of youth that sign up from each grade.
- Teen Village is a paid program that costs $25/session; however, we want all youth to be able to join us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about scholarships or monthly payment plans.
- There will be a mandatory parent/guardian meeting via Zoom; please, note your availability when registering, and plan to attend this 1-hour Zoom meeting.
- Annual payments can be made after the mandatory Parent Meeting. Meeting schedule will be determined at that meeting, and we will send all registered families a payment link at that time.
- We are happy to discuss scholarships or monthly payments: contact email@example.com to inquire about help paying for Teen Village.
Why Teen Village
Between busy schedules and social norms, youth today have very little time to slow down and reflect on who they are, and what is real in their lives. Developmentally they are yearning to belong while also seeking to understand what is unique about themselves. Consciously and subconsciously they are sorting out what values of home and culture they want to carry forward into adulthood.
Many teens are aware of bigger political issues, societal pressures, and environmental concerns, experiencing moments of anxiety and stress, fear and hopelessness more than ever before. Many feel the normal shifting tides of friendships and peer pressures, the struggle to be seen as capable while still learning how to take responsibility. Social media has changed so much in the way youth communicate. It has changed the way they learn how to present themselves, and how to navigate the world around them.
Teen Village is an opportunity for youth to connect with themselves, and each other in a meaningful way. Something sweet and magical happens when a group of youth get together to talk and create. They open up. They listen, laugh, feel, and share. They trust. By providing a safe space with a subtle structure we open the door for young people to rediscover the importance of authentic communication and the courage inherent in vulnerability; face to face, heart to heart. From this place they often realize that others experience the things they do, and they find belonging and support as well as empathy for themselves and others.
Who Holds the Village
Facilitation of Teen Village is more “mentoring” than facilitating: not quite a friend, and not specifically a teacher. There is no curriculum used in Teen Village; rather, we utilize the art of mentoring, guide conversations, and often draw the revelation out of the participants. In this way youth deepen their connection and awareness of the values they already carry, are encouraged to discover what they do not yet know, and share the wisdom they already possess. Teen Village is their space, a brave space, where youth can practice what it means to be themselves, to share their own voice, to listen deeply to others, and to find a sense of joy and belonging in it all.
The Mentors: Naiya and Bella
Naiya Budler (she/her)
Naiya is a Program Coordinator with Rogue Valley Mentoring. She moved to the valley in May 2022, after receiving a BA from Western Colorado University with a major in Sociology, and minors in Psychology, Exercise Sport Science and Sport Psychology. Naiya has felt the profound impact of positive mentors in her life, and wishes to support youth in similar ways. Naiya believes that youth are the first step in healing our communities, and wants to allow them to have a space to just have fun. She has focused her life on helping people living with addiction, mental illness, and the effects of trauma overcome the obstacles in life. She enjoys anything outdoors, cozy, and colorful; she is working to find balance in all aspects of life. As a mentor in Teen Village she hopes to guide youth to find their inner strength and build positive relationships with those around them.
Bella Brocato (they/them)
Bella is an advocate, educator, and facilitator passionate about amplifying the voices of youth in our community and supporting them through their connections with others, their experiences, and themselves. They believe that by investing in today’s youth, we are investing in the future of our communities. As a Teen Village mentor, they seek to foster a safe, brave space for exploration, discovery, vulnerability, and courage while establishing consistent support and trust. They have over four years of experience in working with youth, LGBTQIA2S+ humans, and survivors of sexual and domestic violence. They recently received their B.A. in Political Science with minors in English, Human Rights, and Women and Gender Studies from The University of Southern Mississippi. Additionally, Bella is currently in the process of becoming certified as a Body Basics and Beyond Educator, an educational program for youth centering puberty and relationships. They prioritize an open, trauma-informed, human-centered approach to every interaction in order to meet youth where they’re at and support them in an informed manner. Through Teen Village, Bella seeks to empower all youth, uplift the future of the Rogue Valley, and foster a space that youth can count on.