Forbes just listed the county that I live in as the third richest in the United States. Um... I think they mean world. Three words describe the teenagers where I live: suburban, affluent, potential.
We live in the suburbs - it's not the city and it's not the farm. It's green grass, subdivisions, school buses. It's the mall, driving versus public transit, and being intentional about getting to know your neighbor across the cul-de-sac.
It's affluent - look at how much people make, then take another look and see how much they spend. Teenagers have the latest in personal electronics, access to their parents high end luxury cars, and live in big homes with lots of unused stuff. True story - I've seen more iPhones owned by middle schoolers than my colleagues in the IT business.
It screams potential. They've got money; parents who have created environments to empower them; a mindset to find, access and engage the right resources; GT classes, career internships; technology and the know how to use it. Best of all, they've got the initiative and hope. They think they know that the best kind of life is one that is poured out for others. At least, most of them have a sense of that.
All we have to do is set them on fire and cast them out. Simple, right?