Foundation to gather middle school-age to young adult participants to share their thoughts on the issues they face and the ways they think caring adults can help

What are the issues facing our youngest citizens and where are they getting the most effective support in dealing with those issues?

What are the next generation’s ideas for conquering these challenges and how do they think the adults in their community can help make a difference?

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut will host “Thriving Communities: Are We Hearing the Voices of Our young People?" beginning at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, at Kelly Middle School, 25 Mahan Drive, Norwich.

This safe, civil conversation — with young people doing most of the talking — will begin with introductions and a brief discussion with the full group, which will include a variety of young people, from middle school-age to young adults, as well as Community Foundation donors and nonprofit partners.

Then small discussion groups will form and participants will respond to a set of questions, such as: What gives you hope? What programs have been helpful to you? What issues do you wish were better understood by adults?

Participants will be encouraged to listen respectfully as all share perspectives, ambitions and concerns about overcoming the challenges and obstacles they encounter. Then representatives from each of the small groups will report back, leading to continued conversation in the larger group.

The 60-to-90-minute event will be followed by a brief reception. Small Foundation grants will be offered to nonprofits and affiliated student groups who want to continue the discussion beyond the event.

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