“It takes a village to raise a family but the village has changed. We need to restore that village.” Those are the powerful words spoken by VP. of Youth, family, and Clinical services Marquette S. Connor. While interviewing her and the coordinator of the 2022 Teen Empowerment Rally Caleb Camp, they talked about how they are putting the work in to make sure they empower the minds of our future generation.
When asked what do you think is the cause for so much gun violence among the youth? Marquette stated ” I think the cause of gun violence is the structure. The youth are not getting what they feel they need. That love and nurturing. It seems like there is no value for life anymore. We have to get back to valuing not just our lives but the lives that people are taking as well.” In the Black community, a lot of mental illness goes undiagnosed. I asked what Better Family Life can do to assist with helping people with this illness. Marquette said “We have a clinical department to make sure our youth and adults are aware there is help. We are here to provide those services. People think of it as a threat but we try to get you where you need to be in society. We make sure that the outpouring of outreach is out there. We make sure the community knows that we are here to help, not harm.”
I asked Caleb Camp if he thinks drugs and the music of today play a part in the disruptive behavior of a lot of the youth. “Definitely. Music is probably the biggest influence. I would say even more than social media. Music is so powerful in what artists say and do so much that the youth are going to follow it.” I asked Marquette what programs are offered for the Youth at Better Family Life. “We offer our summer camp which is called S.A.F.E. Passage to the Future. We have our Youth Passport to the Future After-School program, our 21st-century afterschool program, our youth leadership academy, and much more.”
Let’s get to the full video interview:
Teen Empowerment Rally
Nov 16, 2022,
10 am-12:30 pm
1 S. Compton Ave. St. Louis, MO. 63103