Together Tulsa aims to break the cycle of poverty for youth likely to slip through the cracks by bridging the opportunity and skills gap between high school and career. We provide experiential fellowships that equip at-promise teens with specialized professional skills and help them develop a career pathway plan.

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Carrie Hill: Change starts with our youth

November 1, 2016

Creating change. It was the most challenging part of being a counselor. I remember the sobering experience of sitting across from a client who was in distress. When I looked at her, I could see her strengths, her potential, her resilience, and the overwhelming spectrum of possibilities that lay ahead in her future.


All she could see was her circumstances rising up around her creating a wall of limitations. 


The truth is, it’s really difficult to change someone’s perspective using words alone.  You can paint a picture of a brighter future. You can tell someone they are valuable, intelligent, resilient, capable, and worthy.  And they might let those words into their heart a bit.  But it feels very risky to accept those words as truth.  Most of us aren’t going to take that leap based on the opinion of someone else.  We need evidence.


And that’s why I love Together Tulsa.  We provide the evidence.


When students participate in Together Tulsa, they will see and feel the evidence of their potential.  How?


First, they will hear, and read, and photograph over and over the stories of others who are creating change, discovering their potential, and overcoming challenges. They will be immersed in these positive stories until the stories become a part of their own. Students will begin to notice similarities between their own lives and the lives of their subjects. 


 Possibilities will begin to open up.


Perhaps even more powerful, our students will find themselves in new circumstances. They will be in new places, with new people, experiencing new things. They will learn new skills.  They will get confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. But they will be supported, and overcome these challenges. 


They will step into a new phase of their lives.


Students will have the experience of learning, changing and growing. They will witness themselves solving a problem. They will hear the sound of their own voice saying things they have never said before. They will feel their hands taking on new tasks, and doing them with increasing skill. This will be the evidence that they ARE capable, that they CAN influence their circumstances, and that things in their life CAN be different. 


And that is a huge accomplishment.  We’re creating change here, folks. Join the movement!



Carrie Hill is a Together Tulsa Founding Board Member. Her post is the first in our Story Series, a piece of our movement that recognizes the power of many narratives.

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