With multiple groups up and running, our Crossing Paths participants have a lot to say this fall! Teens and volunteers age 50+ at one school are exploring our “Identity, Choices, and Meaning” theme, with questions at a recent session about culture including:

  • What makes up your own cultural identity, and which parts feel the most central to who you are? Is it hard or easy for you to define?
  • What’s something from your cultural or family values that you want to pass on to future generations?

Meanwhile, conversations took off at the two other schools, both of which are using our “Civic Engagement” theme. We always give participants room to develop their own questions on the theme, and loved that teens at one school were eager to ask their peers and elders, “What does ‘community’ mean to you?” At another school, the groups bonded so well during week one that they got past ice-breakers and started volunteering things about:

  • why they felt like the leadership program they were in was important in their lives
  • different ways the pandemic had changed them, and
  • how they were handling feelings of nervousness at opening up to new people.

When’s the last time you sat down for a thoughtful conversation about your ideas, values, and goals—with a group of friends, let alone a group of strangers of all ages? It doesn’t happen much in our modern world! ETA is proud to create spaces for such trust and connection in our community, and we’re excited to see what all our groups this fall will explore next.