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    Stefan Hermann
    GenDerations Programs
    The great orator and reformer, Frederick Douglas once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken people.” The success of GenDerations programs is built on the attitude of its adult mentors, who treat teens as equals, and who see them at an eye-to-eye level. Mentors are trained facilitators, who accompany the young people on their journey to adulthood, assisting with important life issues. ”Top-Down” instruction and advice-giving are avoided. Instead, fostering emotional maturity and personal development are the priorities. At GenDerations, relationships are built on curiosity, integrity and emotional authenticity, a deep relationship with nature, and the desire for community.

Educational Concepts Underlying GenDerations Programs

At the heart of the programs for teenagers is either a project week (or week-long field trip) or an adventure weekend. These experiences are structured along the lines of traditional rites-of-passage or initiations – adapted for modern times. Symbolism and metaphor are used extensively. Mythodrama, role play and nature experiences encourage teens to question their socio-cultural behavior patterns. The adult mentors serve as role models, without having to be perfect. Being a role model with GenDerations means being authentic. Honesty on the part of the mentor will be honored proportionally by the trust teens give in return.

GenDerations mentoring has no set expectations for the direction in which a teen should develop, except for integration of sound, general values and personal qualities such as responsibility, honesty, integrity and reliability. Deeper work is facilitated in co-ed groups as well as in gender-specific sessions.