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Listen Up Teen Leadership Board Has First Meeting

Updated: Apr 9, 2019

The Listening Phase of the Listen Up Project is underway! On Sunday, March 24, teens from across the state met officially for the first time at the Washington County Youth Service Bureau in Montpelier!

Bess O'Brien talks to Teen Leadership Board

The meeting was headed by Listen Up producing director Bess O'Brien, who, along with co-producer Mitch Barron and clinical storytelling consultant Sarah Lowry, led the group in discussion about what was important in their lives.

Participating teens at the first meeting included Emma Anderson, Heidi Berger, Tian Berry, Phinn Brown, Sadie Chamberlain, Julia Shannon Grillo, Wyatt Harte, Cole Heigis, Jordan Parenteau, and Ezra Totten.

Teens watch "Making the Voices Project"

The meeting began with a viewing of the short documentary Making of the Voices Project, detailing the process of 2005's hit musical and previewing the road ahead for Listen Up.

The group then got down to business discussing ways they might be able to reach other interested teens. Ideas included whole school assemblies, after-school workshops and activities during advisory periods.

The teens in the group also discussed how social media could be used to interest more kids. The adults running the meeting got a crash course in the features of Instagram and Snapchat, and the group decided to start a subcommittee of social media-savvy teens to run Listen Up's social media accounts.

Jordan Parenteau fills out a card.

Halfway through the meeting, pizzas arrived, and the group had a good time eating and chatting. After the break, the group was given a set of cards with prompts asking about what talents individuals could bring to the project, any questions they had, and suggestions of others who may be interested in the project.

The meeting was scheduled to end at 6:00 p.m., but the group had so much to say that it went past 6:15, ending only when parents giving rides began to line up at the front door. Plans for the board's next meeting are already underway.

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