Creating what we wish existed - The Teen Experience is BACK!
The Teen Experience is a series of self-development workshops for black and mixed raced teens, with the intention of empower, educate and engage a fast-paced, social media savvy generation, and allow teens to build relationships with each other beyond their mobile phones and social media apps. Ahead of the 3rd consecutive year, we caught up with visionaries behind it all - Treasure tress (founded by Jamelia Donaldson) and Mental Health Activist and Model, Simone Powderly.
Jamelia and Simone have proved Drake wrong and demonstrated that making new friends is, in fact, a good idea. Working together has highlighted some complimentary differences, and Jamelia alludes to Simone’s working style helping her exhale, “I’m pretty hardcore with my eye constantly on the next goal. Sim has definitely taught me to lighten up, enjoy the journey and allow things to flow”.On the other hand, Jamelia’s diligence keeps them working to provide the best possible experience for the teens, no matter the cost, “I can email or message Jamelia at 5am and it’s the NORM! To find someonelike that is amazing! She gets me into the ‘get ish done’ mode” – the perfect balance right?
In their pursuit of purpose and leading by example, the ladies pay close attention to women they’ve been moved by at different stages in their lives. Like the British weather, inspirations constantly change and right now, Jamelia and Simone’s trailblazers vary from public figures to women closer to home. “My answer for today is Mum” Jamelia expresses, “she embodies intelligence, determination, drive, grace and tons of style. Oh and I’ve definitely inherited her love for travel.”
After the infamous female poetry anthem by Maya Angelou, Simone’s current inspiration takes her back to the first time she felt like she too, could rise, “when I first came across her poem, Still I Rise, it stuck with me but I didn’t know why. Right now, I know why and I appreciate that poem more than ever!”.
“They are truly the sisterhood I have always wanted.”
As well as her Mum, Jamelia also takes inspiration from other people’s journeys. Being patient in allowing her goals to unfold is something she’s learning to further embrace, “I am very hard on myself and I am driven by goals I have set out for me. Sometimes I can become extremely impatient instead of enjoying and embracing the journey as that’s really is the most important part - #notestoself. I also need to be gentle and remind myself that I am just getting started. If everything I wanted happened for me right at this moment, the rest of my time on this earth would actually be pretty boring!”
As humans, our lives are a culmination of ebs and flows, and Simone openly shares that after being diagnosed with PTSD in her early 20’s, she was resolute in not allowing her past experiences to define her future, “I was so determined for my childhood not to affect my adult life. The rollercoaster that became my life was a necessary exhale for my trauma. This chapter in my life is now about identifying my happiness and helping others – that has been the best healer”.
“If everything I wanted happened for me right at this moment, the rest of my time on this earth would actually be pretty boring!”
Now in their third year, the Teen Experience is now a year long selection of workshops and activities/social days out, and Simone airs that the sisterhood sentiment of The Teen Experience team is what she’s most looking forward to this year,“Being surrounded by my team and knowing that we have created a safe place for our girls inspires me to want to continue creating this and make it better! They are truly the sisterhood I have always wanted.”
With a bigger vision, greater insight and workshops that better mirror the needs of the teens,Jamelia articulates thatwhile the aim is to create an interactive environment for the teens, the learning goes both ways,“the girls in attendance taught us things about ourselves and themselves that we honestly did not know.I feel we have a much better understanding of what they desire, and require and I am excited to build a series of workshops to completely serve them in a format they appreciate and connect with”.
For tickets for the next Teen Experience, head over to their website here and interact on social media: