Updated: Jul 3, 2022
One of the most important factors determining success is the ability to see others succeed and learn from them. GEN works diligently to create opportunities and spaces where the young minds of Minusinsk can gather together to learn, network, and share their experiences. We are excited to share with you the success of JAZZ, a community project launched in early 2022 that does just that.
“The first thing I like about JAZZ is that there is a lot of communication, this is important. I really like the topics, I like that the leaders are not afraid to talk about unusual and unique topics that are important for teenagers. JAZZ helped me to understand the importance of sociability in life, and gave me a new perspective on my education and my future.” Julia, 17 years old
We can’t really tell you why we call it “JAZZ”, but we can definitely tell you that “JAZZ” welcomes anyone! We launched “JAZZ” at the beginning of 2022 as a community-oriented project, where young women and men from the ages of 14 to 24 can make new friends, discuss important topics, find life-changing answers, eat good food, and get inspired.
After a few pilot sessions, we were able to figure out some key points we needed to focus on: just like any other people at this age, these teenagers and young adults are full of dreams and ambitions. They want to change the world and make it a better place. But many of them don’t realize that accomplishing big dreams starts with fighting and learning to win small battles. Without learning how to develop critical thinking, how to communicate, how to invest in yourself, big dreams will remain as just that: dreams.
That’s why in “JAZZ” we offer discussions on topics like “Failures and mistakes are normal ”, “Your job isn’t your life”, “Why education and experience are equally important”, “Why is communication the key?”, and more.
“I like everything in JAZZ—communication, the speakers, always delicious food. JAZZ helped to rethink some moments of life, to look at the situation from a different angle. Can we have more sessions? They are great!” Tatyana, 15 years old
Prepare young women and men for an independent life
Create opportunities where participants can identify pathways to discovering the answers to interesting questions
Develop a safe space where young adults can meet each other, have deep discussions, and be exposed to new things
Teach participants to ask questions, explore different points of view, and challenge each other
“I like communication, solving problems in groups, and the food, of course. Thanks to JAZZ I was able to make new friends.” Valeria, 19 years old
Examine existing programming targeted at young adults within the region.
During the Discover phase of this Project, we identified one organization that creates and develops programming for young adults in the Minusinsk region. This organization, called ZASHITNIK ("Protector"), offers participants opportunities to explore their interests and uncover their potential along various avenues. However, this organization does not offer group or community events where participants can network or engage in discussion with each other.
Identify our target audience.
As part of our goal to facilitate and create opportunities for young adults to learn from each other, we knew it would be important to have a diversity of age and experience. As such, JAZZ targets three different age groups:
14-16 years old
17-18 years old
19-24 years old
Host four pilot sessions of JAZZ to identify best practices.
The JAZZ team developed a strategy and plan to execute on the various events, identifying the format, content, and other elements necessary for success. Throughout the planning process, we intentionally received feedback from our community to ensure the location, discussion topics, food, training materials, and other elements were thought through. Over the course of two months, we hosted four sessions:
"Mistakes and failures—Completely Normal"
"The Importance of Communication in Being Able to Show the Real You"
"What is more important: Education or Experience?"
"Work is Not the Most Important Thing"
“I like the fact that we communicate a lot, discuss many important topics, and share our opinions with each other in a safe environment. It was interesting to see how my friends can express their point of view.” Alexander, 16 years old
Due to the resounding success of our pilot program, we fully launched JAZZ in the spring of 2022. Over the course of just a few months, we have received positive feedback and seen great outcomes.
We conducted a survey of JAZZ participants and found out that JAZZ helped them to be more open-minded, develop intrapersonal skills like communication and public speaking, and much more:
85% percent responded that now they are more prepared for their new stages of life in school or college.
Almost 70% responded that they found answers they’ve been looking for a long time.
100% percent responded that they can’t wait for the new round of sessions and are ready to invite their friends.
It was also important to hear directly from people because their feedback confirmed our confidence in this project.
“Relaxed, fun environment. Useful content. JAZZ helped [me] to think that making mistakes is not bad, because in striving for a goal a person always makes mistakes: they allow you to grow. They push for analysis of actions and their adjustment.” Irina, 22 years old
We can’t wait to continue JAZZ, and continue improving the lives of these young people. Thank you to all of you who support our mission and help make this possible.