Ask Dr. Allen: Releasing youth inheritances
Releasing youths has been the theme of Freedom4U, our youth organization for the past 21 years. We are often asked what “releasing youths’ mean? Some have asked if we work exclusively with incarcerated youth. The answer is that we work with all youth to release them from things that hold back their ability to find their passion and purpose in life.
We help youths limited by their circumstances on removing barriers to finding their passion and purposes. We partner with parents to facilitate this discovery.
Our desire is for kids to not be limited by risky behavior, family, trauma or economic disadvantages. You might say the goal is to release their inheritance. Often their dreams lie dormant, as life struggles, and other stressors limit identification of their potential.
Some may ask what they are being released from? The answer is the same things that hold back adults from reaching their potential. Fear, insecurity, being overly self conscious about what other people might think, fitting in, listening to other people’s advice as their primary motivator versus listening to their own heart.
Freedom4U focuses on identifying the barriers and limitations that hold youths captive. First, we identify their talent, skills and passion. Next we coach them on how to develop their skills. Gradually, they begin to exercise confidence as they are being released.
This is done through interviews, surveys and discussion. We then aim to provide a safe, supervised environment where they can experience themselves developing new abilities. This could be in creative arts, life skills, leadership, peer mentoring or serving others in the community.
It is very inspiring to see a young person go from being shy and timid to trying out skills they’ve identified within themselves. Over the years we get to watch them grow into confident, capable and strong minded young adults.
We have seen hundreds of youth find their calling, and become at peace, confident, and in tune with their purpose.
Identifying, developing, expressing abilities leads to freedom. Freedom for the person who finds their passion and purpose.
Dr. Greg Allen is a Licensed Therapist practicing in Palos Verdes Estates and San Pedro. (drgregallen.com). He is also the founder and director of Freedom4U, a non-profit that seeks to guide youth towards their life purpose and thereby reduce risky lifestyles. (freedomcommunity.com). He also directs the non-profit Hearts Respond, seeking to unite communities to improve LA Harbor families. (heartsrespond.com). Freedom4U & Hearts Respond provide after-school services for middle and high school students in San Pedro to socialize, do homework, receive tutoring and become leaders. Pen