Amy: In 2016, it is far from uncommon to stumble upon criticism of the millennial generation. Supposedly we are self-centered and entitled and never look up from our iPhones. I decided to talk to a couple local Bay Area millennials to see if the stereotypes were true. First, I spoke to Nathan Taulane, a 25 year old San Francisco resident. He was recently admitted to grad school at CSU East Bay to study Speech Language Pathology, which he describes as,
Nathan: A clinical way of saying speech therapy. It’s the people who see people with voice disorders, with phonological disorders, with developmental disorders. A big sector is for people who have swallowing disorders or issues after surgeries, either due to stroke or traumatic brain injuries. What got me to get into Speech Language Pathology is the fact that I’ve always kind of loved language and I’ve loved just community and the idea of anthropology, which is what I did for my undergrad.
Amy: Despite the narrow focus of his degree on speech disorders, he is very much aware of the bigger picture implications of this work like improving community and facilitating communication.
Nathan: That’s kinda always been my point of view in this field is that I don’t have the desire to speak for anyone but give them the tools to speak for themselves
Amy: Another millennial who seeks to improve their community is 26 year old Karen Medina. During a time of rapid gentrification in the Bay Area, she actively works to uplift and create education opportunities for the youth of San Francisco.
Karen: It’s really important work to me and sometimes it’s like 50 hours a week, but I come home and I’m really happy with my position and what I’m doing and I don’t think everyone can say that about the job that they have. So I just feel really blessed to be able to come home everyday and be really happy about it.
Amy: In the background you can hear the sounds of the Mission district, where Karen now lives. This historically Latino district is often at the center of the gentrification discussion. Karen, who has a bachelors in Raza Studies, seeks to undo the damage being done and is very active in the community.
Karen: Most recently I got to move here and I feel like that has been a blessing in itself also because I am able to connect on different levels with the community that I wasn’t able to before. and I really enjoy that and I’m really happy about it. I didn’t realize how important that was before, and — not that I wasn’t connected to the community but I just really feel that now I am able to — I’ll bump into students here and there, or families, or really understand some of their daily struggles. I’ve worked in the non-profit sector for a while I’ve done some volunteer work, worked in the community, and I just feel like this program really, really changes a lot in the community. And we’re not looking to change or save somebody’s life, but we’re looking to really be a catalyst, help them find resources so that they can unleash like the true person that they’re supposed to be.”
Amy: Improving community seems to be a theme amongst many millennials. Whether it’s through helping someone find their voice or helping the youth of a rapidly changing environment find stability and their path in life, most millennials just want to make the world a better place.
Photo was found here: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2011/11/15/is-san-francisco-the-new-definition-of-silicon-valley/#gref