Help us make Eugene and Springfield Cities of Kindness in Oregon

Listening to Our Youth

Listening to Our Youth:

Envisioning a Community of Kindness

Welcome!  Thank you for viewing this series of inspiring talks on youth visions for what kindness can look like in our own lives and in our communities. 

This series came about as the Springfield-Eugene Spreading Kindness Campaign realized the need to hear from local youth regarding their perceptions about kindness in our community and their ideas for spreading kindness more intentionally in our midst. We decided to create a scholarship and an event to bring their ideas to life.

First, we offered $1,000 post-secondary scholarships to four students—one from each of the four high school programs in Springfield, selected by their schools. Students were invited to write an essay on the topic “Listening to Our Youth: Envisioning a Community of Kindness,” then to develop a talk based on their essay. The scholarships have been named the Spreading Kindness Leadership Awards, in recognition of the kindness and leadership for which these students were selected.

Then, we created a live event to celebrate and showcase the inspiring talks the students had created. When the live event was cancelled by the quarantine in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, we developed this virtual event to share the uplifting messages and videos the students had already created. Included in the virtual event are the students’ essays, video talks and their self-introductions, in their own words. 

We encourage you to view each of the student videos and to read their essays. In them, you will find important observations, keen insights and uplifting messages about how we can all practice greater kindness in our lives and, in doing so, create stronger communities.  

…And speaking of “community kindness,” we want to express our sincere thanks to the individuals, organizations and businesses in our area for helping to make the kindness scholarships possible and for lending their support for the live and virtual kindness events we planned, neither of which would have been possible without their enthusiastic support for supporting greater kindness in our community. A “logo gallery” of these wonderful supporters can be found in the collection of resources posted as part of this virtual event. 

The scholarships presented as part of this event have been funded this year by the Oregon Community Credit Union, The Springfield Utility Board, two anonymous donors—and by our lead donor, Ancora Publishing (formerly Pacific Northwest Publishing), which has provided high quality educational materials and training in our region and throughout the nation for more than 25 years. We are grateful for their support and we thank them for their generous gifts on behalf of the youth of our community and in the spirit of greater kindness in our world

Listening to Our Youth – 3-Minute Event Trailer

Listening to Our Youth – Full Event Video

Opening comments and student introductions by Kendall Bartley, KMTR News: Eugene/Springfield. Closing comments by Todd Hamilton, Superintendent for Springfield Public Schools.

A3 – Academy of Arts and Academics – Kindness Art Walk

To coordinate with the Listening to Our Youth Event, The Academy of Arts and Academics planned a Kindness Art Walk. Click here to view the art that was created for the walk.

Listening to Our Youth – Individual Student Videos

Student introductions by Kendall Bartley, KMTR News: Eugene/Springfield. 

Wednesday Adams

It Only Takes a Spark

Read Wednesday’s essay here

Jadzia Engel

Being the Kindness We Want to See in the World

Read Jadzia’s essay here

Amanda Torres-Sanchez

We Can Each Be a Leader for Kindness

Read Amanda’s essay here

Corbin Weathers

Kindness in a Community Starts with Kindness to One’s Self

Read Corbin’s essay here

Sponsors and Supporters

Listening to Our Youth: Envisioning a Community of Kindness was sponsored by:

We would like to thank the following for their support in putting this event together: