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Only the Young

Take Action

Take Action Around 'Only The Young'

  • Hold information sessions for teens on what to do to support friends in trouble (along the lines of what Garrison and Skye might have done when they saw that Kevin was cutting). With adults, experts and teens working together, brainstorm a range of options. Then let the teens map out a plan to share the information with peers.
  • Find ways to support mentoring programs for teens in your community. If none exist, consider creating one.
  • Find a way to give teens voice. This might include turning over column space in a newspaper, inviting teens to create podcasts for local radio shows, inviting teens to be regular panelists on talk shows or at town hall events or giving teens responsibility to prepare the Sunday sermon once every few months.
  • Host a screening where adults and teens can share their reactions to the film with one another. Consider ways to create honest conversations by creating opportunities for teens and adults who don't know one another to talk in small groups. This might include joining with a group from another town, so teens don't fear that what they say will be reported back to their parents, and so adults can get answers to questions that they have trouble asking their own kids.
  • Kick off a project that will ask teens to make autobiographical videos. Discuss target audience, possible venues for sharing the videos, what types of things are safe and appropriate to share and what topics or images may be inappropriate or dangerous.
 

Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

Only the Young follows three unconventional Christian teenagers coming of age in a small Southern California town. Skateboarders Garrison and Kevin, and Garrison’s on-and- off girlfriend, Skye, wrestle with the eternal questions of youth: friendship, true love and the promise of the future. Yet their lives are also touched by the distress signals of contemporary America—foreclosed homes, abandoned businesses and adults in financial trouble. As graduation approaches, these issues become shocking realities. With sun-drenched visuals, lyrical storytelling and a soul-music soundtrack, Only the Young embodies the innocence and candor of its youthful subjects—and of adolescence itself. The film invites viewers into the teens’ day-to-day lives, as they search for identity and meaning, combat boredom, resist conformity, forge deep friendships and experience first love and heartbreak. The result is an engaging portrait that effectively captures the essence of adolescence.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students explore the factors that influence self-identity, which frequently evolves as adolescents negotiate life’s circumstances to find and secure their places in the world. The video clips provided with this lesson are from Only the Young, a film that follows three unconventional Christian teenagers coming of age in a small Southern California town. Skateboarders Garrison and Kevin and Garrison’s on-and-off girlfriend, Skye, wrestle with the eternal questions of youth: friendship, true love and the promise of the future. Yet their lives are also touched by the distress signals of contemporary America—foreclosed homes, abandoned businesses and adults in financial trouble. As graduation approaches, these issues become shocking realities.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This multi-media resource list provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary Only The Young.

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