“Renovación Juvenil” develops as a response to a desire from the parents that attended the Parenting School (Escuela Para Padres) workshops of Renovación Conyugal. The aspiration of those parents to have a better communication and relationship with their adolescent children can be fulfilled with these workshops.
The workshops provide practical tools to Latino teenagers to have a better communication not only with their parents, but also with other people in their family environment. The participants are offered ideas on how to resist peer pressure, steer clear of the use of drugs and alcohol, avoid falling into the pressures of gangs, prevent premature pregnancies, all while helping them adapt to living in a dual culture (Latino and Anglo). During that weekend, much attention is paid to identifying self-esteem problems. The workshop also serves as nourishment, development and leavening of positive leadership qualities and faith to the youth that attend.
The project first initiated on April 2005 in Dalton, GA. This first workshop was the beginning of a new group, called Renovacion Juvenil, that has been growing under the sponsorship of Renovación Conyugal.
Following this first experience the desire from the teens that attended to form a group to impart these workshops was born. One of the characteristics that grants the most value to these seminars is the fact that they are directed and presented by other Latino teens as young as 13 years of age. This allows the participants to identify themselves with the group leaders and in their eyes, gives more credibility to the material that is discussed that weekend.
The workshops include a half day session for the parents of those teens attending. In this session, parents receive information on the topics that were discussed with their children. They also receive ideas for improving communication with them and tools to build a more harmonious and happy family environment.
The mission “Renovación Juvenil” is to work with Latino teens ages 13 to 18 by providing them with tools and experiences to help them grow and mature emotionally and spiritually, and that allow them to be people of strong values that are part of a well-balanced family and a more harmonious society. After the workshop, the teens are provided with a program of follow-up meetings to help them reinforce the values learned and start implementing the communication tools received, completing and complimenting the experience of the weekend.
Like all the workshops and activities of Renovación Conyugal, “Renovacion Juvenil” workshops are held at different locations where the group is invited.
If you wish to contact us, please write to Coordinador Renovación Juvenil.
Topics of Renovación Juvenil
The topics of the “Renovación Juvenil” workshops are presented by Latino teenagers who communicate their experiences with the adolescents that attend. The participants can identify themselves with the presenters and make the ideas that are shared their own. Eventhough the workshop is presented from a Christian ideology, those participants that do not have the same faith can still benefit greatly from the experience. The topics are presented with respect to the possible ideological differences of the participants and universal ideas on seeking the collective well-being, personal improvement, and family harmony that are common to all are shared.
The workshop begins on a Saturday morning. The day is divided in two stages. The first stage focuses is the world around the teen and the second stage focuses on his or her interior being.
The topics that are discussed on Saturday are:
- Grant me my sight
This is the first presentation of the workshop. The participants are encouraged to open their eyes, ears, and senses to take full advantage of the workshop.
The participants’ opinions about the problems that affect Latino families in the US and also the positive and negative activities that Latino teens are a part of are discussed.
- Our World
This is one of the most attention-grabbing lectures of the workshop. This presentation is directed to the problems that Latino teens face on a day-to-day basis: drugs, alcohol, divorce, gangs, inmigration and teen pregnancy amongst others.
- God’s Plan
Presenter encourages the teens to seek their talents and utilize them for the good of others.
- Maturity and Self-Esteem
In this presentation the factors that affect self-esteem in our youth are analyzed. The self-esteem of a teen is always tied to peer-pressure, lack of support, and the necessity to be accepted by others. This lecture explores these topics and invites the teens to be themselves and provides specific ideas to improve their self-esteem.
This is a very personal meditation in which the teen can examine what has been his or her life until that day and examine which personal qualities to enhance and cultivate and what changes he or she needs to make to achieve his or her personal goals.
This is the most intense meditation of the weekend and is based on personal experiences. The main idea is to drive the adolescent to recognize and examine any mistakes that they might already have committed and or negative or dangerous activities that they could currently be involved in.
The importance of sincere forgiveness is discussed. An activity is prepared that will allow the teen to experience a great act of humility and nobility.
This is the last presentation of the day. The need to express love to their family and friends is stressed. Also, they are invited to reflect upon those things that are kept hidden in our hearts that we must heal in order to be more at ease with ourselves.
On Sunday the work and the focus is mostly placed on family relationships, the importance of picking good role models, and making good decisions. The lectures for the day are:
This presentation reflects on all the blessings and good things that we have in our lives and reminds the participant of the great importance of being thankful for them.
This lecture is a personal meditation on the teen’s childhood. It invites participants to reflect on their childhood and those experiences that had molded them into the people that they are.
- Mommy and Daddy
This meditation is a continuation of the previous one. A couple that serve as “Adoptive Parents” will speak to the teens about the mistakes that parents make and their main concerns as parents, but most important of all they speak of the great love that a father and mother feels towards their children.
- Dynamic of the Positive
This is the last meditation that relates to the relationship with the parents. Participants have the opportunity to speak with a set of “surrogate parents” and tell them what they have in their hearts. It is a great opportunity for them to vent out their feelings. It encourages the teens to do the same repeat the activity with their own parents when they get home.
- Positive Role Models
The purpose of this lecture is to show the teens that the life of Jesus is a model of both human and spiritual life. This lecture presents a model of life in which anyone, even those non-Christians, can relate to.
- Freedom and Coice
In this presentation the focus is on the freedom to choose our path in life. A difference is established between freedom and debauchery. The need to make sound decisions is emphasized.
- Prayer and Evaluation
The purpose of this presentation is to distinguish among the different kinds and ways of prayer. The importance of prayer is discussed. At the end, the participants are allowed to evaluate and comment anonymously on the entire workshop.
This lecture is the last one of the weekend. The speaker encourages the teens and their parents (who at this point are reunited) not to leave all the experiences and lessons learned at the workshop behind them as they go home. Instead, they are encouraged to practice and use those newly obtained tools at home, in school, at work, and in their everyday lives. Everyone is invited to become leaders and the agents of positive change in their communities.
RJ STATEMENTS Renovación Juvenil
Renovacion Juvenil has changed my life in many ways. Mainly it has helped me with my family. RJ has taught me how to communicate with my parents and to understand why they do some of the things that they do. I am now able to talk to my parents about my problems and can share my feelings easier with them, where as before we barely even had conversations. RJ has also taught me leadership skills. I have learned that I am able to step up and take the lead when I need to. Also, it has helped me with public speaking and my shyness, which is something I was terrified of doing before. I love Renovacion Juvenil and all the experiences I have gained by being in the group. Everyone in the group has become like my second family, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
"RJ has changed my life in many ways. I cannot say that I did not know God before, but rather that I did not know that Gods presences was always with me. That God blessed me with a beautiful life filled with wonderful moments.And other experiences that taught me how to tressure the many things I comprise. I was able to meet knew people who are all very different yet we all share a common belief 'That with God in our hearts and lives we are able to overcome various obsticles and enjoy the many details that often go unnoticed."
Renovacion Juvenil has helped me in many different ways. It has helped me grow as an individual, as a leader and as a part of my community. During this time that I have been working alongside RJ, I have come to see many changes within me. I have become more caring, more patient and most of all more compassionate towards others. I have learned that I can make a difference in other people's lives by just treating them with the love and respect that they deseve and need. Working with RJ has really helped me overcome many obstacles and challenges that I might not have been able to solve by myself some months ago. I have a new found strength within me that has been made possible by the doors that RJ has opened for me, as well as a new 'family' that is helping me grow as the best person that I can grow up to be.
RJ HAS HELPED ME SO MUCH WIT SEVERAL THINGS IN MY LIFE. UNDERSTANDING MY BEST FRIEND'S DEATH IS ONE OF THE MAJOR THINGS IT HAD HELPED ME WITH. MY RELATIONSHIP WIT MY PARENTS AND BROTHER HAS IMPROVED SOOOO MUCH AFTER I DID MY FIRST RETREAT. WE ARE NOW ABLE TO COMMUNICATE AND UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. ANOTHER BIG THING IS THAT IT'S HELPED ME WITH IS BEING ABLE TO TRULY FORGIVE PEOPLE. I REALIZED I WAS NEVER REALLY ABLE TO DO THAT BEFORE. FINALLY, I NOW HAVE A SECOND FAMILY THAT I CAN RELY ON!!!! :D I LOVE RJ!
My name is Linette, I have been working in Renovación Juvenil since the year 2004. I was blessed to be part of the original group of young people that inaugurated the movement. From the very beginning of the program, I have been seeing God’s hands at work through this group. We are very lucky to have been picked as his advocates. Renovación Juvenil (RJ), has opened my heart and eyes, and has shown me a world that needs more compassion, assistance, leadership, camaraderie, and union. I feel that now that I am aware of these necessities, it is my duty to provide society in general with my individual contribution towards a better life for us all.
In my personal life, RJ has unified and solidified my family as a unit. My experiences within the group, and working directly with my immediate family, have created a stronger bond between my brothers, parents, and I. RJ has not only helped me develop as a group leader amongst the youth, but also as a leader within my social network in school, work, and other relationships. Learning to stand up and work hard for this movement has also taught me to a patron of Christ in my personal life. RJ has become a fundamental and active component of my development as an adult, and I have complete faith that with this group’s support I will be able to become the outstanding citizen that I have always dreamt to be.
I remember when I went to my first RJ retreat. I attended the very first retreat in Dalton and needless to say I was forced. I really did not want to be there, but by the end of the first day, I was loving it. The experience had such a big impact on me and in my life that I decided to join the team. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it has been to work with RJ. It is a great feeling to know that I am helping to make someone’s life better. RJ has helped me to grow into a much better person, it has made me grow in my faith, and it has opened my mind to so many new things. Also, it has helped me to become a better public speaker and it has made a major impression on my leadership skills. Now, I feel more confident in front of people and I hope to keep improving in this ability. I thank God everyday for allowing to be a part of this group because it has made my life so much better and it is helping me to get closer to the person I want to be.
Renovacion Juvenil has developed my leadership skills more than any other experience in my life. As the Coordinator of the project, it is my responsibility to make sure that our staff is ready to work before, during, and after the retreat. Thus, my leadership skills are essential to provide guidance and order in our work. Renovacion Juvenil has also helped me develop my leadership skills through the discussions and presentations that we do in our workshops. Without a doubt, Renovacion Juvenil has helped me personally but mostly professionally with my law school assignments and responsibilities.
Renovacion Juvenil has helped me developed my public speaking skills; since I am given the opportunity of speaking in front of the teens who attend our retreat, which is usually close/ average around 100 teens.
- In Renovacion Juvenil, I have been able to learn, develop, and grow my interpersonal skills. In the course of a retreat, we deal with about 100 teens, that is about 100 different personalities, where we learn/ are trained to be able to mold or accommodate to different personalities. Most of the teen who assist our weekend retreat are obligated to go by their parents, hence this are very tough kids to deal with on the first day; but we are able as a team to "break them down", get through that "tough" attitude, so in the end they had a great time and were able to learn a lot.
- Another opportunity presented to me in Renovacion Juvenil is further developing my skill as a team player. Our retreats are not a one person show; it really is a team effort and every job counts, no matter if is an adult or a teen; we need to be able to work together in order to bring these the best possible experience, and that can not happen if we each do things our way without considering the rest of the team. Also it would be impossible to this alone, hence we learn to be able to rely on each other and without second thoughts we know we are there to support each other--- as the cliché goes, "there is no "I" in TEAM".
- Something beautiful about Renovacion Juvenil is that we are not just a group, we're not just friends for the weekend, its more than a job and co-workers, I am proud to say that we are a family. When one suffers, we all suffer and when one is happy we are all happy. I can honestly say that I have some true friends in the group.
- Over all, being part of Renovacion Juvenil has helped mature, and grow into a better person; this is a project that I truly love and enjoy doing and being a part of. I love giving back to the community, and there really is no better way of doing so, but through this project. I feel like we are changing so many lives, it really is amazing how God allows us to carry his message and gives us so many blessings.
Ever since I became a member of RJ about 3 years ago I have grown a lot as a person in my community. RJ has made me see my life differently and to incorporate God in different aspects of my life. It has helped me be a leader and help other teenagers see life differently, and how I can make difference in others lives. Also, my family life has changed, because of RJ and the support they give me has helped me deal with the family issues I've had to over come. Since I joined RJ, I have become a better leader, speaker, learned how to deal with day to day issues differently, and most importantly I feel that I have learned more about God and my faith.
“Renovacion Juvenil” has been a life changing experience for me and my family. Being part of this project has helped me personally and academically. But the best part is the opportunity to be a leader. I love helping teenagers and young adults, especially in the Hispanic community. Leadership is a gift that I enjoy sharing because as I help others I am helping myself by learning from them at the same time they learn from me. “Renovacion Juvenil” is also a support group for me. We share our experiences, problems, and good moments. I can truly say that the people in this group are my true friends and I cherish that. I appreciate the opportunity God gave me to be part of this amazing project which has made me grow and be the person I am today.