Blog by Marie Hnatova

Last week, it was my first time to visit one of the SHINE workshops, Toonspeak workshops with a theatre coach and a life coach aimed to boost young people’s self confidence. This one was working with YCSA (Young Community Support Agency). With little expectations and no clear idea of what “Life Coaching” is, I have experienced a wonderful afternoon.

Being a person who is a bit shy and does not very much enjoy own self-exhibition, YCSA SHINE blurred my initial uncertainty and let me to fully enjoy the time with the group. Led by brilliant workshop leaders Hannah and Scott, we did a warm-up, played some games, acted a bit and wrote a letter to our future self. Doesn’t sound like any grand performing, right? But actually – it was, with the difference, that the story’s hero was every one of us.

However, what was the most impressive were the dynamics and the energy of the YCSA SHINE group. The young people’s enthusiasm to co-operate, positively interact and seize the opportunity and use all the time available was just amazing. Not only it was very enriching to be a part of the group for a while, but it was also very inspiring! For example, one of the young people wrote his letter to his future self in Spanish as a poem. Or – another young person decided to film closely the whole session on a camera, participating in her own way. And there was much more.

The point I was trying to make is how amazing it was to watch young people to combine creative arts with their own life situation. Thinking outside the box, composing own artistic pieces and learning from each other. That was something.