In appreciation of KIVA, Stepstone Center |

In appreciation of KIVA, Stepstone Center

Dear Editor,

We want to thank KIVA and the Stepstone Center for bringing Michael Meade to our daughter and the other youths that were lucky enough to participate in his workshop. The poems they wrote gave an accurate description of the thoughts and feelings of many of our valley’s youth. Their styles varied with the richness of individual personalities and the assortment of vastly different backgrounds. We were quite moved by the presentations with the profoundness of thought and the eloquence of their expression.

We were saddened that a predominant theme with the youth is their lack of feeling safe, and it is a shame that they are fearful in our lovely valley. How wonderful that KIVA and Stepstone have created a space and a community where the teens felt free to be themselves without fear of judgment and ridicule. The resulting creativity of their words and the politeness with which they treated each other and the adults during the long performance was admirable. The joy in the kids themselves was the real gift to us.

It is spoken over and again about what a special space the kiva is. We, too, are amazed at how comfortable the kiva felt during their performance and much preferred the experience there. Congratulations to KIVA for building a structure of beauty and spirit that is a valuable asset to our community; thank you for sharing it.

We are very pleased that they have decided to continue meeting with these youth and look forward to what will come from this talented group. We admire the staff of Stepstone and KIVA for their sincerity and dedication to the youth navigating their way through the teen years.

It is important for us as adults to hear the voices of all our youth for they tell us the consequences of our actions. A large portion of our future generation often goes unheard and unappreciated unless they are lucky enough to have an opportunity like that which these organizations provide.

May KIVA and Stepstone Center live long and prosper.


Kim Stacey and John Hoffmann


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