For a few hours every third Thursday of the month, a small space at the back of YouthCare’s Orion Center transforms.

A few rows of chairs are casually spread out. The lights drop low, leaving only the golden glow of string lights to illuminate the space. A mic stands tall.

It’s a treasured moment where young people can creatively express themselves in a safe space through song, dance, spoken word, and poetry.

If I could describe the energy in the room at Open Mic last Thursday with just two words, they would be intimate and inspiring. The host—a young person who also belted a few beloved songs that night—was magnetic. I thought to myself: “They were destined to be a performer.”

As the young people took turns performing, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own stage fright. I sat in awe as they gave it their all in front of the audience. I felt humbled to witness these incredible young people lower their defenses and share their talents with the crowd.

Of course, some shared my fear of stage fright, too. But only at first. The crowd that night overflowed with support and positivity. Youth cheered on excitedly, sending encouragement to their friends on stage.

OMN Flyer

All young people have boundless talent and potential. Events like Open Mic Night offer a chance to realize that potential. These opportunities give young people a supportive outlet that allows them to express their feelings and identity while they build confidence in the world around them.