When I first heard about the “For Teens Only” expo, I thought it was a good idea, but I wondered whether today’s youth would be receptive.

After attending Saturday’s event at the Charlotte Convention Center, I was pleasantly surprised.

First, let me say that teenagers generally get on my nerves. (Yes, I mean what I said.) Too many simply don’t know how to act. Public experiences with teens (if they aren’t your own) tend to be frustrating.

Back in the day, I was never allowed to get away with some of the things today’s youth do. I was taught (painfully at times) to behave in public, whether my parents were around me or not.

Today, it seems, being disrespectful, loud and obnoxious has become a rite of passage for many millennials, and I think it’s a sad statement about where our youth could be headed.

Now, with all that said, the teens who attended the Saturday expo were on their best behavior. They were a good group of kids, pleasant to be around, polite and respectful.

They were full of personality, giggling and chatting as they walked in groups, stopping at vendor booths or watching performances on stage.

These kids looked great too – expressing themselves fashionably in creative clothing and stylish hairstyles. I loved it!

I could see that the organizers carefully considered every activity that would appeal to today’s young people.

The interactive exhibits were impressive. There was a teen Jeopardy corner, an indoor soccer field, a skateboard alley, music corner (fully equipped with mixers and turntables) and a cyber lounge with flat-screen televisions and the latest video games.

If your kid is a bookworm, the literary hot spot sponsored by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County had books and games.

My favorite was the teen talent stage. It was refreshing to see teens of all races expressing themselves though music, song and dance.

I was particularly impressed with the  St. Paul Baptist Church mime group. They mesmerized the crowd with a performance to Lashun Pace’s gospel song, “I Know I’ve Been Changed.”

How many kids do you know who can mime? Kudos to those two kids for doing something completely different.

Although the event was not packed, the teens, parents and volunteers were full of energy and excited about the event.

Hopefully, teens will now stop going to the once-popular “For Sisters Only” expo and attend this event, as it is specifically targeted to them.

The teen expo gave kids an opportunity to explore all facets of growing up in today’s complex society.

I’m looking forward to seeing this event grow. Teens in the Qcity need our help, and if events like this can continue to help guide them in the right direction, then I’m all for it.

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