“So Basic”

 Thank You from Enterprise Acdemy

I got a great opportunity recently to get acquainted with high school students from across Portland thanks my volunteering as a counselor for a program put on by Rotary, Enterprise Academy. I learned great new terms like rachet, krumping, puggaliscious and my favorite “basic.”

The young people I met at Enterprise Academy recently were “so not basic.”  They were amazingly talented kind and engaged. I haven’t been around high school aged people since I attended high school many moons ago. Being around such a diverse group of kids inspired me to be kinder to others and more open to differing points of views. I was impressed by the way a bunch of individuals from diverse back grounds could so quickly and harmoniously function as a unit.

Conversely, I have watched adult groups become fragmented or worse avoid uncomfortable topics only to be ineffective. Too often I’ve observed individuals become hostile or completely withdraw when placed in small work groups. The common outcome for such groups are the inability to agree and move forward on far less complex tasks.  The groups I witnessed work together at Enterprise Academy didn’t fall victim to these common norms, rather they seemed to thrive when placed in such a setting.

I walked away from my weekend comfortable knowing tomorrow’s leaders will be more skilled in collaboration and cooperation than perhaps any other generation. They have been raised in an environment which celebrates diversity and the rapid sharing of information. Their approach to problem solving will be different from previous generations and I have renewed hope in our future thanks to the time I spent with tomorrow’s leaders.

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

  • What are your thoughts on today’s youth?
  • How do anticipate leadership changing in the future?
  • What positives and negatives do you perceive?


  1. Mary Wheeler · March 19, 2013

    Chris~ I always love reading what you have to say. Obviously, this one hits close to my heart, as I love Enterprise Academy and had a similar experience when I was there last year. I love how the kids not only collaborate, but congratulate each other on good ideas, and make sure that even the quietest voice in the group is heard before they move on to the next topic. These kids are so sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, sarcastic Gen Xers like myself could learn a thing or two from them.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, friend.

  2. Chris Antrim · March 19, 2013

    You captured what I was trying to say which is my Gen X upbringing didn’t naturally lead to playing nice in the sand box. In fact, you were seen as weak if you weren’t willing to push to get your point of view heard. I’ve never enjoyed working in a group, but when I looking back on what my group was able to accomplish at Enterprise I think I just haven’t learned the skills to be a good small team member.

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