UPDATE 2/2/19: We are expanding this guide series to other booklets for self-determination relating to different topics. The newest guidebook in process is a Trauma Care reference for crisis and prevention. Other future guides include economic empowerment, autonomy, competence, and interconnection. The series will be released as the Intrinsic Abundance Series with contributions from more people based on specialty and skill.
If you are a teenager dreaming of independence and the freedom to lead your life, this simple guide may be of help. This is as much a practical guide as it is a celebration of the human will for autonomy.
Even though you are young, you have all your human rights. You deserve freedom, and with unrelenting willpower, you have the chance at empowerment. You could be a pioneer in adolescent autonomy, if you step up to the challenge.
This booklet is licensed under Creative Commons – Attribution. The most current publication is attributed to Nemo Sundry.
When I was growing up, there was a pervasive myth that there were no options for minors seeking independence, even from abusive or authoritarian environments and relationships. Of my own accord, a combination of blind exploration and sheer luck, I discovered a whole world of opportunity for genuine independence that’s mostly invisible, unless you’re lucky or know what to look for.
Having moved into a transitional housing program for “at-risk” youth, I transformed over three years from a sheltered, incapable, PTSD-riddled teenager into one of the most autonomous, truly independent and fulfilled people I’d ever met. I had community in that program, I had friends in the staff and my neighbors who understood each other’s shared experiences- And shed light on the truth about ageism and abuse towards children.
Towards the end of my stay in that program, newer residents, especially those struggling in high school, sought me out for advice. What started as “homework help” (one of the most unlikely tasks for me to willingly do) transformed rapidly into larger conversations about the challenges of becoming autonomous, psychologically and economically, in a world ignorant to the true needs of teens and children.
A door had been opened for such conversations that critically questioned traditional narratives about growing up into adulthood, about autonomy and human rights, and economics. I synthesized the best of what I learned in these mentorship and youth liberation discussions among my peers and younger teens. Thus, the result became Willpowerful.
Willpowerful was originally released in November 2015. Small details may be outdated or variable based on differences across economic regions. It is up for review; if you have any critiques or suggested improvements, please contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.