What Is A Teen Amanuensis?
Before I answer this question, let me tell you something I found very interesting in the Baha'i Writings: Basically, putting it in my own words, It says we should ask those who have had a hard life to recount their stories; and when we listen to them the "Concourse on High" (which are like angels) descend upon such a meeting. You would think that if we were talking to some VIP or the like that this is when angels would feel it a worthy time to visit us, but, No, it is when we give an ear to those who have not been heard that the angels want to be there. I heard a man inspired by this say that he tried it out. It was actually a homeless man he asked to tell him about his life. To make a very long story short, he said that was probably the most touching and meaningful conversations he ever had in his life. His brother was there too, and he said the same thing; that he had never witnessed such a beautiful conversation.
I had never heard the term Amanuensis until I found it, also, in the Baha'i Writings. An Amanuensis is one who records the words of another, much like a secretary. However, I have only seen the term used when the record being taken is being handed down from an elder or very wise soul. However, often we do not know the wisdom someone holds until we ask them to share it. Like the man mentioned above, perhaps in the beginning we think it is nice thing to let an elder tell us stories, but we may often find out that we are the ones getting the greater blessing; bu ultimately is a great event for both; so much so that even the angels come.
The Teen Amanuensis Program is a part of Roopantara's school and community program. It is inspired by all of the above, but also integrates listening and writing skills. Not only does the teen student record the words of his or her elders but she also tries to capture the feel and expression of the story teller in her rendition. Later s/he checks with the Speaker for accuracy. In the end, the student has developed many writing skills, feels good about her work, and has developed a great respect and relationship with an elder. And, the elder feels good to have their story not only told, but recorded; a historical record!