When a parent has cancer, often teen children take on additional responsibilities such as cooking, shopping, cleaning and driving. Teens may drop out of their social activities due to the added responsibility, thus increasing their anxiety and sense of isolation.

Angel Foundation’s Teen Outreach program provides reprieve from this stress and a place where teens can interact with peers who are having similar experiences. All Teen Outreach activities are free to teens who have a parent with cancer. The events focus on exploring and building individual strengths and resilience with the support from peers and mentors.

Montana Jackson has participated in several of Angel Foundation’s teen activities, including recording and performing music, photography and more.

“Everything just fell apart,” says Montana after her mother was diagnosed first with breast cancer and then with cervical cancer. “There was a big elephant in the room, and we just didn’t know how to do anything around it. So Angel Foundation stepped in and got our family back together. Now we have a closer relationship than we’ve ever had before.”

Upcoming free Angel Foundation Teen Outreach events include:

Nov. 15: Game Day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teens will gather at Brunswick Zone XL in Eden Prairie for bowling, a giant game room, laser tag, billiards and pizza.

Dec. 20: Teen Winter Party at the Depot, noon to 3 p.m. A day of ice skating and hot cocoa at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis.

Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 10, 17: Teen Photography Series, 6 to 8 p.m. at Angel Foundation office. In this four-week art series, a professional photographer will teach teens how to tell a story through photography in the form of a modernized self portrait.

For more information or to register for Angel Foundaton Teen Outreach activities, contact Dan Mundt at dmundt@mnangel.org or (612) 627-9000.