Young Friends, for middle and high school students, welcomes youth of every background to gather in a diverse community grounded in Quakerism.

Young Friends leadership, under the direction of the Religious Education program, strives to provide an environment where individuals can exercise their talents and skills, learn from one another, and navigate the teen years in a respectful, loving, and supportive environment.

Led by Young Adults

The Young Friends program is led by young adults who, not so many years ago, were active participants in New Garden’s Young Friends program. They understand the challenges presented by being a teenager these days, and they know how participating in a welcoming community of Friends can ease that journey.

Supportive Environment

New Garden’s Young Friends program seeks to help youth become more fully formed adults by providing the queries and tools necessary to grapple with teenage dilemmas. The program aims to build bridges and strengthen the bonds between participants, maintaining an active yet thoughtful group dynamic.

On Sunday Evenings...

All youth are welcome to join with Young Friends from 5 to 7 p.m. on First Days. The fellowship usually includes a meal ($5 contribution requested). Questions? Contact Ross Kiefer, youth coordinator for Young Friends: kiejross428@gmail.com

Kelsey Lindeman

Kelsey, 27, graduated from Guilford College in 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in biology. She is a veterinary technician working in emergency medicine with Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic. She has worked with a variety of nonhuman animals and now hopes to broaden her horizons as a Youth Leader for middle and high school students. She grew up attending New Garden Friends Meeting, was active in Young Friends, and hopes to perpetuate the happy memories she has of her experiences in today’s youth.

Favorite band: AJJ

Mom or Dad’s favorite band: The Beatles

Favorite food: Fried chicken sandwich

Least favorite food: Green peppers

Place you most want to visit: Mexico

Best course in college: Conservation biology or human sexuality

Best advice you ever got: What you loved doing at ages 8 or 9, you should probably do that in your life.

What about being in Young Friends at New Garden was important to to you? Connecting with my peers in a safe place without judgment.

Ross Kiefer

Ross, 22, is in his last semester at UNCG where he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music, with a minor in radio broadcasting. He serves as editor-in-chief for the UNCG newspaper, The Carolinian, and is contributor to Yes! Weekly. Ross has been attending New Garden Friends Meeting for over a decade, was active in Young Friends, and has worked for the New Garden Friends School Summer Program for four years.

Favorite band: Of Montreal

Mom or Dad’s favorite band: Michael Jackson

Favorite food: Baby back ribs

Least favorite food: Grapefruit

Place you most want to visit: Barcelona, Spain

Best course in college: Music of the 19th Century

Best advice you ever got: Is being angry worth your energy at that moment?

What about being in Young Friends at New Garden was important to to you? The sense of always being welcomed and that Jam’s Deli was nearby.

Emma Parrish

Emma’s family joined New Garden in 2001 and she’s been an active member since then. From 2008-2012 she was an active member of High School Young Friends. She has a bachelor of science degree in Health and Wellness Promotion and a master’s degree in Health Sciences. She currently works for the city of Lexington as a wellness coordinator.

Favorite bands: Fleetwood Mac, Future Islands, The Killers

Mom or Dad’s favorite band: Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat

Favorite food: Ice cream, popcorn

Least favorite food: Meatloaf

Place you most want to visit: Bali, Indonesia

Best course in college: Sociology of Illness and Food Policy

Best advice you ever got: Invest in yourself and make decisions around you.

What about being in Young Friends at New Garden was important to to you? Learning how to be a young Quaker in a contemporary world and how this impacted the person I wanted to become.