If you were born during the years 1982 to 2004, then you are a Millennial. “What exactly IS a Millennial? And what do these Millennials want?” you might ask. The answers to those questions is precisely what Justin Adam Brown will attempt to answer with the debut of his new Internet talk show at the Mall at Steamtown next week.

If you were born during the years 1982 to 2004, then you are a Millennial. “What exactly IS a Millennial? And what do these Millennials want?” you might ask. The answers to those questions is precisely what Justin Adam Brown will attempt to answer with the debut of his new Internet talk show at the Mall at Steamtown next week.

The 27-year-old Carbondale native personifies the Millennial generation. Brown is intelligent, articulate, and outgoing. He has a lot of energy, a quirky sense of humor, and some interesting tattoos. He wants to succeed in a career, and in life. He wants to make a difference in the world. Yet he finds himself locked in a seemingly perpetual adolescence where options are many but tangible results, particularly in the economic sense, are few.

“I see the Millennial generation as the most ambitious, optimistic, and hopeful generation. Yet our generation doesn’t have the life our parents did. We were told that if we went to college, we would find jobs and be successful, but that didn’t happen for many of us,” Brown explained.

A recent New York Times article (“For Interns, All Work and No Payoff,” Feb. 14, 2014) examined the plight of Millennials who are often unable to find lucrative employment and instead must work multiple low-paying jobs to make ends meet.

The economic recession is partly to blame, but the Millennials have unwittingly caused some of their own financial hardship by insisting that if they are to have a real career, it must be one from which they derive personal enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction.

Unfortunately, those careers are often few and far between, and Millennials are generally not willing to slog away for decades at jobs that they find boring and unfulfilling in order to earn a paycheck.

As a result, Millennials often find themselves working at jobs far below what their education has prepared them for. They often live at home with their parents, struggle to pay back burdensome student loans while working part time, and delay marriage and starting their own families because, frankly, they just can’t afford it.

Brown said, “Over half of the students who graduate from college move back in with their parents and take jobs that don’t require degrees. Some go to graduate school hoping that will lead to better employment, but often it just lands them with bigger debts.”

Brown’s story is typical of the Millennial generation.

“My ambition was to get into entertainment. In high school, I would skip school to take the bus to New York City to attend tapings of MTV shows,” he said.

After graduating high school, Brown attended California University of Pennsylvania. He held various internships, including working as an on-air correspondent for mtvU and as an intern at Jimmy Kimmel Live. He even spent two months in Tokyo as a contestant on I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

Then he came back, to Carbondale, to his childhood home, and started to look for a job in his field. He wanted a career in the entertainment industry that would allow him to be creative, to utilize his enthusiasm and energy, to connect with people, and to earn a decent living. What he found was part time work as a columnist for a weekly newspaper, something he remarked is interesting and fun, but “basically just pays my cell phone bill.”

Brown soon discovered that many of his contemporaries were dealing with similar situations, and furthermore, he felt that people from older generations were reluctant to give the Millennials a voice with which to rally for a better future for themselves.

Thus, the idea for his talk show, The Millennials, was born.

“The only platforms for educated voices in the media are for older people, but our generation should have a platform as well. The older generations have defined us, saying we’re narcissistic and won’t grow up, but we need the opportunity to define ourselves,” explained Brown.

He added, “My goal is to empower our generation, to allow them to find their voice. I want to take the skills I learned from behind and from in front of the camera and use them to give our generation a platform, a way to intelligently define ourselves.”

The platform Brown envisions will take the form of an online talk show that he describes on the show’s Facebook page with these words: Picture The View, but for people closer in age to their sexual peak than death. Sponsored by the Mall at Steamtown, the show will take place at 7 p.m. every night from May 5 to May 9 on the mall’s center stage.

“I’m creating and hosting an online talk show, and to kick it off and get the public involved, it’s debuting in front of a live audience,” Brown explained.

For its first confirmed guest, The Millennials will feature Stephanie Jallen, winner of a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.

Brown remarked, “I am thrilled to have her as our first guest. Her victory is one of the most motivational stories I have ever heard, and it will set the tone for what our whole show is about.”

Other guests will include the rap artist DeeKey, performer Jen Kunkleman, the band Abstract Peoples, the University of Scranton’s Urban Beats Crew, and DJ Jason McConnell.

Sets for the show will be designed by Jeff D’Angelo’s Design Group, and all filming and production will be done by students in the video production field from Marywood University.

Anyone interested in getting to know more about the Millennials is welcome to stop by the mall’s center stage to watch a taping of the show. During the taping, visitors can nominate a Millennial, including themselves, for a drawing for a gift card from the Mall at Steamtown, a book stipend (for a college student), or a spa gift certificate.

For more information about the talk show, or to suggest a topic or guest, the best way to connect with Brown is via The Millennials Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wethemillennials. Next week’s episodes of the show, as well as future segments, will be available on Facebook.

For the Millennials, things may not have worked out how they had expected in regard to careers and other attributes of a settled, adult lifestyle. But Brown and his cohorts are taking it in stride, and have faith that things will eventually work out for the best.

A March 2014 Pew Research report indicates that despite their economic difficulties, Millennials are generally optimistic about their future. Brown concurs with this, saying that he plans to pursue his ambitions with the confidence that he will one day achieve his goals for a career and a family.

He averred, “We’re more laid back, accepting, and tolerant than generations before us. We’re optimistic, resourceful, and hopeful. We also know what we want for our future, and we are willing to work for it. We just need the chance to prove that we can succeed!”