Thursday, December 10, 2015

Life Story

  Out of my list of people who have co-authored with me the person who has helped me the most write my story is my mother. 

          I can still remember when I was sixteen years old I was planning on going to party with my friends. My mom had asked if I wanted to go shopping with her instead not knowing I had plans. I remember telling her I was going to the party instead and she said to me I have a bad feeling about tonight I would perfer you stay home with me. I was not sure I wanted to miss out on the party but I have always trusted her judgement and I had decided not to go. My mothers feeling of not going was a great thing because I could have had a completly different life story. The next morning I had found out the friends who I would have gone out with got into a accident and the driver was under the influence. Thank goodness know one was seriously hurt but they did get into a lot of trouble. 

I have never been so thankful to have listened to my mother that night. I am proud to say she is such a wonderful and positive co-author in my life story. 

Resilient Kids

Resilient kids made me wish I had this available to me when I was in school. I had always struggled as a student and had really bad ADD. I believe if I had such a great program as Resilient kids in my school I would have acceled more not only in school but as child. At such a young age it is very important to have confidence and believe in yourself. Having this program in a school that works on building confidence and reducing stress within a classroom is very important. Learning strategies and skills to have confidence and reduce stress at a young age is a great positive because the students are more likely to continue on through their other academic careers. I also like how Resilient kids is not only about improving in school but also in life and in future careers.

"We inspire success one moment at a time."

Elevator Speech

Imagine I am sitting at Christmas dinner and one of my family members asks me "What are you going to do with your YDEV degree? I would respond by saying I am going to teach the younger youth if it is in a daycare, preschool, or after school program. My goal is to always be helping improve the areas of growth within the early childhood community. I would explain how I could come up with new games or ideas about learning a developmental skill or just a new technique on how to teach the children something. I would explain to my family member about how its about thinking outside the box and going above and beyond to meet the childs needs because the young youth deserve all the attention and empowerment.

I would also say as I develop my career I would like to spread my wings and work with earlychildhood youth with special needs. I would like to work with them outside the classroom. I am thinking maybe in sports or in afterschool programs.

Promising Practices

I was fortunate enough to be able to atend Promising practices at Rhode Island College on Saturday November 7th, 2015. The keynote speaker was Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott. She talked about how there is a health inequality. Dr. Alexander-Scott had a lot of good points and topics but she did read off of her powerpoint and it felt less engaging. For my two events I went to Special Olympics and Youth Action for all abilities.

Special Olympics
This really interested me because I have a special needs cousin and I always go to his events for Special Olympics. I al had volunteered for two years in high school for the Special Olympics and it was such a great experience. The two leaders of the workshop were actually RIC professoers and they gave us a lot of information about the Special Olympics and how we can become involved. I was very surprised to learn that the Special Olympics has Olympics for really young children. I was really excited to hear this because I love that age group and over the summer I would like to get involved and work with those kids.

Youth Action for all Abilities
I was very impressed with this presentation becaue the youth of the program ran the entire workshop. The youth did a great job talking about the history of the program and the different programs they offered. The youth had us participate in making a timeline through history about the dissabilites and their rights. I was very impressed they had us up and moving because it really kept me engaged in their workshop. I would consider looking into this as a job in the future because I like how it promotes youth working for themselves and making decisions for themselves. I believe it would be a great program to be involved in.

Have you ever felt invisible?

Have you ever felt invisible?
I can honestly say I have felt invisible. I may be an outgoing person and really friendly but their are times in life where I have felt that know one heard me or saw me. A youth space like youth in action is definetly an anitdote to invisibility because it is a safe place. Within this safe place I everyone is seen and heard because everyone in the space has a respect for one another. 

Do Hobson or Nayyrah Waheed help you think about visibility in any new ways?  

I really enjoyed Hobson's TED TALK because she talked about a subjuct that makes individuals feel really uncomfortable talking about. Hobson made me think in visibility in a new way because as a white individual I have never felt invisible because of the color of my skin. I can honestly say that I have judged someone based off of the color of their skin. I am not proud of that and ever since coming to college and taking my social work and youth development courses I have learned a lot about diversity and how I can't be color blind. I really enjoyed how Hobson said instead of being color blind we need to be color brave. In my career and personal life my goal is to be color brave and not color blind.

What is Youth Work?

Youth Work is an educational practice: Youth workers are the educators outside the classroom. They go above and beyond to fit the needs of youth individually. Youth workers give youth the opportunity to think outside of the box instead of thinking within the four walls of a classroom. In my own personal experience, when I was younger I had a tutor. My tutor taught me different ways to go about my studying and new skills to help me learn the material. I definetly benefitted on the one on one help from my tutor and by teaching me difffert methods, she helped me succed within the classroom.

Youth work is a social practice: Youth work can be one on one by most of the time it is in group settings. Youth can learn from the youth workers but also learn from their peers as well. Creating a safe space with youth where the youth feel comfortable with sharing there day to day experiences and will continue working with groups of people. An example of this is being in YDEV class. We come together in a classroom but at the same time it is a safe place to share our stories not only with our peers but our mentor as well.

Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work toward social justice: Youth workers will work with a wide variety of diverse youth. The youth will be different races, social classes, and will have differnet stories of how they grow up. Youth workers should encourage their youth to stand up for what they believe in. If the youth wants to make a change, as a youth worker we should help them and making sure their voice is heard.

Where possible, young people choose to be involved: Youth are forced to go to school because it is  the law. Some youth feel obligated to join a sports team or a after school activity because they want to put it on their resume or application, and maybe they do it just because a friend is doing it. The youth should want to be involved in whatever they are doing because when they choose to do something on their own I believe the youth gets more out of the opportunity. In high school I was part of a club called Lasallion Youth. None of my friends were in this club but I did make friends throughout my experience in the club. I choose to be apart of this club because in this club we donated and collected coats for the homeless, we put on a Christmas dinner for a senior home, and we went to a school and helped tutor youth in a after school program. I choose this group because of the good deeds I was able to do not for my friends or the fact I could put it on a piece of paper.

Youth work looks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people: Youth workers should always encourage youth to use their voice and make sure it is heard. Youth workers can help youth gain power where they make thier own decisions instead of someone else deciding their own views.

Youth work is a welfare practice: When working with youth it is very imporatant that as youth workers we create a safe place for youth. When youth feel safe they are more likely to open up to not only the youth workers but their own peers. I have nannyed for a little boy for about four years now and we have developed a relationship where he feels safe sharing his problems and fears with me. He knows that I will do everything I can to help him with his problems even if it means just keeping the secret to myself.

Youth workers with young people "holistically": While working with youth will discover that not one youth is like the other. Every youth is different. As a youth worker we will not pick and choose what types of youth we will work with. We will learn to adapt and make sure that every youth we work with, as youth workers we work with them to the best of our abilities.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Where Youth Hold power

Main Ideas

Youth in Action started in 1997 in Providence, Rhode Island. Youth in Action was created to give youth a voice in in their communities, school, religion, politics, and their own personal issues. One of the strong points in the article, is youth can feel powerful or powerless and YIA wants all youth to feel they have the power to help change their community or just for the youth's opinions to be heard. The youth can be heard without being spoken down to or be judged for their own opinions. Youth and adults are working together to help create a better tomorrow for the youth. Also it is a safe place where everyone wants to hear your voice and actually listen to help make a better tomorrow. 

How does YIA resonate (or not) with own experience as a youth? 
 As I was reading about YIA I realized I never had a place like this growing up to be able to speak my own opinions and voice my concerns about my community and what I needed to change. Although at the same time I grew up loving my community. I attended Catholic School from kindergarten all the way through high school. During those years I participated in my community playing sports, voulenteering my time, and paricipating in clubs. As I participated in those activities I could always voice new ideas and opinions within those activities, but looking back I did not have a program where I felt I had power to put my own thoughts and ideas in like the program YIA. 

How does YIA model the notion "with not to"?
 YIA models the with not to because they let the youth run programs and they have free debates where everyone feels safe to voice their own opinions without feeling like someone is going to tear you down.  I loved reading about Giovannis experience and how she felt about youth and action. Giovanni perfered YIA's model of developing skills over the schools. In school she felt she couldn't voice her opinion versus at YIA it was not normal to not voice your opinion.She also mentions how in school teachers tell you what to think instead of letting the students do their own critical thinking. I completly agree with her. Reading the article and seeing how YIA works I think that model should be incorporated in schools. Youths voices should be heard outside and insede the classroom. Letting students voice their opinions on topics being discussed in school or debate on differences will welcome a more open and safe classroom, where students feel they can speak out and be heard.