Thursday, December 10, 2015

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.

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