Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Color blind or color brave?

Although racial diversity has become a little bit less of an issue in the present, it still seems to be a topic that we avoid.  Many of us may not be considered "racist" and in order to not be considered this so called word, many will avoid the topic altogether.  I am also very guilty of this.  I have fallen into the trap of not acknowledging race because as young ones we are usually brought up to accept differences and not to publicly acknowledge them.  I am sure many of us have heard the words "DON'T POINT" in our lifetimes, especially when we were children.  During many of these occasions we were probably wrong to point out the differences but the fact still remains, we are born to naturally notice things such as this.  The question is, why not acknowledge it and move on to other issues?

I have been guilty of using mindsets to avoid the difference in race and color altogether.  I convince myself that color does not matter, only character does.  While this may be true, it ignores the true matter at hand.  We should not be ashamed to say who we are out loud in public.  Who can honestly say that they would be comfortable discussing their race publicly, if they are considered a minority?  Maybe some would be, but there would be many that would not feel comfortable.  This is the issue, there should be pride in pronouncing who you are in every aspect.  Mellody Hobson hits the nail right on the head with many of these dilemmas.  She states that we must be comfortable leaving our comfort zones in order to change things.  We must face these issues head on and become familiar without our comfort zones before we are able to feel comfortable again.  If we deny this way of thinking, there will never be any leaps in positive ways of thinking or any changes.
Youth In Action seems to be a place that would show this type of thinking perfectly.  Since it is located in an urban area, it is bound to have a wide array of race.  Although I have never been to YIA, I would like to think that they address race openly.  Since the youth there are focused on change, this should be an issue that is spoken about quickly to ensure bonding between the youth and leaders.  If this is spoken about, it would make teamwork that much easier!

Ideology Horoscope

Everyone has a different style of teaching and participating with youth in different areas.  In youth work, it is possible to visit areas such as purpose, teaching, learning, knowledge, childhood, and evaluation.  In each area of this field there are different approaches that one may take.  One may form protective barriers to prevent youth from ever venturing into dangerous areas of life that will lead to a negative outcome.  Another may take a step to involve youth as if they are adults to form negotiations that will take place between youth and adult; rather than speaking at the youth and telling them what would be a better solution.  This method gives the student an option to change things for the better according to what they think is best.
The Ideology Horoscope will be able to tell you what kind of youth worker you might be when it comes time to be in the field.  There are 3 outcomes that you will be placed in considering the answers that you put for each of the categories.  There are 3 answers under each category that you must label as 1, 2, or 3.  One would place 3 next to the statement that is disliked the most and 1 is placed next to the answer that is liked the most.  After the quiz, you will add up the numbers based off of the answer key at the bottom.  Once the numbers are added up they will be placed in 3 categories listed as risk, resiliency, and prevention/positive youth development/critical youth development.  I scored highest in critical youth development and lowest in positive youth development.  Since this was the lowest score, this may be the style that I use when in the field with youth.  This area attempts to foster a positive circle around the youth whether it is through family, friends, or school that the youth may attend.  It also focuses itself on having the youth create a positive identity for themselves while focusing on learning and maintaining a positive attitude.  This would help the youth achieve what they focus on.
All of these outcomes are certainly positive ones.  There are many methods of working with youth but this ideology test may help a youth worker narrow down their focus.  If you are interested in taking the ideology horoscope you can take it via the link below!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Main Idea of YIA

YIA in my opinion is a genius idea, youth are often not given the chance to actually do things on their own.  A majority of the time, as a youth, one is given strict guidelines to follow while attending K through 12.  Instead, of being encouraged to create their own learning guidelines they are forced to tend to something that may or may not work for them.  This is an issue that I feel many of us have faced at one point or another and has followed us all of the way into higher education.
Throughout High School many of us were forced to take courses that did not interest us which is no large issue.  The complications occur when the teacher only conveys information in one way, there are many students in a class and not one of them will learn the same way as another.  Some may be enjoying the subject, some may dislike the subject, and some may just be struggling with memorizing or grasping the concept.  Some teachers may realize this and change their methods while some may be stubborn and allow their students to fail.  I believe that YIA is playing a huge role in changing the way education is being used!  Although there are some amazing teachers, a lot must change in order to increase graduation rates in urban places such as Providence. 
I did not attend High School in an urban area but if I did YIA would have been a great option for me.  Schooling was very dull for me and the little that they offered for extracurricular activities was quite sad.  There really was no wiggle room to create your own after school programs and the encouragement to do so was very poor.  I appreciate all that YIA is doing because they are expanding from there own turf into schools!  Not only is it a place that helps you learn about growing as a person but it inspires confidence in students and allows them to think that whatever they set their minds to is very possible.  It takes away the fear of entering new places and thinking that they are insignificant compared to others or their school.  YIA encourages change and inspiration for new ways of thinking compared to the diversity around us.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

7 Characteristics of Youth Work

Youth Work is an Educational Practice
Instead of using the traditional form of teaching a child in a "classroom" setting, youth workers have more of an option to be creative with their form of teaching.  You are no longer trying to "train" a student to be smart enough to pass a test but you are teaching them in alternative ways custom to their way of learning.  Youth work may also be a bit more sociable, youth will be able to feed and learn off of each other rather than remaining quiet and listening to one teacher who might be telling them one way to do something.

Youth Work is a Social Practice
As I stated above, youth are given the chance to feed off of each other.  Youth often communicate non-verbally and they learn their interactions, attitudes, and behavior off of each other.  When they learn to interact and work in teams the correct way they are more likely to be a bit more successful when working with others as they become older.  

Youth Work and Social Justice
Many times, as a youth worker, one may end up working with a child who is in the margins.  He/she may be a part of a minority group or one that is discriminated against.  Rather than going around the fact that there is a social injustice a youth worker may approach the issue and discuss the inequality directly.  Altogether, the purpose in to run toward social justice, not away from it.  The more you can help these children address inequality, the more progress we may have in the future.

Youth choose to be Involved in Youth Work
Rather than being forced to attend a class, students are given the opportunity to choose whether or not to attend a youth group/class.  This is a very positive start, the student has a higher chance of engaging and participating since they chose to be there.  Usually, youth groups have many different sectors/classes that may engage different interests which gives students a chance to choose a certain skill or hobby that they would like to learn about.  This is something that is used at the MET High school is Providence.  Seniors are given the opportunity to choose their final project and they must complete hours during an internship of their choice of any trade.

Who I Am