Monday, December 19, 2016

Event Two

On Friday December 19th I attended the WHO ARE YOU(TH)? event at the Trade Pop Up on the east side of Providence which was put on by Youth In Action.  This exhibit was really cool and insightful.  I thought the youth worked really hard and put this art gallery together well and put a lot of thought and detail into it.  When I first walked into the gallery there were two youth that were greeting you at the door.  They introduce themselves, the project, and what it was about.  They explained that the event was about the social injustices in our society, how they see their own identities, and what the identities of others look like.  I liked this because I knew exactly what was going on I didn't have to try and figure it out on my own.  They had all different types of art pieces along the walls.  The first one that I saw consisted of multiple people's pictures with quotes on where they came from and how they feel about that and what makes them want to push for change.  One of the quotes on the wall said, "I grew up in a predominantly white middle class area, and this bothered me, so I set out to find answers."  This one stood out to me because I could relate to it.  Other quotes were longer and some were shorter but all of them were well written and interesting to read.  Some of the youth really have some deep thoughts.  Some were more in depth on how they feel they are perceived and how the places they come from are.

Another area of the exhibit had projects where the youth had written their own stories in real books, they chopped up the pages and wrote over the text with their own stories they wanted to tell.  One youth told a story about their gender identity and how they wished gender was not a real thing, and how categorizing gender is delusional and makes no sense.

The next art project was a voice recording on interviews youth held with strangers.  This was powerful to be one on one with the recording.  I was really focused on what the people were saying because it's very personal sitting alone with headphones on.  There were other projects where there were statistics that had responses on them with sticky notes.

The space was loud and noisy but everything made sense and flowed rather well.  The youth knew what they were doing and they led the whole event which I thought was amazing.  The adults were walking around blending in with the crowd and just supporting the youth and making sure they had everything they needed which I thought was nice.  It was amazing to see how powerful youth can be and how they see themselves in such a big and troubled world and how they feel about what needs change.

This was an event that was part of Youth In Action and it was an art gallery showing but Youth In Action does a lot more then that but as far as art galleries done by youth New Urban Arts is a program that focuses on art work done by high school youth.  They are all about the Arts which is different then what Youth In Action does but it was something similar to what the youth at Youth In Action were doing.  Here is New Urban Arts website:
Another place that focuses on art is AS220 and their website:
Here is another link that is set towards youth with Dyslexia and how these programs help them achieve the artistic abilities and showcase them in different areas of the country.  There are two websites here one for the home page of the site and one for the link to the art work some youth have done.

Below are some pictures of the event that took place on December 19th. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures but these are a few from that night.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

This is Youth Work

I was reading through some of the chapters here and one really stuck out to me.  It was chapter 3 where there were a bunch of short stories and one short story really stuck out to me and hit home for me.  That was ‘I wouldn’t be the person I am today’: One young man on why young people need youth clubs.  This hits home for me because I was part of a youth club when I was younger and its part of the reason of who I am today.  My club was the Boys and Girls Club which was a little different then the club in this story but the concept was the same and it kept us out of trouble and it was a safe place for us.  Like in the story there were role models and I had one too and his name was George.  Most of you know the story of George and what he did for us as kids and young adults and what we did for him after he had passed.  The short story just made me remember all the fun times I had at the club and what the adults there did for me and why it's part of the reason why I want to help kids today because if it wasn't for George I don't know where I'd be today.

For the elevator speech this short story made me change my pitch just a little bit.  So when someone asks me why Youth Development or what is that I can say:

Youth Development is a program that consists of three different avenues.  It is a mix between Social Work, Education, and Non-Profit.  You get a wide range of all three styles of working with youth.  It gives you the tools to tackle any task and help any child that needs help.  I want you to think about when you were a child and who was your mentor or who was you coach or who taught you about things that you use today.  You have that person?  That person helped mold you in some way to be the person you are today.  That's Youth Development, I want to help youth become the best people that they can be and help them see their full potential and then help them get there.  It's all about the kids now and always.    

Event Post- Open House at RIC

One of the events that I had attended was the Open House at RIC.  I had never been to an open house and wasn't sure what to expect.  Once I had arrived it was explained what I needed to do and because I am outgoing and can talk to people easily I was able to speak with some parents, grandparents, and potential students about attending RIC and what Youth Development was all about.  I got some tips from Leslie on how to go about talking about YDEV and after the first time I did it, it became easier to explain it.  I used my elevator speech and added to it.  I told people that RIC was a good school to attend and it was affordable.  I also spoke about YDEV and how the program had helped me understand what my passion in life was.  I told people that YDEV was a mix of Educational classes, Non-Profit classes, and Social Work classes and that this gives the student a taste of what it is to work with youth and you don't have to go right into those areas immediately.  I told them my story and how I learned so much from the program and that I will have my degree in YDEV in the spring and will be moving into the Masters Program for Social Work.  I let them know that this was a route that was good for me because I knew I wanted to work with youth but didn't know what area I wanted to go in and YDEV gave me a taste of three paths that work with youth and then by the end of my BA I was ready to move on to SW.  I handed them pamphlets and gave all the information and said that if they were interested in working with youth and wanted to pursue fields like they ones that YDEV teach then this was the program for them. 

I had a lot of fun meeting new people and meeting potential students of RIC.  I also had fun with the people who attended to help out and it is something that I would like to do again because I believe that YDEV is a great program and it really helped me focus on what I wanted to do with my life. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog post: Resilient Kids

Working with Youth is an amazing thing but working with Youth in a way that the Center for Resilience does is amazing.  I thought it was amazing about how they teach mindfulness and the techniques that they use and that I often use some similar techniques with the youth that I work with.  It is amazing when you are able to reach a youth person who is struggling with stress, school, anxiety, and other issues and you can give them techniques to succeed and not have to feel that way or not have to act out a certain way and can have an internal victory.  This goes a long way with youth and when they get it, it excites them to tell others and as for us when they get it that is what excites us because we know we had something to do with that internal victory.  Those little "wins" add up and can make a young person see their try potential and strive to be better. I try to do this not only with youth but with everyone I meet, I want people to see their true light and get to their full potential. This program gives youth the techniques to deal with the internal issues that arise and has them overcome them and find their purpose.  I believe is finding your WHY and your purpose in life and it's that WHY that drives you.  

Watching these videos it made me think about how I was as a student and how I could have benefited from mindfulness techniques in high school.  I think that this is a great way to keep kids on top of their feelings and understanding what is appropriate for the classroom and what isn't.  It also helps students understand that it is ok to feel like this but it is not ok to act out on it and the mindfulness techniques help the student calm themselves down in school and outside of school.  I loved the fact that the young person who was wearing the champion hoodie had showed the technique on how to fall asleep faster and that he used it last night.  I've never thought about that and I am going to use that technique to help me fall asleep as well as help some of the youth that I work with that have trouble sleeping.  Overall I think that this program can be helpful to youth and I am looking forward to learning more about this in class on Friday. 

Here is a video that I like about finding your WHY and your purpose and being resilient.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Election Post

In my life I have always followed elections even before I could vote.  I am also a big history fan so I have done some research on other elections and other presidents candidacies.  That wasn't until recently though.  I wanted to know what happened in the country and why and where our country started to become what it is today.  I am very uneasy about this upcoming election and I do not like either candidate nor do I think that they are strong enough to even put a dent into what this country needs.  I believe that the problems with the country will get worse before they get better.  I have many different opinions about why this would happen and I could write a lot more on it.  I feel very informed about the candidates and what they are about and what the issues are and where they stand but I don't believe that they can fix or even begin a process that will attempt to fix the problems.  I know I sound negative but a lot of the problems steam back many years and I think it will take many years to pull us out of it not just 4 or 8 years.  I believe youth should be informed about issues and common issues that reoccur time and time again and if they youth are educated before they can vote they are more likely to have a better understanding when it comes time for them to vote.  I like the websites because they talk about the issues at hand and also show people where they can go to vote and what to expect which is nice because when I was able to vote for the first time I was nervous and not sure what to do and the website can give people an idea of what to expect and what they will see when they have to vote which will lower anxiety.  I am not drawn into this election and I am not sure if I will be voting this year because I don't believe in the candidates.  Some questions I have would be:  How can we educate youth about politics?  Does it start with digging into the history of the problems?  Can these candidates solve or begin to solve some of the problems?  How? 

These are just some of the questions I have coming into this election and I would have some more and I will bring some of them up in class this week.  I just hope that the country doesn't go too far into a hole and that we can pull ourselves out of it.  I think it begins with education about what the problems are and the youth of the nation are the solution.  We need to grow and be together rather then divided because I look at our country as a divided country. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Identity in Context

In this reading I enjoyed the refresher on Erikson's 8 stages of development.  In my opinion I like Erikson's model over such models as Freud's or even Piaget's model.  Erikson's is easier to understand and he also states that sometimes humans do not move on from certain stages unless the previous stage is complete and I truly believe that.  In his stages humans navigate through them in a variety of different ways and can be at a variety of different times in their life.  Sometimes a person even goes back and adjusts their identity to what is going on in their life.  I like the quote that is used in the reading when Erikson says "in the social jungle of human existence there is no feeling of being alive with a sense of identity." and it is described as "person in personality".  I like this because a person's identity is so important and a person needs to figure out who he or she is and where he or she belongs and has to be ok with one's self in order to operate the way the feel they need to.  But like I said before someone's identity can shift over time.  For example me, when I was younger my identity was completely different then what it is today.  I have grown and realized what my purpose in life is and when I was younger it was completely different then what it is today at 28.  I didn't realize this until I was around 24 years old and I returned back to the 5th stage of Erikson's model and readjusted to who I wanted to be and how I wanted to do it.  This now flows into the context mapping piece and what that is.  A context map is a visual that describes ourselves to other people and shows what is important to our lives and what we do as it relates to our identity.  It shows a person's framework of family, life outside and community, skills, activities, etc.  The context mapping is similar to something we did in one of our social work classes that is called an Eco Map.  This is my context map and I think I had put everything but this was a little difficult for me because I didn't want to miss anything.

The four identities where nice to read about but were a little confusing but this is what I had come up with:

1. Achieved Identity:  This identity is when a person has experienced a certain crisis and has committed and accepted the crisis that they are in.  It is also states that the person is happy within the context of the situation.  The crisis that is being experienced is not a situation that the particular individual can't handle, it is something that is enjoyable to them.  They have found what makes them tick.

2. Foreclosed Identity: This identity is when an individual’s identity is chosen for them and cannot be developed on their own.  This is situation where the individual is pressured or forced to do when they have not had experience in the situation or experience in the crisis before.   For example, my friend’s father owns a car dealership and my friend is pressured into taking over the business even though he has no experience in the situation until he is put there in the position to own it.   

3. Moratorium: Moratorium stage is when a person’s identity has experienced a particular context within a crisis but has no commitment to it.  In this stage the person faces aspects of life such as belief systems, relationships, etc.  but they are hesitant to commit to it. 

4. Diffuse Identity: in this stage of identity a person is hesitant from experiencing any crisis or commitment, this person often has a hard time with dealing with many situations and usually becomes very anxious and has trouble with change.  The individual has a hard time experiencing new crises or even committing to them.  This individual is always trying to change and trying to fit the immediate context or situation that they are in, instead of exploring and figuring out the identity they need to be in or that they should be in.
Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to transfer my context mapping from a word document to this page so I had printed it out to bring to class. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ideology and Indentiy Inventory

I had learned a few things about myself after taking the ideology quiz and reading the horoscope.  One was that I am pretty close in score with all three aspects in the horoscope but my lowest number was sided with C which was Critical Youth Development.  My scores were 14-A, 12-B, and 10-C.  Which in my eyes are pretty close and I think I have a little of all three aspects in me but predominantly I am C.  I also learned that I didn't put a 1 next to the answer that went along side with C all the time.  I thought after reading the horoscope before taking the quiz I was going to be a B but ended up being C.  I put a 1 next the statement that went along with C four times and B once and A once.  I feel this describes me well but I would like to try and use all three aspects as best I can because each youth is different and to meet them where they are at might mean I am using the risk, resiliency and prevention piece for that one child and then the next one could be positive youth development and another child I might be in the critical youth development.  But getting a balance of all three is good to have.  I think most of the students in our class regardless of the score they get will have a balance of all three and their scores will reflect that.  Knowing all of you in class I would think that we have the knowledge and the mindset to want to have all three and balance them out in our youth work.