Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Youth Work

I knew that I wanted to make a difference in this world and it starts with the Youth. The youth truly holds the intellect and power to help create a better world. For me specifically I enjoy learning from the youth and teaching the youth new things. I like getting an idea about each individual I am working with and learn more about who makes them them (Story telling). I am an athletic persona and that is why I a focusing in engaging with the youth in a recreational type setting. From the reading I did, it talked about youth work and engagement with recreational activities can be demonstrating

"Youth work’s conventional wisdom would assert that such activities are to be valued primarily as vehicles for carrying young people on testing personal and emotional journeys. This might include developing a ‘relationship with the youth centre and the staff … For many young people the activity in itself may become increasingly significant."

Activity meaning anything, and as a youth worker it is our job, my job to make the activity significant.

"What is Youth Work?"
Hey, you're just a child, listen to me
You shouldn't speak, unless asked to speak
You have no thoughts or different ideas
You're just a youth, you're not a leader
Imagine a youth worker saying these  things
In reality, it is quite demeaning
For a human being but a youth worker alike
For youth workers and youth together unite
Youth work is revealing leaders from the youth community
Togetherness, collaboration, demonstrating no "I" in team
Life skills - fundraising, sponsorship, non-profit sector
Acting as advocates, coaches, youth protectors
Youth embellishments letting youth know they have a voice
For a job well done youth workers rejoice
We guide the youth, we don't say "do this"
We ask what are your thoughts; dig into their wits
Expressing stories, making youth smile; setting goals they can embark
Educationing with youth - this is youth work


 Open Book Open Minds was an event held at Rhode Island College. This year, the event focused on family history and stories/legends passed on within the family. I knew about it before I attended with my YDEV class because of my Creative Writing class. A few of my classmates actually shared their stories at this event. I should have as well ( I did write something since it was a class assignment.) Anyways, what I truly enjoyed about this event, was how free individuals were able to express themselves. The stories told were so beautiful.

Immediately I thought about what we learned in class about story-telling. The Tedtalk "the danger of a single story by Chimamanda Adichie really demonstrated the importance of story telling and not falling into a single story mindset. I think for these individuals telling the story, especially one that I remember very well, felt at some point in their lives, people thought a single story of them. And this was the importance of them telling their stories. This was the importance of them expressing themselves.
“The single story creates stereotypes,” Adichie says, “and the problem with stereotypes

is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete."

Open books Open Minds  was the perfect event to utilize the idea and belief that story telling is useful to any and all humans. Whether it be youth, adults or elderly, it is never too late to share a story and be expressive.

Next year, we can help choose the next open books open minds book, and soon enough a new writing assignment will be given for students to openly share with fellow faculty members and other students.