Thursday, December 10, 2015

Elevator Speech

The Youth Development major is unique in many ways. First off, it is the only undergrad YDEV major in our state. That is alone is pretty special. Every text, experience and discussion that involves Youth Development I always learn from. That being said my elevator speech looks a little something like this:

Youth Development is about helping, growing, bringing a positive approach to youth. With effort to bring all of these things to youth's lives is extremely important. Whether it be in a school setting, community, government agencies they all will serve the same approach to be an advocate for them. I think a major component to keep in mind when working with youth, is being aware of their environment because that can have a major influence in their life. In order for youth workers to work with youth, we must be willing to be open in every way possible to help build a relationship which is important. The YDEV program provides foundations in education, social work, and non-profit studies and a student chosen minor. You get a B.A in Youth Development and certificate in Non-Profit Studies. 

Event#2 YDEV Open House

On Saturday November 14, 2015 RIC hosted an Admissions Open House to students and families to learn more about the majors offered at the school. Myself and a few other classmates hosted the event along with Dr. Bogad. The event was held at the Murray Center. We talked to families about what the YDEV program is all about. I shared that I transferred from CCRI and how common it is for our school to have transferred students. 

I hope the YDEV major continues to grow because our society needs more people want to help youth in different ways than in a classroom setting. What I love most about Youth Development at the moment are the social work classes. I love that we get a good amount of social work classes because those classes are needed for us to understand how to identify and work with our community.  Overall, I really enjoyed the event and glad I got to share some time with Dr. B, her son, Kate and Ashley. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Event #1- Open Books Open MInds

On Thursday, October 15, 2015 our YDEV course attended an Open Books-Open Minds event that was held at the Alex and Ani Hall from 4-6pm. The event was based around family stories inspired by Junot Diaz's The brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao.
“In Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, we learn not only of Oscar’s childhood and turbulent young adulthood but also about his multigenerational family from the Dominican Republic and the rich and various ways their own stories intersect with larger historical, political, and cultural contexts. Each family has its own stories, jokes, legends, curses, and counter-spells” (Rhode Island College, 2015). During the event, students and President Nancy C. shared their family stories. I enjoyed hearing the creative short stories students shared based on their personal cultural roots and life experiences.

This event made me reflect on course themes we've talked about in class. One in specific which was Identity. I feel that family stories are connected with identity because it's all beliefs/experiences that are created by not just yourself but the people around you daily. After the event I was reminded of how much of an impact an experience can have on someone. A simple story can have such an impact in a persons life. I thought it was a great idea to have our class attend an event like Open Books Open Minds, where I know we all walked away with learning something.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Resilient Kids

It's always interesting to look at different rituals that go on in classrooms. These exercises practiced in the classrooms are important and proved to be affective.  By doing the different types of exercises improvements like higher test grades, better learners, and even youth start to manager their own behaviors which is great. I love that Resilient Kids got to design the program needed for the youth they work with. I would love to these types of exercises focused on in more classrooms today so that youth can benefit from these calming rituals.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Danger of a Single Story

I enjoyed this TED talk because it is something society struggles with daily. As a future youth worker and from my personal experience growing up in Central Falls, I know how important it is not to go by a single story. We risk critical and cultural misunderstanding when we forget that everyones lives and identities are composed of many overlapping stories. It is true, the single story does create stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. Whether it's intentional or not, we create stereotypes which then create a single story. By not doing this and sharing our personal experiences with others we tear down the single wall we created and hear the important stories that matter. When working with youth it is critical to be able to build trust so that they are able to share stories and sharing your own stories is just as important as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Identity in Context

Context mapping is a type of format that represents your personal life. It helps identify yourself and the relationships you encounter on a daily basis. In this chapter, Mitch asked Julian to create a context map.

The four main identities are as follows:
Achieved Identity- This is when an individual has resolved their identity crisis.
Foreclosed Identity-This is when an individual chooses or commits to a certain way without considering different alternatives.
Moratorium- This is when an individual explores different identities but does not commit to one.
Diffused Identity- When the individual is not exploring identities, therefore there is no commitment. 

Here is my personal Context Map:


Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Construction of Adolescence

1. After reading the chapter, the only word that I was not familiar with was "pedagogies". I looked up the definition online and it defined it to be the method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept. Some important key concepts from the text were Authoring Life Stories, construction of Adolescence, theoretical thinking and tested knowledge.

2.  10 people who helped co author my life:
     -Best Friend Michelle
     -Best Friend Laura

At 25 years old, it was hard to list just 10 people that have helped co author my life. I thought about those people who have been there at my lowest, highest and those who have witnessed my individual growth as a person. Of the people listed, the person that has helped me write my story is my sister, Alba. We are two years apart, opposites in some ways but share so much similarities including being family oriented. She is my right hand, the person I talk to twice a day on the phone. Once I became a mom we no longer lived together, and our bond got even stronger. My sister hears me out and gives me the right words of wisdom when I am upset or frustrated. She is my sons godmother and is always there for both of us. Her worries are my worries and her happiness is my happiness. She is my biggest cheerleader and I will always be the same for her. I feel blessed to have a best friend like my sister who is always there for my family and I. I consider my sister to be the coauthor of my life because as you can see, the relationship we have is special.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Color Blind or Color Brave?

      Hobson made me think about visibility in a new way: to not be color blind but color brave. This means changing the way I look at race and begin to change it by talking about it. I agree that race is a very touchy subject, it is something people don't feel comfortable talking about. After hearing Mellody Hobson's argument, I would like to approach race in a different way or at least not feel like I am stepping on egg shells when the topic is brought up. Her persuasive talk mentioned race and particularly about diversity in hiring makes for a better society. 
      My favorite quote of Hobson was "The first step to any form of action is awareness", I think this is really important for our society especially in youth's education. Race may not be something many educators would want to talk about in a classroom, but how about taking initiative and making it okay to be talked about it, as well as parents at home. I am sure if this would've been the case for my experience in my childhood years, I would be more comfortable like Hobson with the talk about race. I think the less it's being talked about, the more society will continue to add awkwardness and hide the truth about race in our world today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ideology Inventory

      Based on the Inventory quiz, I identified as Critical Youth Development. I agree with the description given in the Ideology Horoscope, as well as some key points stated in the Positive Youth Development description. I learned that I tend to focus on the engagement between youth and the outside world. I do not agree that teens are "legitimate actors" as described in the belief section in the Ideology Horoscope. I would say teens are risk takers whom don't think twice about speaking which then can put them in regretful situations.
      My personal values when it comes to Youth Work are Safe Environment, Partnerships, and Positive Relationships as well as a few others like being the voice for young children. These come from my personal experience in my young adulthood years in middle and high school. These values are what my mentors had and made a positive influence in my teen years. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blog Post #2

      1. The article called "A World Where Youth Hold the Power", by Adeola A. Oredola was to show a different learning approach with youth and the effectiveness of it. Youth In Action started in 1997 by teenagers driven to build stronger communities by engaging their peers in arenas of influence that they are typically excluded from, including school reform, politics, media organizing, and community health. The key elements of Youth In Action are Youth and adults are growing together, to promote a new definition of youth and a space for youth to thrive and create change. I enjoyed reading how affective this approach is with youth in urban communities, like Providence.

      2.  The YIA approach to learning is very hands on, where they voice their opinions/thoughts about most things regular educators would not discuss with youth. My personal experience does resonate with YIA model by the strong communication they have with their mentors. Growing up in a city like Central Falls, I never felt connected with my teacher's, guidance counselors or administration. I do recall having a great relationship with my two RI Children's Crusade mentors from middle and high school. I think part of the reason was because they gained my trust and I felt a connection that I did not have with any other adults at school. Unlike YIA, their program goal was to have kids on track academically and guide them up until their high school graduations. Although, the program was sort of structured the mentors themselves came from rural school backgrounds and shared with me their education background. I felt a connection because they, like myself came from spanish speaking homes and shared similar backgrounds. Over a decade later today and my relationship with my crusade mentors still remains strong. I know I can call them for personal problems or school related questions if needed. I strongly believe as a youth worker it is up to YOU, to make that connection when working with youth. Establishing a strong relationship with youth can be more rewarding to some, than others. 

      3. The YIA models the notion of "with, not to.."? with their team tradition of "Plus Delta Hot Seat", where everyone has the opportunity to give and receive feedback on contributions to the team and areas for growth. It is great to hear that the director of youth programs took initiative and was hands on with the youth. More often you hear of missions and goals for programs, but rarely do you directors like Erroll Lomba, whom actually demonstrated and went first for the activity. I am sure with an activity like this, youth gained trust and comfort with the director being first to demonstrate how the activity would go.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Assignment #1

Based on the reading in the article I just read, the following are the 7 characteristics of Youth Work:
- Educational Practice
- Social Practice
- Challenge inequality and work towards social justice
- Where possible, young people choose to be involved
- Seeks to strengthen the voice & influence of young people
- Youth work is a welfare practice
- Works with young people "holistically".

I enjoyed reading this article and agree with most of the characteristics mentioned above. I strongly believe a big part of Youth Work is educational and social practice. For some kids, our positive influence and special moments shared with them will be more valuable than for others. Communication is a huge factor when working with kids. Being aware of what we say and how we say things to youth is also something we must acknowledge. 

Words like empowerment, participation and engagement describes, how Youth Work strengthens the voice of young people. I agree that Youth Work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people. I remember my early years in high school, my RI Crusade advisor always had a positive voice for latino's in my community. Years later, I can look back and remember him for always being a positive influence for myself and others. He made a huge difference in my education with letting my mother know of the programs I could join and always willing to help her out with any questions we had.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Who Am I?

My Family<3
My nationality: Colombian
Love to travel     
My sister Alba & I