Wednesday, December 7, 2016

YDEV Elevator Speeches

"When I first started Rhode Island College, I was studying to be a elementary education major. I really enjoyed the major and what I was learning in all of my classes, which helped me be a better elementary education teacher. As time went on, I learned that I had to take the PRAXIS in order to be accepted into the teaching program, and that scared me a little bit. Granted, facing my fears, I took the test out of whim to see how I would do, and I failed all three areas of math (only by a few points), reading and writing. I was very discouraged by this, sincerely because it costed a good amount of money to take the tests, and I wasn't in the greatest financial situation at the time. So, through everything looming over my head, I decided to change my major. When trying to pick another major, I knew that I still wanted to work with kids, but didn't exactly know how I would be able to do that. Thankfully, two of my close friends were in this major called Youth Development. I had no idea what it was at the time, but after hearing my friends explain a bit about what the major entail, I was greatly interested and contacted the head of the major to see how I would go about and declare the major of youth development"

The previous paragraph above is my own elevator speech about how I was introduced and got involved in the major known as youth development. Every person that is now declared a youth development has some sort of backstory before picking youth development as a major, obviously unless they decided on youth development from the start. However, many people, whether it be from my own experience or hearing about other peoples' experiences, either drop the major they are currently in because they cannot see themselves doing that anymore, because they want to do something similar but not the same thing, or even because for reasons like mine. However, even though there are many reasons as to why people change from a previous major to a youth development major, it is obviously important to explore what youth development entails before just choosing the major just because it "sounds like a good one"

I found this youth tool wheel to be very inspiring because
it shows the different aspects of youth to be looked at by
youth workers in order for them to be successful mentors
In a nutshell, youth development can have a variety of different definitions. Youth Development folks, also known as youth workers, are taught to be their absolute best to promote youth in society. Not only that, but youth workers are also taught to be strong mentors towards youth and to have a lasting impact in the youth's lives as well. Youth workers can be found in a variety of places as well, such as in schools, in day care centers, in after school programming, and many more youth-related sites that require youth workers to build positive relationships with youth.  Whether it be assisting youth in day to day activities, or guiding youth on paths that they will discover in their lives, youth workers are responsible to encourage and challenge youth to create a better lives for themselves and help them achieve the best that they can be.

Going along with what was said above, youth workers can have several positions in society that can create jobs for them so that they can help the greater good. Looking at the picture above, youth workers can lead and plan youth programs, counsel and mentor youth, manage youth behavior, establish community and parent outreach, work in organizations as administrative staff, advocate for youth's rights as people, coordinate events for youth, supervise staff and volunteers of a youth organization, fundraise on behalf of youth or a youth organization and provide transportation for a youth organization. These are only a few of the jobs that can be provided by youth workers. At Rhode Island College, the Youth Development major is a branch of Education that also includes Social Work and Nonprofit Studies. These other two inclusive majors encourage as well as assist youth workers in exploring different fields of youth work. Youth workers do not have to stay in one secluded field, but can branch out from Education and explore opportunities in the Social Work and Nonprofit Studies fields. Youth workers will only continue to build experience from what they do and as the major grows, more profound opportunities will be established for youth workers, having youth workers being able to inspire and encourage youth in ways never thought imaginable. 

Event #2: Staff Meeting at Henry Barnard School

For one of my events I attended a staff meeting at my work study job, Henry Barnard School, on September .  In the after school program Explorations there are about 100 students that attend on various, if not multiple days, a week from the school.  Each year we have about 1-3 meetings depending on how hectic the year begins, progresses or is setting to end.  At this meeting the director of the program discussed some interesting focal points for as to think about.  Majority of my co-workers at this job are teaching majors, some nursing and others are Youth Development which can sometimes be hard when working with the children.  As youth workers you sometimes depending on the situation can have a different opinion or outlook on a situation compared to a teacher our a nurse.  Over the past five years that I have worked here I definitely have encountered many students over time and have been given the opportunity to get to know them as well.  In this meeting we discussed how it its important for us to stay interacted with the students at all times which means no distractions such as cell phones.  Another topic that was brought to our attention was the discussion of the few students who we should be more aware of.  All of these students come to this program to have fun in a safe and learning environment besides school.  As a youth worker or someone who works with youth, the concept of being mindful is absolutely key.  We discussed as a group how we as workers can make being mindful dominant in certain situations.
The blog post that I feel relates to this event is when learning about The Center for Resilience and how they are incorporated into settings with youth.  Being able to cater to these students and his or her needs is something that is absolutely crucial.  With having the same 100 students attending the program everyday or a few days a week, you get to have the opportunity to spend time and watching them grow creatively as well as academically.  With The Center for Resilience they not only want to gather the students together with the youth workers but also involving the parents.  Community is needed especially when these children have been in the program since prekindergarten. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Event #1: Out In The Night

For my first event, I decided to attend a film showing by the Gender and Women's Studies Department on Novmeber 30th during free period. The film that they showed was called "Out In The Night" directed by Blair Dorosh-Walther. The film follows the journey of four African American lesbians who are charged by New York police for attacking a man who was making homosexual slurs to them along with three other of their friends. However, that is not the whole story. The media is a huge player in the case because the case was made out to be way bigger and way worse for the women than it already was. The seven women were minding their own business walking down the street, when a straight African American male started making gay slurs towards them and all of a sudden attacked them. In order to defend themselves, the women decided to fight back. Sooner or later, many people got involved in the fight and the cops were called. All seven women in the group were arrested. When the women were brought to trial, they were told that they could go one of two ways: they could plead guilty and receive a minor sentence or lead not guilty and let the judge and jury decide their fate. Three of the seven women decided to plead guilty and relieved minimal sentences. However the other four, Renata Hill, Terrain Dandridge, Venice Brown, and Patreese Johnson all plead not guilty, with self defense as their reason for attack, and they were convicted guilty and were all given much more harsh prison sentences. Terrain was given three and a half years, Venice was given five years, Renata was given eight years and Patreese was given eleven years. The media was a huge factor in victimizing the women to the public, making it seem as if the male attacker was the victim and the women were the guilty attackers. Not only because of this story, but this story adds to the societal hype, African Americans always have to be on guard, homosexuals always have to be on guard, and specifically for this case, African American homosexuals always have to be on guard as well. The women were attacked by the African American male because they were homosexual. The women were attacked by the media because they were African American and homosexual.

One can relate this film to our class topic of Color Blind or Color Brave. Color Blindness is when Americans ignore the fact that racism exists in America. Color Brave is when America
acgknowledges that there is racism present in our society and then do something to help people's way of thinking when it comes to racism. In class, we watched a TEDTalk by Mellody Hobson in which she talked about what roles Colorblindness and Color Bravery play in America. Color Blindness plays a big role in this film. Even though the women were attacked because they were homosexual, their story of self defense was never greatly shared because of the media coverage. The media blew
up the situation that they were the attackers simply because they were African American. However, when it came to the trial, the women were looked at as no more than criminals: not homosexuals, not African Americans, just criminals. During the trial, society ignores the fact that they were African Americans and ignored the fact that the media purposely focused on the factor and it made the trial and the women much more worse off. At the end of the entire event, Terrain served two years, Venice served three years, Renata served three years, and Patreese served seven and a half years. Also the city of Newark New Jersey established an LGBTQ community center in order to prevent violence against the LGBTQ community.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Resiliency and the Center for Resilience

The Center for Resilience focuses on children and teens being able to express themselves and helping them find ways to express as well as control their emotions. A lot of students who are participating in this are from very low income neighborhoods and have a lot on their plate other than just going to school. The Center for Resilience is a program in which students can openly express themselves and learn coping mechanisms in terms of stress.  Stress is something that everyone faces especially throughout this generation.  The Center for Resilience has positive outcomes for those in the urban communities in Rhode Island.

The video that I really enjoyed was when Amy Leclarie spoke about how it has effected the students that she has been working with.  She spoke about how she has students who have never been in a school setting before which definitely plays a major role in a child's life.  I really find it empowering because as a youth worker, mindfulness is a true key.  Students are faced with the obstacles of everyday life and a majority of that is focused on schooling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 Election: Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton

As an American citizen, I got the right to vote at age 18 and because of that I feel like I had the absolute right and obligation as an American citizen to register to vote. I wasn't able to vote in the 2008 because i was not old enough to, but I still had my personal views and wanted Barack Obama to win over John McCain. To my happiness, Obama won and became the first African American to hold the office of the President of the United States. Four years later, Obama was running against Mitt Romney and I was old enough to vote. I was kept up to date by the news as well as my Political Science class, which is how I decided that I wanted to vote for Obama once again. I did not agree with some of Romney's views and things he was standing for, so I was glad once again when Obama
was re-elected for another four years.

Here we are another four years later and unfortunately, Barack Obama cannot run for office again. To be honest, if I could vote for him, I definitely would again. This upcoming election is, for lack of better words, a circus-like popularity contest. On the Democratic side, we have Hillary Clinton: wife of former president Bill Clintion, possibly the first woman president of the United States. However, she has many allegations against her between deleted emails and controversial decisions she has made as Barack Obama's Secretary of State and beyond. On the Republican side, you have Donald Trump: a very rich and very powerful business man who has a lot of influence in our country, who is know for the TV show, the Apprentice (YOU'RE FIRED!). Trump also has just as many negative flaws, if not a bit more, than Hillary Clinton, wanting to build a wall at the US-Mexican Border, deporting Muslim refugees because of different ISIS terrorist group accusations, and much more. I
firmly believe that neither of these candidates deserve the position because of their backgrounds, along with their present day troublesome acts they've committed.

I am aware of certain topics that are going on in our country, however, I'm not 100% caught up with what issues the candidates are running for, but I hope to catch up a bit before I go to vote. I do not feel well informed about the issues that the candidates are running for because this election really seems to be a serious popularity contest. Both Trump and Clinton don't seem to focus on the issues, but more on bashing and sabotaging the other candidate. To be honest, I don't really have any specific questions to ask in class, but I hope that in class we can have a general not bias discussion about both candidates so that I can learn more about both positives and negatives about each candidate.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Identity in Context

This week's reading the discussion of 'context mapping' is explained. The examples that are given are between Mitch, Julian and Antwon. One example given in the article is Mitch had Julien write down important people and things in his life that he comes into contact with in his everyday life. Mitch then had Julien write down the expectations that all of those people and things had of him, which is part of what builds Julien's identity. Context mapping, in a nutshell, is an approach to discover one's own identity using their everyday lives to inform and inspire themselves.

As for the identities, there are four of them and they are as follows: Achieved Identity, Foreclosed Identity, Moratorium, and Diffuse Identity.

Achieved Identity is when "the individual has successfully integrated [his/her] ego identity needs from the past, within the present, and into the future and can therefore display a certain level of self acceptance and ego strength across changing contexts" (Nakkula & Toshalis, 38).

Foreclosed Identity is when "an individual has committed to a life direction or way of being without exploring it carefully and without experimenting with alternatives" (Nakkula & Toshalis, 29).

Moratorium Identity is when "one actively explores roles and beliefs" (Nakkula & Toshalis, 36).

Diffuse Identity is "a state in which there has been little exploration or active consideration of a particular identity and no psychological commitment to one" (Nakkula & Toshalis, 32).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Inventory Quiz and Ideology Horoscope

To start off, I was very close between two of the three YDEV personalities and I actually relate more to the opposite of what I got. The ideology that I got was Critical Youth Development, however, after reading all three ideologies, I thought that I best related to Risk, Resiliency, and Prevention. As for the points system, for Critical Youth Development, I got sixteen points and for Risk, Resiliency, and Prevention I got fourteen points. Regardless of my opinion, I will explain about the Critical Youth Development Horoscope. Critical Youth Development means focuses on wanting youth to engage with and impact their community and culture. Critical Youth Development is about youth critically thinking about their world and what they can do to be apart of it and what they can do to make an impact. Critical Youth Development has adults and youth work together in order to learn more about and understand their environment and create meaning in the world. They also strive to made the world better for not only themselves, but for everyone. Even though I feel like I relate more to the Risk, Resiliency, and Prevention Ideology, I do see some qualities in the Critical Youth Development Ideology that I relate to. I do believe that it is important for youth to connect to their communities, or even a certain community in which they feel accepted such as their school community or an after school community.
When relating to the Risk, Resiliency, and Provention, I truly connected with the Belief Column of the Ideology, that being: "Teens brains are not fully developed, and so teens do not always make the best decisions. Children and teens need specific coaching in how to make good choices for themselves...". Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they are young. Youth can be influenced by adult teachers/mentors in making good choices and can learn how to be good role models for their peers and their communities.

Through the duration of this blog, I was unable to pick one Ideological Horoscope because the two were so close in number, also because I share many common beliefs with both ideologies. I feel like I am both Risk, Resiliency, & Prevention, along with Critical Youth Development. I believe in aspects of both ideologies and it is very hard to side with just one. There are several aspect of my own personality and belief system that I cannot consider to be only one of the ideologies.