Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Boks Training Exercise

For my second event, I traveled to Reebok HQ and had a training session with Boks (Build Our Kids' Success). This was an incredible experience. For starters, the Reebok HQ was incredible. It reminded me of what Google looked like in the film, The Internship. The training session started out by the trainers explaining what exactly Boks is. Boks is a program in which students participate in physical activity before the start of the school day. The idea behind it is not only for students to participate in physical activity, but also the belief that this will get student's brains active before a day of learning. After an explanation as to what Boks is, we participated in a few activities that one would expect in a Boks session. We then sat down and discussed healthy eating. After a quick lunch session, we came back and discussed how we could improve Boks. This reminded me of Plus, Minus, Delta that we participate in during class. During this discussion, some of the suggestions included making sure that the students are heard when they need to. This reminds me of the basic concept of YDEV as we work with youth. The trainers also asked how we can make sure the students understand the rules of Boks. One suggestion was that we explain the rules from the start and to enforce them always. After this, we finished by having a closing activity. Overall, it was a great experience and a reason I think that programs such as Boks should be used in all school systems.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

This is Youth Work

After reading Strengthening the Youth Development Work Force, I now not only have a greater understanding of just what youth development is, but also have a better understanding of how to explain what YDEV is. With this new text, I am better able to explain how YDEV is a growing career field in which workers don't exactly teach the youth, but instead work with the youth in order to develop them into growing adults. This text also allows me to explain how while it may not be the most profitable job out there, there is a much higher job satisfaction in this field. I would also explain to whomever asks that these types of jobs are incredibly important for the youth as it has shown to be a very effective field that helps the youth to develop and be ready for life as an adult. This text has shown me that my decision to change majors while not exactly beneficial financially, it is a career path that is very beneficial to be in terms of not only job satisfaction, but in my role of working with youth to develop them into growing, fully capable adults.

Open House

One of the events that I attended this semester was the Open House at Rhode Island College. At first, I was a bit curious as I did not know what an open house was like at a college. My only experience before this was open houses at elementary or middle schools. However, while a bit different, I realized that in many ways they were similar. The only real difference was that instead of talking about certain students, we talked about RIC and the major of Youth Development. At first, this made me a bit nervous as I am introverted at times and sometimes still have a hard time in explaining what Youth Development is to others. During the event, some of my classmates decided that instead of sitting at the table and waiting for people to come, they decided to walk around and interact with potential RIC students and educate them on the YDEV degree. Myself and another classmate however, decided to stay at the table and wait for people to come to us. When the first people showed up, I was a bit nervous and didn't talk too much. However, as things were going, my classmate was having a tough time explaining what YDEV was, so I jumped in and helped in explaining about the YDEV and what it was like. Being a former Phys. Ed and Health Ed major, I was able to explain how different YDEV was (in a good way) when compared to my former major. I was able to explain to them how YDEV was a much closer knit group than my former major and how there were a much wider range of job possibilities than you would have as a Phys. Ed/Health Ed major. Doing this, I felt that this was a great way of practicing my elevator speech to not only family and friends, but also in potential job interviews. All in all, I felt that this was a great experience for me to not only be comfortable in being in unfamiliar situations, but also helped enforce in me of how making the transition from PE/Health Ed to YDEV was the right decision.

Rock The Vote

When the election was first coming about, I had several questions in mind. One of the first questions was, "Are these really the best candidates we have?" It just seems crazy to think that the election for President of the United States comes down to Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. At the time, and still, I don't really like the thought of either of them as president. However, regardless of my feelings, I still planned on voting. I chose to vote because even though I was planning on voting on a third party candidate who didn't have much of a chance of winning, I still felt that I should go out there and cast a vote on who I felt was the better choice. It's tough though because many times, I consider not going out and vote just because how everyone was reacting during the election. In the class room, at home, on the television, and especially online, I heard nothing but hate for a certain candidate and how people were claiming to not be friends with someone just because of who they were going to vote for. That's one of the reasons I chose to keep who I was voting for close to the chest.

However, I think that if I had been a little better informed on the issues at hand, I might of had a better understanding of who all of the other candidates were so I could effectively choose who I'd vote for. Also, throughout the election, I was confused with how our vote really counted since it is the electoral college who decides the presidency.

Regardless of all the tension and animosity that has occurred with the results of the election, I am very cautiously optimistic about what's to come. Perhaps that is because of my own optimism of every day life, but I don't think it will be as bad as everyone will think it to be. I feel that as long as we as youth workers continue to work with youth and guide them in the right direction, everything will be just fine

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Post # 7

The Center for Resilience is a program that teaches youth about mindfulness that can be used both in and out of the classroom. Doing this can also teach you to handle stressful situations that they may encounter in and out of the school. The Center for Resilience can also help the youth learn about social and emotional learning. According to the Center for Resilience website (2016), the mission for this center "seeks to empower people to empower themselves which fosters success in the classroom, community, and workplace". 

One of the videos featured discussed how at the beginning of the year, a teacher had the students play a game in which the youth had to do the opposite of what the teacher said. For example, if she said, "stop", they had to move, if she said, "go", they had to stop, etc. At first, it was chaotic with the students struggling to focus on what they needed to do in relation to what the instructor was saying. However, by the end of it, the youth knew exactly what to do. I found this to be a great activity that helps youth learn about focusing on what they need to do in order to succeed regardless of what's being said.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blog Post # 6

Context mapping is the way in which we define ourselves through different contexts. The way in which we define ourselves may be different depending on the environment we are in. The environments can include school, home, the work place, with friends, and many others.

In the article, Mitch asked Julian to list the different spaces and relationships that he is confronted with daily. He then asks Julian  to write down what he thought each space and relationship expected of him.

My context map looks like this:




In the reading, we were shown the identity status theory. In this theory, there are four different statuses:

  1. Forclosed Identity - An individual has commited to a way of life without carefully exploring it or looking at alternatives. This identity can be either thrust upon them due to no perceived alternatives or simply accepted without hesitation.
  2. Moratorium -  An individual that is constantly explores different identities and context, but doesn't commit to one. They are constantly experimenting and trying different ones and changing beliefs, relationships, and behaviors.
  3. Diffuse Identity - An individual has little to know hesitation to picking an identity and has no real commitment to one. This means that the person will easily flip between identities depending on the context and influence of others in order to fit in.
  4. Achieved Identity- An individual has resolved their identity crisis and is able to bring their identities from the past and merge them with the present.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Blog Post # 5

After going through the Youh Development Ideology Inventory, I've discovered that my ideology is predominantly under the category of Positive Youth Development. According to the YDEV Ideology Horoscope ,this means that I am looking to build on the strengths and assets of youth and focus on them growing. It also means that I believe that youth have several assets (internal and external). It is also the belief that the youth worker's job to give youth positive external assets in order for them to develop positive internal assets.

I feel that the Positive Youth Development Ideology is a very accurate Ideology for me. I believe that developing the positive internal and external assets will help the youth not only develop , but want to develop into bright individuals. I also feel that creating a space where the youth can express themselves freely to talk about what they want and to not only ask questions on what's being talked about, but to get straight answers on them.