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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blog Post # 4

  1.  Ten Vocabulary Words That I didn't know or Understand

                              1. Pathologized

                              2. Pedagogies

                              3. Interpsychological

                              4. Paradoxical

                              5. Exacerbated

                              6. Tangential

                              7. Impediment

                              8. Litany

                              9. Scaffolding

                            10. Reticent


    2. Ten People I Have Coauthored With 

                             1. My mom

                             2. My dad

                             3. My sister, Ashley

                             4. My step mom

                             5. My grandma

                             6. My grandpa

                             7.My Nana

                             8. My Papa

                             9. My best friend, Stepfanie

                           10. My brother, Will
Out of my top ten picks, I am choosing my mom. My mom would be under the caring side. For 25 years, she has helped me write my story. She started by teaching and guiding me when I was growing up. She helped teach me the basics of what to do and what not to do. What is right and what is wrong. As I began to get older, she began to lessen the teachings and began to focus on guiding me in the right direction with advice. With her teachings and guidance, she has helped shape my story by helping me develop my feelings and how I act on them as well as how I treat others. Without all of this, my story would be completely different. However, regardless of whether she was teaching or guiding me throughout my story, the one constant has been my mother's love for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blog # 3

There are many times in my life where I have felt invisible. Sometimes, I have welcomed the invisibility, enjoying the freedom to go about unseen. However, at other times I wished to be seen. After watching Mellody Hobson's TED talk, Color Blind or Color Brave?, I would say that she helped me think of visibility in a new way. For example, during her talk, Hobson mentioned how she viewed color blindness as ignoring the problem of racial discrimination. This means turning a blind eye and making it seem that the racial discrimination isn't there. She also talked about how she had an experience where she learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable and dealing with the discomfort. Like previously mentioned, by dealing with the discomfort, you are being visible with not only others, but also yourself.

By having a youth space like Youth in Action (YIA), youth can be allowed to be a part of a place where they can shine and get rid of the invisibility that Hobson mentioned. This means that the YIA allows the youth to not only share their stories, but allow them to be open with how they are feeling and what they believe. This also gives the youth the opportunity to practice becoming leaders and create change in the community. By doing this, it allows the youth to in many ways, come out of their shells. This is similar to Hobson's belief in being comfortable being uncomfortable. Doing this will allow those youth to be able to do things they don't feel comfortable doing, but they are dealing with the discomfort head on. By having the youth work to create changes in the community, it could also help fellow youth in the community be comfortable in being uncomfortable and bring them into YIA to develop even more into being visible.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Blog Post # 2

After reading A World Where Youth Hold Power, I was very intrigued by the Youth in Action (YIA). The YIA is an organization in which young people are able to have a say in a variety of aspects of the organization. This gives young people an opportunity to develop decision making skills and help show them that what they say is important. The article believes that by giving the young people some power in decisions, they can help better the community with innovative ideas and decisions. Throughout the article, people that are a part of the YIA give their thoughts and experiences on how the YIA has helped them develop into growing adults because of the opportunity they have in having a say in various parts. For example, a group of young people in the YIA were able to have a discussion of a potentially heated topic of religion. However, they ended up being able to the discuss it repectfully and end up with a better understanding of other people's religious views. This type of organization helps create a situation in which adults aren't solely the decision makers, but that they work with the young people to come up with decisons.

 As a kid, I had grown up with not having much power. Whether it was home or school, it was always just following orders. I never had a place like YIA where I had a say in how things were run. In some ways I can see why not having the YIA when I was a kid is a good thing. In another way, I wish I had something like YIA back in the day. Looking back, I have a hard time thinking that I would have any effect on the community or anything as a result of having a say in decisions. I feel like my ideas would be ridiculous. On the other hand, I feel that the YIA would be something that would have been very beneficial to me growing up. I think this organization would have helped to develop my social skills. I have always been something of an introvert, so by being a part of an organization where I can voice my opinions would have helped a great deal.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Blog Post #1

There are several different characteristics of Youth Work. One characteristic of Youth Work is that it is an educational practice. This means that although youth workers may not exactly be considered teachers, that doesn't mean that Youth Work can't be educational. In many instances, youth workers can teach more to the youth than educators in schools can. For example, youth workers don't have some of the restrictions in educating that teachers in schools do. For example, youth workers are able to go off of the abilities and skill level of the students, whereas a formal educator has to follow certain steps and systems.

Another characteristic of Youth Work is that it is a social practice. this means that instead of working in individual circumstances, youth workers instead try to work in groups. Doing this helps the youth engage in other youth to develop their social skills and values. One characteristic of Youth Work is that the youth workers challenge inequality and work towards social justice. This means that the youth worker looks to address the social injustices of society with the youth and that they understand how they themselves can follow ant-discriminatory practices.

A characteristic of Youth Work is that where possible, young people choose to be involved. This means that exactly what it sounds like. Instead of being forced to participate or be involved with the youth work, they instead choose to be involved in the program. However, there are times where it is tough to determine whether or not those choices are voluntary or not. For example, those choices may simply be because their friends decided to attend. However, while having voluntary involvement is very important, the quality of the engagement is what's most important. Another characteristic of Youth Work is that the workers seek to strengthen the voice and influence of young people. This means that the worker create an environment in which the young people are not only involved in the group, but have a voice in the group in which they can make decisions.

One characteristic of Youth Work is that it is a welfare practice. This means that although this is not necessarily what their job is, youth workers tend to work with young people who are considered to be the area of high deprivation and can use both the goals of a youth worker and welfare interventions.

Finally, the last characteristic of Youth Work is that it works with young people "holistically". This means that sometimes, youth workers may work to address problems the youth may face in their live, but are not defining factors of youth work. While this may be an important part of youth work, this should not be the primary job of it. Our primary job is working with youth and working with youth has multiple parts to it.

Who Am I?

 My name's Remington Alves. I am newly enrolled in the Youth Development program, having originally gone to RIC as a double major in Phys Ed. and Health Ed. Apart from school I am in the Air National Guard, having drills one weekend a month. I am also working part time at the Toys "R" Us in Dartmouth, MA. Over the summer, I took some summer classes and worked mostly. For fun, I went to Florida to visit my grandparents.