Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Inventory Quiz

I identify with "Risk, Resiliency and Prevention" which doesn't surprise me at all after reading the ideology horoscope. I scored a 15 in Risk, Resiliency and Prevention, an 11 in Positive Youth Development and a 10 in Critical Youth Development. I'm surprised my A and B results were not closer together since I do identify with those characteristics as well. The key questions of individual who identifies as Risk, Resiliency and Prevention are: How can we decrease overall rates of: Teen pregnancy; Violence; School failures; Drug use; Gang activity? I do agree with the main beliefs on the ideology horoscope. "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. Urban youth lack “cultural capital.”" Teens and youth do not always make the best decisions because they don't think of all the consequences. Their brains aren't fully developed and some of the poor decisions they make greatly effect the rest of their development (drug and alcohol abuse). Some youth will give in to peer pressure and that puts them in greater danger than an individual who is developed and mentally, physically and emotionally ready to make any decision that could change their lives. Youth should be educated and well informed on all topics that they could face at their appropriate age and understanding to help prevent dangerous, life changing events from occurring. Granted not everything is preventable, but being educated can help the events that are. Some people believe that if you ignore certain topics like sex, drugs and alcohol with youth then they will not be affected and that just isn't the case in today's world. Youth are being taught all about this in the media and unfortunately it isn't always in the best way and if that's all they see then they'll think it's normal to participate in things like this and potentially change their lives forever.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A World Where Youth Hold the Power

A World Where Youth Hold the Power is a compilation of different point of views of those impacted or participating in Youth in Action. A key note is that the youth are a key factor is the major decisions of the organization and are a main component of its success. The article states that. “It’s critical for young people to be at the center of change in every community.” Youth need to be aware of society and be the frontrunners to help create change in their communities. Youth in Action is described to have different dynamic that can change the atmosphere of its participants. It is said that Youth in Action has a different mindset, learning processes, dynamics and perspective that can greatly impact the involvement of the youth involved.
Key elements of Youth in Action told by their members
-      A space for youth to thrive and create change
-      To promote a new definition of youth
-      Youth and adults are growing together
-      To create opportunities that regularly engage the practice of disagreement
-      To focus on learning and speaking the truth even when it is difficult
Youth in Action creates an open atmosphere for all youth to be able to share their feelings and create a better environment for themselves and gain confidence in themselves and their opinions.
Youth and adults growing together
          Described a process called “Plus Delta Hot Seat” which an exercise used to describe ones strengths and openly provide constructive criticism. The activity is not used to intentionally hurt one’s feelings put to shine light on areas that need help and start conversations on how to work out the current problems.
Giovanni Larracuente calls himself lucky enough to find YIA early because he developed a confidence about himself and his opinions. Giovanni also discusses that schools are missing the interpersonal relationships between student and teacher.
I can relate because I know that when I was growing up, it was a lot easier for me to talk to and ask for advice from teachers and groups where I felt more comfortable and confident in myself. When I was in middle school, I was in a program called “Project Respect” and I worked closely with the advisor and was more comfortable with her in a week’s time than I was with my major’s teachers that I saw every day because she created an environment that was open and respectful. Another time where I felt completely comfortable was with my ninth grade English teacher. The classroom environment was open even though she was authoritative. She created a space that was comfortable for sharing right off the bat which led to a respectful environment because she did not demand our respect and speak down at us even though we were her students. Creating the right atmosphere is crucial for youth. Youth need to be aware that their opinions matter and that they will not be punished for disagreeing and speaking up on their opinions. Youth need to be able to voice their opinions without fear and this will then teach the youth that their opinions matter and that they can create change, whether that is just in YIA or on a bigger scale. Giving our youth confidence will better our society.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Youth Work

What do we mean by youth work?
-      Youth work can have many definitions that vary from one youth worker to another. Although youth work does not have a definitive definition, it does have definite influences by social, political and economic factors. 
Youth work is an educational practice
-          Youth workers engage with youth in multiple settings and use methods and activities to engage and stimulate education and learning. Youth workers are given the opportunity to create substantial trusting relationships with the youth they work with. Youth workers impact youth lives in hopes to create opportunities and conversations that help change the way youth see their social world.
Youth work is a social practice
-          Youth workers have the ability to adopt “case work” approaches to use their personal information and experiences, advice and guidance to help youth. Social practice allows youth and youth workers to learn about their values and attitudes in a social context or interacting and speaking with others.
Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice
-          Youth workers seek to address the imbalances and inequality and discuss their wrongs instead of the latter of ignoring the fact to avoid discrimination.
Where possible, young people choose to be involved  
-          Most interactions for youth are not their given choice, but their social expectations. Youth “have” to go to school but their engagement is not always guaranteed. Within youth work, youth should be able to build relationships and want to be involved and interact. For myself, I was never one who hated school, but having an English teacher who made interacting and speaking with her easy made me feel more inclined to participate and ask her for help with more things than just school and class. I have created a bond with this teacher and I have kept in touch with her for 8 years. As a youth worker, I feel it is crucial to create long lasting, impactful relationships.
Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people
-          Working with youth encourages them to speak up and engage themselves in life. Youth should not be afraid of voicing their opinions or feelings and as a youth worker, creating an open atmosphere that allows one to share will teach youth proper communication.
Youth is a welfare practice
-          Youth work promotes the safety and well-being of all youth especially youth in areas which may have greater needs than others. Youth workers choose to work with youth to create and impact and help youth flourish and develop into something much more than they can originally picture for themselves.
Youth work works with young people “holistically”
-          All youth are different and no one youth is like another. Although they are all different and unique, youth are touched by common problems and can be addressed as whole and can be engaged for different reasons. Youth encounter difficulties and they need to be able to talk and share their struggles in an open environment. 

About Me!

1. My little and I from my sorority this past summer at the 2015 Leadership Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
2. My cousins, Catalyna and Ellah, and I.
3. My friends and I at the beach at night.
4. My parents at the Point Judith Lighthouse.
5. The view from the seawall in Narragansett.
6. My cousin, Kaliyani,
7. Me holding my niece, Ariyana for the first time.
8. The view from my chair at Bonnet Shores.
9. A picture of the Greek Life Executive Boards at the 2015 Greek Retreat.
10. Julian Edelman! Go Pats!
11. My highschool cheerleading squad from senior year.
12. My big and I waiting in line for Nick Jonas in Boston.

As you can see, my family and Greek Life are a huge part of who I am and how I identify myself. Family has always been an important role in my life and my Greek Family has just enlarged it.  This past summer, I have had incredible opportunities to grow and learn into an even better leader. I was honored to represent my chapter in Ohio with over 75 other chapters of my sorority and meet our National president and to attend this years Greek Retreat. These two experiences taught me a lot about who I am as a leader.
As for the pictures by the water, I love being at the beach and in the water swimming, so I am really sad to see summer go.
I am a past cheerleader and I honestly don't know what I wouldve done without this sport, It's truly something I love and loved. Sadly, I have aged out and have yet to find a team (or time) to continue my love for cheerleading.