Monday, December 5, 2016

What is Youth Development?

"Youth development programs seek to improve the lives of children and adolescents by meeting their basic physical, developmental, and social needs and by helping them to build the competencies needed to become successful adults."

YDEV is a program offered at Rhode Island College that allows you to pursue an assortment of careers that involve working with youth. In this program, your final year of schooling consists of an internship of your choice completing up to 180 hours in your organization. In this program, you take a variety of courses throughout your 4 years. These courses include social work, education, and non profit classes. As a YDEV major, you also will be lucky enough to have the opportunity working directly with youth. You will spend 15 hours in an inner city classroom, 20 hours in a special education classroom, as well as venturing into the real world for a series of assignments.

Rhode Island College is currently the only university in Rhode Island that offers the youth development program. This major is perfect for an individual who enjoys working with youth without the responsibility of teaching in a classroom setting. Youth Development provides a safe space for today's youth which allows them to voice their opinions and lead within a community.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Center For Resilience

The Center for Resilience seeks to empower people to empower themselves through the practice of mindfulness which fosters success in the classroom, community and workplace.

Our vision is one of resilience.
We work in partnership to create a self-sustaining culture of fortitude in school, career, and life.
We envision communities where all people live lives of strength, purpose and compassion.
We inspire success one moment at a time.
A video I really enjoyed was of Amy Leclaire from William D'Abate Elementary school. Amy talked about her experience as a kindergarten teacher to children who have never previously attended any sort of schooling before. She pointed out that most start off having a hard time transitioning from recess/play into learning math or other subjects. As a result of the resilience program the youth are encouraged to redirect and focus themselves in the classroom after returning back from recess, lunch, or other free time. 

I 100% support programs like this. They encourage youth as well as provide structure and learning advantages. The videos I watched reminded me of our work with Calcutt Middle School as well as work I do at the preschool i currently work at. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Event 2: Lemonade

I attended the presentation of Beyonce's Lemonade on Wednesday, October 12th 2016. The presentation was held by our own RIC professor Leslie Grinner. I am an enormous Beyonce fan and even bigger fan of her newest and controversial album titled Lemonade.

The album Lemonade is considered controversial in the spotlight today due to the representation and lyrics of the album that are core issues in our society today. These issues include the topics of feminism and racism. During the presentation, Leslie Grinner informed us that the album was highly criticized by Bell Hooks, a profound black feminist. Bell Hook believes Lemonade exploits images of black female bodies. Its all about the body and the bodies commodities.

Besides the great songs and artists featured on Lemonade, I personally support this album because of Beyonce so freely expressing herself and opinions. Beyonces freedom of speech relates to the youth worker I want and hope to be. I want to be able to voice my opinion and I definitely want the youth I work with to do the same. I want todays youth to feel empowered in expressing their voice and to remain true to their own personal beliefs and experiences.

Here is the link to Bell Hooks response to Lemonade:

Event 1: Little Learners Open House

On September 28th 2016, Little Learners Preschool and Enrichment Center had their annual Open House Event. This event allows the parents to meet with all teachers and get a glimpse into their children's learning day. This is a volunteer event but participation of all staff members is needed in order for the Open House to run smoothly.

We sent out personal invitations beforehand. We allowed the students to construct the invitations using art materials. Throughout the first few weeks of school, we spent much of our time taking as many pictures of the students as possible. After our brief presentation to the parents, we use the photos previously taken as a slide show to view while they mingle and walk around. 

I greeted each parent at the door with a smile and a handshake. I offered at least one or two positive remarks about their child. After chatting briefly, I suggested them to check out the artwork around the room, the bulletin boards, as well as the refreshment table!

A color wheel craft completed in September that was hung on the walls of the classroom for Open House 2016!

Overall, the event was highly successful. Good first impressions make all the difference, and the first event of the school year gives teachers/youth workers a chance to gain parents/families support. It also allows the opportunity to create a personal connection with parents and establish ways for continued communication throughout the school year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Rock the Vote

3 questions I have for the class regarding the upcoming election include:

1. How can we get today's youth to understand why becoming an informed voter is necessary?
2. What if one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the electoral college?
3. Who is in charge of funding presidential campaigns?

As a proud citizen of the United States, I feel it is my duty to vote in the upcoming presidential election. As a responsible young adult, I want my voice to be heard and my vote to count. Placing my vote on the ballot will allow me to use my voice to chose who I believe will fit best as the next president of our country. Something that tends to shy me away from the voting booth is simply being told that my vote "does not count." This is a common excuse that's rooted in the belief that the Electoral College chooses the President, not the voters. This upcoming election certainly has drawn my attention and I was glued to my television during the presidential debates. I am not fond of either candidates and am very nervous for whats at stake for our country. I am looking forward to voting in the election next week and am ready to continue making changes in our country.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nakkula and Toshalis Chapter 2

Context mapping would be defined as having a different identity in a different context. This is best described as behaving differently in separate environments. A prime example of this is myself as a student versus myself as an employee in a work setting. In school, I am simply a college student attending class and interacting with my peers. As an assistant preschool teacher in my work setting I am much more professional around my employers and parents. 

After Julian's bathroom graffiti incident, Mitch asked him to name the different spaces and relationships he is confronted with on a daily basis. He began to list people and places beginning with his family ending with this teachers and classes at school. He was then given another task to write this list down and explain what he believed each individual and context expected of him as a person. This process is best described as context mapping. Mitch uses this tool to further look into Julian's relationship with the different individuals and environments in his life and how these solely affect his identity and who he is.

Here is my own context map:

James Marcia developed is own identity theory called the "the identity status theory."In this theory, James Marcia identifies 4 different statuses:

1. Foreclosed identity: this is best described as when a person chooses an identity without much thought. They behave in this identity without any other life experiences. 

2. Diffuse identity: individuals with this identity are easily defined as continuously changing their identity depending on the context. These types of individuals tend to be easily influenced by other people and constantly feel the need and desire to fit in with others.

3. Moratorium identity: this is defined as the trial and error period. Individuals in this stage are in a constant stage of experimentation. They are vigorously changing beliefs, relationships, behaviors, roles, and directions.

4. Achieved identity: this is the final identity described by Marcia and is best described as the individual being able to collaborate themselves from their past experiences. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ideology Horoscope

According to the Youth Development Ideology Horoscope article titled, "What your sign?",, there are three main concepts of how youth workers associate with youth. These three notions include:
1. Risk, Resiliency and Prevention
2. Positive Youth Development
3. Critical Youth Development

After completing my own Ideology Inventory quiz, I was able to classify myself as a critical youth worker.

Critical youth workers believe teens are legitimate actors and collaborators who have important ideas and ways of contributing to the world. They tend focus on how youth engage with and impact their communities and cultures. I can definitely agree with the results of this quiz as I often find myself thinking how adults and youth can work together to better our everyday lives and communities. A perfect example of this is the organization Youth In Action, which allows youth to contribute their ideas to the community they live in. As a youth worker, I will continue to urge today's youth to use their voice and spread their ideas. Youth and adults working together have the power to change the world.