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. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nakkula and Toshalis

The Construction of Adolescence by Nakkula and Toshalis explored the relationships between youth and the adult\s who impact their lives, particularly those who are educators. Ten vocabulary words from the text are inter-psychological development, co-constructing, zone of proximal development, applied develop-mentalists, scaffolding, theoretical imagination, multi authored, and reciprocal co-authorship.

Throughout my life there has been so many people who have influenced my youth both positively and negatively. Here is a list of 10 individuals who have coauthored with me during my life:

1. Natalie
2. Mom
3. Megan
4. Demi Lovato
5. Michelle
6. Nana
7. Mrs. Graziano
8. Miss. Jo-Ann
9. Dad
10. Grammy 

Although its hard to simply focus on just one individual who has helped co-author my youth I am choosing to write about Demi Lovato. As a young, impressionable girl I found myself idolizing Disney Channel star, Demi Lovato. As I got older she became one of the constant individuals within not only my life but some of my closest friends. In 2010, Demi entered treatment for depression, anxiety, and self harm. After months of rehab, she came out stronger than ever speaking out on her life long battle with mental illness. Since then, she has become a huge mental health advocate. 

Ever since I can remember, I have dealt with severe anxiety. I always thought what I was feeling was "normal."  During high school it became much severe. With the help of Demi Lovato, I became much more comfortable speaking to friends and family about my anxiety. She also showed me how important it is to receive help. She has showed me that living a successful life is absolutely possible living with a mental illness. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Color Blind or Color Brave?

Within many lives of youth today, the feeling of invisibility to the individuals and world around them occurs. Children today are scrutinized within their every day life being told the proper way to act and behave. Teachers in a classroom often encourage to hear students thoughts and ideas but are not necessarily to put their input when it comes to lesson plans and the curriculum. Growing up, I always felt comfortable with my teachers to share ideas and opinions. Unfortunately, I never felt comfortable enough nor was ever encouraged to lead the class with my teacher.

In Melody Hobsons TED talk, she does a tremendous job explaining "color blindness" in today's society. Hobson explains "color blindness" as the concept of how we pretend to not acknowledge race. Hobson uses an example of a time she attended a national press dinner. To her surprise, she was mistaken for the wait staff being asked "where is your uniform?", due to the color of her skin. Melody Hobson, learned at a young age that inequality exists and has spent much of her life trying to encourage diversity within the work place.

An organization working to change color blindness into color bravery would definitely be Youth in Action! YIA helps to create a safe space for teens along with helping to make everyone apart of the community. The youth apart of this program are taught how important using their voice is.  The idea of invisibility can be conquered immediately by joining Youth in Action. Youth in Action is helping to turn today's youth into brave individuals who are helping make changes one day at a time.

"We need to become uncomfortable with the conversation of race." Color blindness and color bravery all comes from who we are and how we continue to view the world around us. Racial inequality still exists around us,but we must continue to work towards "color brave" and open our mind and thoughts to the idea. No one must live a life feeling invisible.

Image result for workplace diversity clipart

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A World Where Youth Hold the Power

Image result for youth in action

I consider myself as having a pretty average school experience within my youth. My school years were pretty normal.I had small group of great friends an awesome dance team and,a loving family that supported me in all of my endeavors.My sister on the other hand, a mere 6 and a half years younger than me, had a much different experience. I watch my sister, still currently in high school, with the most outgoing personality struggle with voicing her freedom of expression.

My sister's first day of high school.

Youth in Action, is a non profit, after school based program that allows youth members to run the organization itself. They promote their youth to use their own voices within  communities. Youth in Action is working towards breaking the stigma that teens should not be heard. In YIA, youth members are viewed as members of the community who can offer great ideas and opinions to work towards bettering Providence.

Graduation :)

In the article, A World Where Youth Hold the Power, Adeola Oredola spoke of her own stories and reasons to get involved within the community. She shares her story of her perseverance into getting the prestigious Brown University, after her guidance counselor told her she would never get accepted due to the high school she came from. As a Brown University student, she quickly realized she wanted to become the voice for future youth and make changes for underprivileged students who were not able to voice their opinions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What is youth work?

While reading the article Youth Work: Preparation for Practice, I became familiar with the 7 characteristics of youth work.

One characteristic of Youth Work is that it is an educational practice. As a youth worker myself, I am constantly learning and creating. As someone who does not want to become a teacher, I have the upper hand in educating youth in different ways than an average school teacher would. I work at a pre school/after school enrichment center with children of all different ages who all learn in different ways. This has helped me grow and learn as a youth worker.

The next characteristic of Youth Work is that it is a social practice. Youth workers prefer to work in groups rather than individual work. Groups are another easy way to engage youth as well as to make social personal connections. This gives youth the familiar sense of working and getting along with others.

Another characteristic of youth workers, is actively challenging inequality and working towards social justice. Youth workers are able to recognize power-imbalances. A power imbalance can affect how youth are able to succeed. Youth workers all around have the same main goal, which is to ensure the well being of the youth they are working with.

Another characteristic of Youth Work is that when possible, young people choose to be involved. It is important to encourage youth members to meet individuals who share common interests. This can be an easy way to meet new peers and build new friendships.“Quality of engagement” is extremely important.Working at a pre school, I have noticed that involvement is a major key. If the activities are engaging and exciting, the enthusiasm for that activity will be through the roof.

Youth workers seek to strengthen the voice and influence of young people. We youth workers strive for youth to voice their opinions. It is important to encourage youth and help get their voices heard. Youth workers allow youth to have the voice and decide on how activities would be ran. We want to show them that what they say/think is important and that we are their to listen to them.

The next characteristic of Youth Work is that it is a welfare practice. It is common for youth workers to work with young people who are considered to be in the areas of higher "deprivation." Youth workers find the balance between working towards pre-determined welfare oriented goals.

Lastly, the final characteristic of Youth Work is that it works with young people "holistically". It is extremely important to try and teach youth to be the best they can be. As youth workers, we want to provide youth with positive role models in their life. With the support given, you can be able to completely change their lives around. We must act as the pillar they need in order to succeed.

Who am I?

Hi guys! My name is Jena Karneeb and I am a senior at Rhode Island College in the Youth Development Program. I work part time at a Preschool in Johnston, Rhode Island as an assistant teacher to a pre-k classroom. I love to travel, especially with my best friends to New York City, which is where I spent a lot of time traveling to this past summer. In my free time I also enjoy attending concerts, binging TV shows on Netflix, shopping, and eating good food.

Celebrating my 21st birthday in New York.

One of the many concerts I attended this summer, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas.

Spending time with my best friend in the city.

Boston Red Sox game with my friend Katie.