Youth Work is...Youth In Action
After reading only the first page of the article I was blown away. It was crazy to read about an organization that is solely run by youth. I admire there establishment because they wanted a space where they were not excluded from opportunities. YIA was created in 1997 so that means they have been thriving for 18 years. I hope respect for them as I have leaned in my non profit studies class that a business faces the struggle of staying afloat. How did the group of youth handle the complexity of running the organization while going to school and dealing with the hectic atmosphere of life?
The article continues on by stating that youth are the best kind problem solvers. I honestly had not thought that children can be helpful in solving problems. What I remember most from school was our lack of ability to voice our opinion in issues such the way tests were taken. Every student comes in with a different strengthen, such as some students test well as they have a great ability to memorize.
However, not every student is like this when testing is involved. Think about students who have documented anxiety that leads to minor anxiety about taking a test. Do you think they would test well? Personally, I have found that it is not successful as I deal with anxiety. Having to memorize important elements of learning to be examined upon is more stressful for me than actual studying or learning. Some students such as myself test better when a teacher asks us questions verbally, we do no have the pencil and test paper staring us down, telling us that something must be written down. Other students find verbal communication for testing as they may deal with a language disorder. I find that speaking about something is much easier than writing something. The ability to form sentence structure is so difficult for the way my brain operates.
In thinking about problem solving, I found a website that breaks down what problem solving should look like. While skimming the site, I read that children should be a part of the solving process. This reminds me of when I was young and would be frustrated with my homework assignments. My parents would attempt to find way to calm me down. Despite their efforts, sometimes it was in me to clam myself down. To view the situation from outside of myself so I can internally be calm. If children were not a part of the whole cycle, how would they know how to clean up their mess or relocate something they lost.
In situations like these youth need to be able to hold power to vocalize what they need. For example, this article that is linked describes how a student handles assignments and deadlines. In my personal experience, I was able to find a voice in some parts of my life. When I entered 7th grade i was invited to my PPT meetings, where my parents, educators, and principal would discuss my successes and where I needed improvement and what would be on my Individual Education Plan for the next year. In 7th grade, it was my first time to speak up and looking back I remember I was scared and weirded out as I was talking about myself. Despite all of those mixtures of feelings, I felt empowered. I had a sense of control, something I had never been able to hold on to.
One sentence i read stood out so clearly to me. It was a youth who see themselves as powerless then they will see that no change can take place for improvement in our world, and will give up any sort of hope. An impact of positivty or negativity has such a strong effect on children. The article refers to poverty as being a problem. if that is considered a problem, youth should feel energized to make that change even if it that means slow and steady change. Mark Redmond wrote an article about a camp that brought kids from poverty to a more serene place. He found that using Martin Luther's "I have a dream speech" it assisted in holding a belief for the youth. MLK was also of a smiliar descent as these youth so it was a way for these kids to look up to MLK and his speech. This pushed the youth to think more positvely so they can have a more hope filled life. It seems that this is situation that kids are handed lemons and they have to make the lemonade. We only have one life to live so why wouldn't we live it to the fullest.