Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Coauthoring a Youth's Development

Image result for writing a book    10 intriguing/new vocab words from Nakkula & Toshalis:
                                                         1. competing peer groups  (p1)
                                                         2. tangential discussions (p2)
                                                         3. increasingly lackluster performance (p3)
                                                         4. interpretation
                                                         5. multiauthored (p7)
                                                         6. litany of such questions (p8)
                                                         7. concerted effort (p9) 
                                                         8. reticent to take on challenging material (p12) 
                                                         9. commonly espoused belief (p13)
                                                         10.actualize (p15)

In keeping with the theme of Nakkula & Toshalis' writing, ten people I could list whom have coauthored my life story are named (1) Barbara (2) Patti (3) Gail (4) Joseph (5) Matt (6) Jamie (7) Zachary (8) Isaiah (9) Angie (10) Lauren. I kept the list to ten, even though I could go on and on including encounters, acquaintances, and continuing friendships! Looking back at this list, I chose Joseph to show and tell about how he has his hand in my story. Joseph was picked to demonstrate the missing presence of a component in a story can have a profound impact in the way the rest of the story reads. Joe was supposed to be a father figure in my life story, and decided to deny me as his legitimate offspring and succumb to his mental illness and brain damage as a result of an accident he had. I actively sought him out a few years ago and was very disappointed with what I found. Some things should be left alone and hidden away, but I could not let that be one of those things, because I also needed to confront my unrealistic superhero father role model vision in my head after that experience. Positives which came from that chapter are the drive and motivation to be a present, involved and better parent and my own self-discovery in expectations.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Clearing up Color Blindness

Man giving hugs to try to calm racial tensions
A demonstration of peace and color braveness in Charlotte, NC
In this moment, I cannot remember a situation or event during which I felt invisible. Melody Hobson, a successful chairwoman and president of a financial firm and only one of two black women chairpersons of publicly traded companies, made me think about visibility in terms of privilege and how much harder black people and other minorities have to work sometimes to be seen and/or heard. In light of super recent events in Charlotte, NC this TEDtalk came into my queue at a perfect time to be reminded of disparities in advantage and voice between groups of people. The incidence involving Hobson and her friend attending an editorial luncheon and being directed to an area under assumption of being kitchen help on the prejudice of their skin color is bizarre. In walks a wealthy black women dressed to the nines accompanied by a similarly dressed black male and they are supposed to be wearing something other than what they have on and in a different role than guests according to the perspective of white privilege. Hobson, having a thick shell recalls her mother asking of her upon return from an all white birthday party how the other kids treated her. My parents, in my own experience, would have never asked that as a question unless I seemed emotionally distressed. It should not still exist that minorities are treated without the same "privilege". Her argument of 70% of corporation board seats composed of white men is more fuel for the argument of an entire culture of blindness. The allusion to her words resonating with admissions officers or hiring professors really made me more interested in her Talk because of my internship.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Youth in Providence Have the Power

YIA (Youth in Action) Historically- This nonprofit was started in 1997 (when I was 2 years old) to recognize marginalized underprivileged youth and bring them into a space where they could have influence i.e. school reform, politics, organizing...

Young People at Center of Change- Large scale social change wouldn't be successful without youth inclusion. For many young people of color, they feel powerless for the long history of adversity that has pushed down their throats (figuratively) so that their voices cannot be heard when it counts. The tide in Providence is changing to take after the youth space YIA in that leaders are coming around to a new perception of youth being innovation pioneers.

Part of a Place Where Having Opinions Makes Stronger- As described in first person testimony, youth bring a lot of their own values and opinions to the nonprofit space, and they often get into heated debates which are perceived as healthy and welcomed. This is reverse of the school community culture in which per say, a student gets pregnant and because of her own cultural norms and pressures against the 'taboo' of conceiving at an early age, she leaves school. If more schools take the shift to a YPI culture, she should be reassured and welcomed back into the school environment.

Exceeding Other's Expectations- One of the speakers in the article attended Brown University. That is significant because she is of a minority background and went to a school that doesn't groom the kind of youth that go to Brown (or at least that is what her demeaning guidance counselor said to her. The problem with some adults in our education system and holding positions as community leaders, is they are not supporting youth vision of success and big ideas for change. If you're not part of the change, you're part of the problem. How many more students that one school staff member affects every day with negativity is the kind of mindset that I, as a youth worker can turn around.

There had never been a time in my own experience as a youth that I was asked to co-construct a bigger picture. It is inspiring and awesome to see the work that YPI does for the community of Providence. Leading with...is a great model to cultivate the innovators of the future. For marginalized (or any) youth to feel as though they can make a difference, they must have the right platform to be heard on, the conditions to thrive. Many of us in the Youth Development field can be thankful for nonprofits like that, and participants there in can look forward to giving back as agents of change in this field.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Youth Work" Seven Characteristics

  1. Youth work is an educational practice: Youth workers and educators act in the same way, in the respect of delivering activities and intervening in a young person's life with the purpose of getting that young person to have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the social world around them. Youth work has a methodology just as teaching, in the way of creating opportunities for learning and offering choice to youth otherwise denied that freedom. 
  2. Youth work is a social practice: Case work approaches circling around personal info, advice, and guidance in groups are effective. This characteristic tests the way youth may work and display values, attitudes, and behaviors with others. Ex. At Calcutt middle school in YDEV 250, some of us mentors were assigned to more than one student and that group became a platform for social practice, or nurturing collective association amongst young people as the chapter describes it. 
  3. Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice: Ah, the reason there are Youth Development majors concentrating in social justice. Often, we youth workers encounter youth marginalized by personal, cultural, or structural barriers. It is our job to act help them reach an understanding of oppression and power, get them to reflect, critically analyze, and approach how they could grease the wheels of change. 
  4. Where possible, young people choose to be involved: Less like classroom environments, young people engage themselves rather than participate because they feel compelled to. Youth work and informal education should take place in schools in order to positively contribute to the personal and social development of young people so says the authors in the chapter 'Preparation for Practice'.
  5. Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people: In some settings, the younger you are, the less you are likely to be seen (not literally) and credited with anything you say. Youth workers want young people to influence the environment in which they live. Having influence and making decisions is empowering to youth in a society. 
  6. Youth work is a welfare practice: We will encounter youth that are in greater need and deprived of much. A teenage pregnancy reduction project would be something a youth worker could get involved with that stands for and works towards valuable desired outcomes. 
  7. Youth work works with young people 'holistically': We approach our kid clients as an area the world of medicine is moving into. Labels should not be placed on the types of youth we work with (to classify them as pregnant teens or offenders). To only focus on the narrow policy defined problem the youth is attached to by nature of label would have limited impact. We need not do the work for the purpose of social policy objectives, but the primary work for the youth. I added the following hyperlink because (Ken Robinsons talk) is a good reminder of how the institution of education kills off a piece that youth workers count on, confront, and include in their purposeful play.   https://www.youthleadersacademy.com/10-ted-talks-youth-worker-should-watch-2/

All There is to Know About Me at this Moment

 WHO I AM...

Horse Lover
Dog Lover

My roommate/better half
Jackie Sharples Cyr' LaBrie's Profile Photo
Some of the "village"
Hey visitors! I'm Cody, a senior at Rhode Island College studying Youth Development. As if most of you didn't already know that, right? I would label this part of my life, "in flux". Truthfully, I haven't stopped. This summer, I moved in with my boyfriend, traveled to Cancun with some really great friends, spent some time in P-town on the Cape, and lived on the beach in the Outer Banks for two weeks with my family. I'm usually the one to say what everybody else is thinking...THANK YOU senior year is here! When I'm not competing for a parking spot on campus, I am working at the Home Depot, taking care of my family's horses, or finding a different way to decorate my living space.