Thursday, December 8, 2016

EVENT #2 Governor's walk with PASA at Del Sesto

For my second event, I was inclined to go because it was another opportunity for selling the Youth Development brand to individuals and legislators who are unfamiliar with its scope and impact. On Monday December 5th, RI Governor Gina Raimondo planned a visit to Del Sesto middle school to peek in on PASA (Providence Afterschool Alliance) afterschool programming. In addition to a few a handful of other students in the major, we walked into each room that held a different sort of activity (sewing in the home ec room), (stress balloon making), (dance team) etc. Once the governor toured through the rooms, she sat across the table from us for a chance to deliver a more elaborate elevator speech to enlighten her on what she just saw in terms of examples that resonate as cornerstones in the field like building relationships, creating safe spaces, leading with, and recognizing context and individual strengths/needs. For about 45 minutes prior to our walkthrough, we structured a dialogue that each of us would offer examples around each of four cornerstones to Youth Development that we wanted to convey. When the time came to actually deliver that information, our planned turn taking to speak on got thrown off with the governor diverting to a question of why some of chose to switch from Education into Youth Development. I am quite proud of myself for using that opportunity to insert my point about creating safe spaces and that basically I wouldn't be able to if I hadn't picked this path because a lot of times that isn't as easy or within the methodology of running a strictly academic classroom. It was an honor to represent our program and speak on its behalf with Governor Raimondo and right up my sleeve of wanting to be an advocate for the youth at a higher level.

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