Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Color Blind or Color Brave?

One of the first things Hobson talked about that really resonated with me was that the first step to solving any problem is not to hide from it, the first step to any form of action is awareness. This is true for any situation, not just race. Hopson expressed that color blindness is dangerous, because it is ignoring the problem. She stated that we cannot afford to be color blind, but have to be color brave. I agree with this because being color blind can lead to ignorance, and not being aware that there is still racial discrimination in our society.
She raises this issue of racial discrimination because she believes it threatens to rob another generation of all the opportunities that all of us want for all of our children, no matter what their color or where they come from. In my current job of working in an after school program, we have a lot of diversity. We have children who are White, African American, Asian, and Hispanic. Looking at my kids, I could never imagine telling them they cannot do something because of the color of their skin. They are all the smartest and kindest kids, and I honestly believe they all have a bright future ahead of them.
The tweet “Never trust anyone who says they don’t see color. This means to them, you are invisible.” by Nayyrah Waheed, made me really analyze it and dissect it. I’m not exactly sure what she meant by the tweet. The way I interpreted the tweet was that everyone sees color, and that race is a part of who are. Those who choose to ignore race as if it doesn’t exist, are choosing to ignore the person for who they are. I am on the fence with if I agree or disagree with this tweet. In my social psychology class I learned from a study that one of the first things people notice about a person is their skin color. This does not mean that their making a judgment on it, but simply making an observation. I believe everyone notices race, but does not mean it effects the interaction with that person.

On the topic of invisibility, I think that everyone feels invisible from time to time. For me there are times when invisibility is welcomed, but there are also times when it is not. From both Hobson and Waheed, I never thought of race making one feel invisible, but I understand what both women mean. As Hobson said, youths need to see others like them in high position jobs. If not, this can lead to them believing they cannot succeed and result in them feeling invisible. I think that a youth space like YIA can be an antidote to invisibility because they are putting themselves out there, and going for what they want, and not letting any obstacles stop them. They are being role models for everyone around them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

     To start off, there was always two statements that I was torn between for whether I should put a one or a two. After getting my results I realized I was stuck between Risk, Resiliency and Prevention, and Positive Youth Development. I scored a 15 in Risk, Resiliency and Prevention and a 12 in Positive Youth Development. As I was reading the Youth Development ideology Horoscope, I thought I would score high in Positive Youth Development. I believe that it’s important to build upon a child’s strengths and assets.  However I do see why I would score high in Risk, Resiliency, and Prevention. I think it’s critical to decrease the rates of social problems we are facing. I believe that I am a combination of both ideals. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In the article A World Where Youth Hold the Power by Adeola A. Oredola with members of Youth in Action, it discusses what the program Youth in Action is all about. Their core values are explained by many different perspectives and what the bases of the program means for them. Overall the program is an environment where young people take charge and advocate for themselves and others. Adeola A. Oredola the former executive director further explained what they stand for, “In addition to creating a space for youth to thrive and create change in our community, they believe we work hard to promote a new definition of youth; we have the expectation that both youth and adults are growing together.” (p 49)
            For the article, I like how there was different perspectives, opinions, and views from the both the youths and adults of the program. By reading the many different viewpoints, it helped me as the reader understand the program much better. I believe that Youth in Action does resonate with my own experiences from high school. I’m from Pawtucket and much of the youth go through some of the same struggles. I know when I was in high school I felt as though I did not have a voice and having a program like this would have been very beneficial, and for many others in my community. “A young person who is supported to be powerful will fight to have a say when it comes to their schools or their neighborhoods. A young person who feels powerless will see their environment as something that can’t be changed and will ultimately give up hope of ever seeing a difference.” (p. 48)
            I think the perfect example of the notion of “With, Not To” is stated from a student, Giovanni Larracuente “YIA adults are open books, and they don’t want to control us. They want to work with us regardless of or maybe even because of our age.” (p. 50) He also states that no one speaks at you, but to you. The whole program follows the notion of “With, Not To” because it’s centered on making the youth have a voice and supporting them to be powerful. “At YIA you have the opportunity to define yourself, but that can go against who you’ve been told you are. We’re defining ourselves as smart, educated, and powerful.” (p. 49)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I currently work in an afterschool program and during the summer I work at the summer camp for seven weeks. This is my fourth year at my job and I absolutely love it. The reading Youth Work: Preparation for Practice explained seven characteristics of youth work. I was able to connect almost everything to my own experiences of working in the after school program and camp.
The first characteristics of Youth Work is Youth Work in an educational practice. One of the most important concepts from this section came right from the first sentence. The authors state that youth workers are educators “who engage with young people in diverse settings.” I completely agree with this statement because children do not just learn in a classroom but in multiple settings. The reading explains that informal education focuses on where children “are at” instead of using teaching methods. A primary concern is where they are personally and socially. I can personally say that kids learn so much outside of the classroom. They are able to use what they did learn in school in a less stressful environment.
The next characteristic is Youth Work is a social practice. Usually young people are pulled more into groups when they associate with their peers. This social practice allows youths to “test their values, attitudes and behaviors” in an environment where they are with others. Knowing this, youth workers can keep that in mind and can use that to their advantage.
Now for youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice. As a youth worker it is our job to make sure there is positive, and healthy environment. It’s very important that a youth worker is someone who “seeks to address power imbalances” instead of someone who just shakes their finger no. A small example of this was when I first started working with kids, I was paired with the kindergartners and they were coloring. The kids were coloring people and kept asking for the “skin color” crayon, which happen to be the tan colored crayon. I work in a very diverse environment and I was shocked. I remember picking up the crayon and saying “uh this doesn’t look like my skin color.” And I proceeded to compare it to their arms to show them that it really was not anyone’s skin color. I explained that the color is tan and not “skin color”.
Another characteristic is where possible, young people choose to be involved. When it comes to youth work, young people are more likely participate freely where as in school they are in a sense forced. For example at my job the children are allowed to choose what activities they would like to go to, and they are allowed to leave when they please. This gives the children a sense of independence and makes them participate and give their all.
Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people is a very important characteristic. It create chances for youths to be more liberated and self-sufficient. They are imperative skills that children need to have in the future.

The next characteristic is youth work is a welfare practice. Overall the authors explain that youth work is a welfare practice because it is a youth workers job to promote “the welfare and safety of people.” For example at my job safety is a huge concern of ours. Making sure the kids are not putting themselves in physical danger, but also putting an emphasis on a positive environment. 

Who Am I

 I try to be active, and it's a very important goal for me that I want to reach.