Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Youth In Action (YIA)- A World Where Youth Hold the Power

Youth In Action is located in Providence, Rhode Island and is an organization geared towards young people and their pathways to success. This organization has helped youth to feel empowerment within his or her community along within themselves.  Social change is the main focal point of the nonprofit organization, Youth In Action (YIA). In the article, several YIA members share stories of how they fought for their voices to be heard and how being apart of Youth In Action changed to way they voiced their opinions and helped them be heard. Adeola Oredola, the former executive director of YIA and author of A Word Where Youth Hold the Power, discusses how it is up to youth to let their voices be heard in society and that they musty stand up for themselves as well as work together in order to make social change a reality in society. As the article goes on, different former YIA members talk about their experiences in YIA along with problems that they face in society because they are underprivileged in some way, shape, or form.  Reading the stories of those who are currently or formerly involved in this organization is truly inspiring.  In the article, Diana Jacques the community health coordinator, class of 2013, states, "I like that I'm part of a place where there are so many different opinions. The trust, respect, and openness make us stronger".  This statement opened my eyes on how YIA is a place that helps youth to better understand the world.  Jacques began to explain how in the area of Providence there are young teens who are becoming pregnant or are parents.  She began to state how Providence has one of the highest repeat teen birth rates in the country, which is something I definitely did not know or was aware of.  Having teens talk to other teens help for a better understanding especially in this topic.  There are some families who forbid even discussing the topic leaving the teens to learn elsewhere and thankfully YIA is able to provide that knowledge which I really find inspiring.  

     In the next part of the article, social change is still a big factor, however, the LGBTQ youth community is discussed, in particular youth of Southeast Asian dissent. Social change along with advocacy for the Southeast Asian LGBTQ youth is important because as youth workers, it is important to let youth discuss their individual struggles and issues and work with them on how to go about solving these problems and find solutions to help them be comfortable with who they really are. 

SRA Class of 2012
     In the final part of the article, social change continues to be the main focus, however, youth organizations are trying to establish a National Student Bill of Rights that would give a solid education to all youth across the United States, no matter their race, gender, or class.

SRA Eucharistic Ministry
Throughout my teen years, along with younger years, I attended catholic school from prekindergarten until 12th grade.  I am very thankful for both my mom and grandparents for providing this opportunity and supporting me over the years.  Being in a small catholic school setting not many controversial topics were discussed.  But if there is one thing I really appreciated most about my school was how we made going on "retreats" a yearly requirement.  We, as a class, were able to support one another, share life stories and feel the support that some of us did not receive at home. When reading about YIA it reminded me about Saint Rays, how my class made it a priority to tell our teachers how we wanted our retreats because we knew being able to voice how we individually felt was the best way to move forward in our high school career.  


  1. Hi Gianna,
    I like the way you summarized some of your favorite parts of the article as well as putting your high school connection. I have also been to retreats so I can understand where you believe that this connects to YIA.
    Great Job!

  2. Hi Gianna,
    I like the tradition of retreats at your previous school. It is steps in the right direction of including all youth voices and allowing one another to share out and come together.

  3. Hey Gianna! I really like how you related the article to your high school experience. It was interesting to hear about the tradition of retreats because I have never been on one. I also really liked the pictures you chose to share. Thanks for sharing :)