Monday, December 5, 2016

Youth Development Elevator Speech

Youth Development at Rhode Island College opens endless doors to opportunities with youth in our society in multiple ways. This program consists of three different majors into one; Teaching, Social Work and Nonprofit Studies.  This major lets you have a little glimpse of everything without giving up something else.  Being able to work in either administrative, face to face or both helps to open opportunities especially for your internship.  In your final year you are required to do 180 hours of internship of your choosing.  It doesn't just start there, in classes prior to this you are presented with the opportunity to work one on one with you with a total of 45 hours between two education classes.  Having opportunities to work with you helps to getting yourself ready and helping you to become mindful of where YOU see YOURSELF as a youth worker.
Rhode Island College is the ONLY college in RI to currently offer a Youth Development Program.  This program is perfect for those who do not want to work with youth in a traditional school setting and guide youth to embrace their dreams.  YDEV helps youth to also understand and create the concept of community with his or her peers along with us youth workers.   As a youth worker we ourselves learn what it means to be apart of a supporting and creative community as well as creating new toolbox activities, implementing safe spaces and finding a passion within your career.  
Youth deserve any chances that we give to them to flourish in programs other than a typical school day, then this is the program for you.

Event #2

On November 30th, 2016 I attended a film for the Gender and Women's Studies Film Society.  The film, Out in the Night, showcased the lives of four women of color and the relation to racial discrimination and sexual orientation.  These four women were convicted of a crime that would completely changed their lives. Patreese, Venice, Renata, and Terrain were the 4 out of 7 to be convicted and found guilty, while the other 3 pled 'not guilty'. In the their defense, the NJ4 (New Jersey 4) pleaded 'not guilty' because of self-defense. The surveillance cameras outside the shop where the incident happened showed the man approach the women first. The cameras did indeed show that the women were fighting in self-defense, however, the judge presiding over the court was a tough judge and ordered the jury to base their judgement on the fact that these women 'ganged up' on one individual and also involved a weapon. With this in mind, the 4 who plead 'not guilty' were convicted and sentenced to prison. Venice was given 5 years, 3.5 for Terrain, 8 years for Renata, and 11 years for Patreese.

When watching this film I felt that this related to our discussion to Color Blindness and Color Brave in Melody Hobson's Ted Talk.  Melody Hobson discusses how in our society race is plays a factor in decisions and outcomes.  In the film the four girls were not only prosecuted for their sexual orientation but their race had done its favor in the case.  These four women were convicted of a crime that was initiated as an act of self defense.  Patreese, one of the women, had a pocket knife on her which she used as a weapon of self defense.  In trial this was not taken into consideration. Society ignored that they were African American but because she had taken the action of stabbing the attacker.  Even though this may be apparent, their race also played a factor into why they did not receive a fair trial.
     This case was truly eye opening.  It was upsetting and frustrating watching these girls who did not receive the justice they deserved.  They were enjoying a night out with friends when a man started attacking them not the other way around.  It was relieving when seeing the footage that they women were not in the wrong and their sentences were decreased.  Their community around them demanded for their justice to be served.  This is important in youth work to not only work with youth and create these safe spaces but the concept of community for everyone no matter race, gender or sexual orientation. (An example being Youth in Action)

Event #1

The first event that I attended was during my orientation for Dr. Daycare Learning Center on September 13th, 2016.  At this orientation I was expecting to learn how the process of starting this daycare was going to go about since I had never really worked with this age group much before.  The first half of the orientation was discussing how to do paper work and the day goes for each different age group ranging from infant to preschool.  After the second half of the orientation we were introduced to the the Therapeutic Child Care Services that were offered with this daycare program.

The Therapeutic Child Care services focus on giving all children the opportunity to succeed which is something I have grown to embrace as a youth worker.  They explained to us how these services are purposely designed to "maximize the inclusion and participation of children who have special health care needs or have been dismissed from typical child care programs".  To be completely honest this was eye opening for me.  In my SPED 300 class I had worked in a bilingual inclusion classroom and that was my first time experiencing that type of classroom.  I was never really sure if they had services such as this in daycare programs for children in this age range.  At the time of this event I was unsure of how this was related to this class but it is very clear this is in relevance to our discussion to the Center for Resilience.  
When learning more about mindfulness and how the Center of Resilience implements that into daycares/schooling and I automatically thought of learning about the therapeutic services at this daycare facility.  During the orientation we learned what a safe zone is and how to/when to use one.  I feel because it was early in the semester that I did not fully understand the concept of the safe zone and how it plays into childcare up until we were introduced to the Center for Resilience.  Having a safe zone for children in any type of setting is very important and many youth workers and educators should be willing to help youth have that space.  It definitely is important, so I feel, in our society.