Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Color Blind or Color Brave?

Have you ever felt invisible? This is a question that falls close to home because I did use to feel invisible.  When I wasn't invisible I was being picked on and felt invisible in all aspects that made me, me.  "How did they treat you"  this is a question that Mellody's mother asked her after a birthday party and my mother use to ask me all the time.

Mellody Hobson: "Color Blind or Color Brave?"

While watching a Ted Talk by Mellody Hobson called "Color Blind or Color Brave?"  This video spoke about how society is being open about being color brave.  We shouldn't be "color blind" and ignore race, we should be "color brave" in all aspects and stand up for what we believe.  My favorite quote from Mellody was "Be color brave so that every child knows that their future matters and that there dreams are possible."

Tweet from Nayyirah Waheed

While looking at a tweet from Nayyirah Waheed it stated "never trust anyone who says they do not see color this means to them, you are invisible."  Everyone is different, everyone is their own human being.  Color does not define us, what defines us in life is our jobs, our work ethic, our beliefs and motos in life.

Youth should feel welcome in their surroundings not worried about what people are going to think of them or perceive them.  When youth feel safe, welcome and treated well they open help and start trusting more.  This will help them grow as individuals as well as a group.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Youth Development Ideology

I was surprised when I took the quiz for youth development ideology and found out I was critical youth development.  The belief of this category is that "Teens are legitimate actors and collaborators who have important ideas and ways of contributing to the world.  I believe this is true because everyone has potential to do something if they believe they can.  Children, adolescence and adults achieve more when they work together and negotiate the process to succeed something great.

Everyone grows up in different communities, cultures, organizations and families.  The youth today just need to know that they can do something and it can happen.  If you work with them they can achieve greatness and use their strengths from their lives to believe this is possible.

I work with a little boy who never thought anything was possible especially living with a family with 6 siblings.  When I started with him it was almost impossible to do anything without the lashing out screaming, hitting and breaking of something.  We now play football, make up games, go on nature walks, even just go to the library for hours looking at books.  I was an outsider coming into his family, however I built a trust system as well as contributed to his growth and that is why we have the type of development that we have.   Doing this with the youth today will help them achieve greatness and that is why I fell under the critical youth category.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Working With Youth not To Youth

A World Where Youth Hold the Power by Adeola Oredola is an article about the development of an organization in Providence to help Youth in Action.  This organization “started in 1997 by teenagers driven to build stronger communities by engaging their peers in arenas of influence that they are typically excluded from, including school reform, politics, media, organization, community health, entrepreneurial innovation and creativity” (pg 47).  This organization helped youth understand that there was a new definition for youth, how youth and adults grow together, disagreement, learning and speaking the truth and to better the world. 
When giving the youth the ability to build a small community between themselves it lets their strengths and weaknesses shine through.  With each others help they build the confidence and support to face issues through their day or even something that is troubling them.  Together the youth is stronger and makes them wiser. 
Within the youth group that I use to run the adolescents would come in with issues that were bothering them from school and home.  We would sit down and talk about the situations that were bothering us most to see if we could resolve them together or if a friend had a way to overcome situations that we weren’t sure of.  Singing, role playing and discussions were huge in figuring out issues, however working together was what the youth liked most. 

This corresponds to the notion on working with youth and not to youth because it helps build trust and communities within themselves.  When youth has trust they are more in apt to open up then keep their mind closed to one another.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The seven characteristics of Youth Work are educational, social and welfare practice, youth workers challenge inequality and work towards social justice, seeks to strengthen young people and influence the environment in which they live in and works with people holistically.  

My own youth work experiences started in high school running and helping out with Vacation Bible School at my church.  From singing, crafts and playful play, our lessons were based from stories.  The stories where then turned into plays for the young people to understand and join in while being characters.  Arts and crafts were done in correlation to the story and then were used to help with the next story.  

Youth work is important because you are teaching the youth through play and with them instead of teaching to them.  This past year when writing and running a Toddler curriculum I was teaching them more as a youth worker then a teacher.  Every lesson was taught through play using the Rhode Island Early Learning Standards and helped the toddlers with gross and fine motor skills, talk, even following a routine.

These experiences are completely different due to ages however both helped with the development of the young people becoming adults.  

All About Me!

All About Me :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

My name is Melissa Mason and I am a senior Youth Development Major with a concentration in Elementary and Special Education.  I live in Westerly, Rhode Island so I am always doing activities by the water.  I worked as a restaurant supervisor at Paddy's Beach Restaurant and Bar as well as an HBTS worker.  I loved to go kayaking, walking and having my feet in the sand.  When I am not in class I am working one on one with a 6 year old boy and his family, as well as seasonally at Target Portrait studios working on capturing lives moments.  I have always had a passion of working with children and helping their development and growing within themselves as well as with their family.  I am excited for this year of my undergraduate degree to begin.