Monday, December 5, 2016

What is YDEV?

"Teachers play an incredibly important role, but fro every teacher that influences a child's life, imagine how many "youth workers" - broadly defined - are doing so as well?"
Youth development is more than just child care, more than just teachers and more than just office work. Youth workers are another individual included in this phrase that a village is needed to raise a child. Youth workers are a child's coaches, instructors, and any after school activity leader. These people are important to a child's health and well being. Having multiple adult youth workers for youth to talk to and express themselves to is what helps youth grow. Youth development is anything and everything that has to do with helping the youth in our communities grow to use their full potential to better their lives and their surroundings. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Event #2

While at my internship there was a teacher meeting on a professional day on November 23rd. At this professional day the teachers and principal talked about using the google programs online as a classroom tool. Such as Google Drive, Google DocsGoogle Forms etc. Google drive is a quick way to save documents and images so you can open them up quickly on a different device. This could be helpful in a classroom because you can save images or large documents instead of printing such document. Google docs is useful in classrooms for papers when they are working on a certain document at home and also work on it at school. Google docs can also help when a student is working in a group with other students and they can work on the document at the same time. This means that not just one can work on the paper at a time, this means a student doesn't have to wait on another student to finish their side of the paper before the other can work on it. Google forms can be used when a teacher or principle would like to have the student body's opinion but would like to have the answers be anonymous. This could be a useful tool for all youth development settings because youth tend to not like their names being used when answering a form. With this program students can rate or answer questions about the setting or about other information without the connection of their name. Youth development could use the technology advances to make submitting assignments to teachers easier and possible even if a student is sick. Sometimes youth do not have the access to resources that they need such as these programs through google so having these free programs available for someone with a computer or even a phone could help youth's education.

Event #1

On November 2nd I went to the new president's town hall which is where the students told the president about our issues with the campus and asked questions to the students about certain topics such as diversity. This town hall was known as a listening tour in which students, faculty and staff were able to give their input on issues and opportunities that the school has done well on.

As our new President Frank Sanchez settles into his new position he is already taking leaps and bounds over our previous president when it comes to taking in the students ideas. I shared with the president the Youth Development group advising ideas and how helpful that other students have better ideas than some advisors do for their students. He shared with us the new advising technique that some advisors came up with in order to make the advising experience better. Mr. Sanchez is thinking about the youth in college and is trying to make the transition from high school to college an easy one rather than stressful. With the changes he wants to make he is making this college campus a better environment for the youth. Mr. Sanchez is concerned about the safety for the diversity on campus such as LGBT+ individuals who request gender neutral bathrooms. We all know this campus does not have the requested amount of gender neutral bathrooms that would be suggested for the amount of students that are on campus. Mr. Sanchez put this into perspective and with the renovations of the buildings more gender neutral bathrooms will be made to accommodate these needs. This is what the definition of youth development is, he is working hard to make the environment better for the youth at Rhode Island College. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Center for Resilience

Mindfulness practices are important in order to be proactive in resolving conflicts as well as being useful to help individuals remain or regain focus. Resilience is needed in any career or learning setting in order to achieve. The Center of Resilience is used in the classroom of many schools around Rhode Island by trying teachers, administrators and parents to work directly with the culture of the schools. From my research I found that their main goal is to help the students at these schools manage their time and work load better to give the students a successful opportunity to become adults and community leaders.

Mindfulness is useful in other places besides a school setting which means what these students learn could be passed on to help the community. I found it interesting to see the high school testimonials and how they change their behavior from what they would normally do with their peers to something that would better them in the long run. I can relate to this when we went to Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls and interacted with the students, these students were leaders of their time in my opinion.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I rarely feel the need to vote because I am a believer that our vote does not count. This is the main reason why I shy away from the voting booth. When it comes to the public issues I feel that I am informed but not the amount that I need to be. As for the candidates I believe that the candidates talk enough trash about each other that if a person follows the debates you can find out all the bad aspects about the candidates.

But when we talk about the good aspects of each candidate, I feel uninformed. The election alienates me because I feel that my vote is worthless. 

My questions are:
  1. How do we introduce voting to the youth so when they become our age they are more informed and prepared?
  2. How do we help the youth overcome the voting booth anxieties?
  3. How is health care going to change when a new candidate goes into office?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Understanding Youth

In Chapter 2 of Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators by Nakkula and Toshalis identity and context mapping is discussed. When a person thinks of how they define them self they think of what characteristics define them. Such as,  school, work and home life. This is what is demonstrated in context mapping. An individuals' identity is changing due to the context that an individual is in during that point in time. An example of this in my life would be when I am in school I am a student but when I am at my internship I am a teachers assistant and I am a leader. In the reading Julian's bathroom graffiti experience, Julian was asked by Mitch to make a list of the spaces and relationships in his life. The list was made in hope of opening his eyes on what the things surrounding him are demanding from him. This would be my context map, these are the aspects of my life that are demanding of me.

The four identities are as followed:

1. Foreclosed identity: is defined without any prior life experiences, for instance following in parents footsteps due to what the parents want.
2. Diffused identity: is defined as changing their identity in regard to their surroundings. Beliefs could be constantly changing while trying to fit in with others.
3. Identity moratorium: is defined as using this period for testing out new ideas. Through testing an individual would find out what works for them and what does not.
4. Achieved identity: is when an individual gathers their past, present and future experiences to find their constant path and identity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Youth and You

In my Ideology Quiz I found that my "sign" is Critical Youth Development. When reading up about the critical youth development I found that it is when youth are shown to be just as important than the adults. Youth have an important role in the world; for instance they have the same contribution opportunity as the adults of this world do. If I were working in a youth setting I would work best helping the youth focus on their impact on the community and culture. In order to get the most of their opportunities youth need to feel comfortable in their surroundings so they can be open about their opinions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Construction of Adolescence

The vocabulary words that I either did not understand or thought were a large part of the reading were...
theoretical thinking
theoretical imagination
construction of adolescence
proximal development
meeting of the minds
interpsychological development
zone of proximal development
reciprocal transformation
applied developmentalists

When thinking about who coauthored my "story" I do not like about when I was young, mainly because when I was young I was just going with the flow and did not have to make important decisions. The moment when I started making important decisions is when I believe this coauthoring came into play. People from my past may have taking a part on this coauthoring only because what they have said or done resinated with me to influence my decisions now. If I were to pick one person that overall "coauthored" my life is my mom. I do not believe there was a teacher that influenced my life up until high school. My mom was and is a huge part of my life and my decision making throughout my younger life. My mom was my go to person for any problems that would arise and as I grew older I went to her less and less but she was always there. My mom is such a strong woman who has gone through so much including cutting off half her side of the family due to the fact that no one could own up to their own problems and blamed her and my family. She nor my family needed the stress so she thought this was the best option.

Once I got to my junior year of high school I met the teacher that "coauthored" my "story". I met Mr. Jason Marzini through a Digital Media class at Woonsocket Career and Technical school. Not only did Mr. Marzini advocate for me to go to Rwanda, Africa but he also had my back all throughout high school. I considered Marzini as one of my best friends because his classroom was not only a place of learning but a no judgement zone. Marzini always had my back since the day I started in his class even when people were putting more stress on me; he brought these people together and went straight to the source of the problem. He was like a second dad to me because of this.

Through this I have learned to advocate for myself no matter the situation. Also I can not let the "toxic" individuals control my life. I have learned these very important life lessons from these two people.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Are You Color Blind Or Color Brave?

I would just like to start off with saying how Mellody Hobson kept my attention throughout the presentation. She also brought attention to a sensitive topic in the most light hearted way possible, bringing in her own story. When Hobson stated that she was mistaken for kitchen help I was shocked, I am sure that she had several stories in which she was treated differently because of her race but this story is what hit the hardest. It is crazy how people can think that just because of her race that she is not a successful woman and that she is kitchen help. She spoke about invisibility as how America is color blind. Color blindness in America is when people ignore the fact that there are different races in America. America chooses to treat races as if they are not there, we choose to see people not as they are but how the bias wants us to treat them. Hobson wants us to be color brave, she recommends that we recognize all race, recognize the racism and try to do something to change a person's way of thinking in order to change this racism. 
As Hobson said we need to become "comfortable being uncomfortable" because we as a country need to accept others no matter their race. YIA is a place where youth can meet with peers and talk so no one feels the invisibility factor. I have felt the invisibility that Hobson talked about, not exactly in the same manner. Due to how long it takes me to come out of my shell, I feel invisible at the beginning of any relationship weather it is professional or not. Creating a safe space for children to express themselves is what YIA does.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In A World Where Youth Hold The Power....

 How was your youth?

As a child I went through to catholic school from kindergarten through middle school. Once I hit high school I decided for myself to go to a public school, I had a better high school experience than some people and the transition did not affect me. When I looked around me in this big school that one grade was bigger than the previous school I came from it was a rough first day going from class to class not knowing much but that was the worst of my experience. I joined sports and made friends which made it even better. Overall, I had a decent high school experience but with such a huge school there was some students that did not have such an experience. I had family in the same school as I was, eventually I graduated and they did not. This is where I relate to the article In a World Where Youth Hold The Power.
That's me the day of graduation. (I had a major headache at graduation)

I was fortunate to be able to graduate within the four year span. When reading the article there were a couple statements that really stuck to me. Nwando Ofokansi said it well when she stated in the article, "YIA is where you realize that youth have much more power than we're given credit for". At the end of my high school career during the college application process I was told to apply for CCRI because 'I had a better chance getting in there than my other choices'. This is where I completely agree with Nwando's statement if life was determined on test scores and classes we would all be not given enough credit for what we can actually do. I also agree with Giovanni's opinion on schools and teachers, "Schools don't seem to grasp this yet (leading with students rather than being the boss of students). Teachers tell you what to think and never actually ask what you need or encourage critical thinking". In school most of the time its either you agree with your teacher or you are wrong. Teachers need to provide a safe environment for students to speak their mind and have a creative environment.
The senior class started in August with about 350 graduates, 
when June came around only 276 actually graduated.
The Woonsocket High 2013 graduating class started out with about 350 students and by June dropped to 276 students graduating. There were many factors in this equation but if students were given the support needed for some to pass classes the graduating class may have been larger. Not everyone needs the extra support or will even accept it but having teachers available to help students learn the way they learn best would help some students feel more comfortable in class and in school. This is where the YIA model of notion (leading with..) could have been a helpful resource if it was available in other communities. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Youth Work Is...

Youth Work

Youth work is an educational practice

From the reading it suggests that we "educate students where they are at instead of using pre-determined learning outcomes and didactic teaching methods". Youth workers are supposed to make the youth feel comfortable in everything they do through education and daily life. Youth workers make a comfortable and creative environment for all youth so that the youth have optimal creativity and communication with others. There has been many occasions during my youth where there was not a creative environment which is why when I am working with youth I try to give them the most comfortable environment in order for them to feel themselves and be creative.

Youth work is a social practice

Social practice is focused around making youth comfortable with their social surroundings. Youth should be able to test their values, attitudes and behaviors in a social environment with other youth that are learning. Youth workers provide an appropriate social environment for the youth to 'test the waters' of their life. Youth workers expose youth to different groups or work through existing circumstances. At a young age I was exposed to different people from different backgrounds in school. There is more exposure now to many different people and ethnicity in school than when I was in school.

Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice

We all know about anti-bullying this is the stand point that an youth worker should stand by. Every youth is equal no matter where they come from. Each youth deserves to be understood and empowered to fight against oppression in a respective manner. During my high school career I traveled to Rwanda, Africa on a mission trip but not only to give the less fortunate something but to also learn about their forgiveness process that each citizen had to go through when the genocide happened.

Young people choose to be involved

The key to teach the youth is to have them engaged in everything you do. One way to do this is to do make the environment around them youth friendly and to have a youth worker that is engaged in the setting. Youth workers should be engaged with the environment in order to help the youth feel comfortable. When the youth feels comfortable they will be able to bring out more of the previous youth work characteristics. I was the type that was always involved with peer activities while doing this I had friends who weren't so involved and I invited her to play and that helped her get involved with her peers.

Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people

When youth speak up they seem to be overlooked most of the time. Youth should not feel this way ever, youth works should make an environment where youth can speak their mind without having to feel suppressed. During youth development 250 we visited Central Falls, these youth were not afraid to speak their mind. Every youth in that group felt so deeply about their surroundings that they felt they could say and do what every they felt needed within a respectful manner.

Youth work is a welfare practice

Youth workers need to make the environment best for the youth, each voice needs to be heard. A youth worker should always want the best for the youth that come in their place of work. Youth workers use the welfare practice by keeping the stable and creative environment around them in order to keep them engaged. Each youth is different and each youth becomes creative in different environment so some youth might over come others and that is when the youth workers need to take control and change the activity slightly. When in school there were many instances where the classroom may have gotten out of hand and if the teacher were to have used the welfare practice I believe that the classroom environment would have been better for all students.

Youth work works with young people 'holistically'

When youth has a positive support system and positive influences they are known to do better overall. As a youth worker we are not only a teacher or a mentor but we are a positive influence on the youth around us. We must engage and support the youth around us so they can thrive and turn negative influences around. As a child I tried to help my peers become comfortable with the others. Sometimes this worked and sometimes it failed but I know I was a good support system for one of my friends that is still my friend to this day. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Who Am I? I Am...

Consciously living with a chronic illness since September 2015.
My Chronic Illness: Hypothyroidism

In a relationship with my boyfriend of almost three years.

A photography enthusiast.

The type to go to another country to help other people (Rwanda, Africa).
Hello, my name is Andrea Moyen. I am a student at Rhode Island College in the Youth Development Program and I am in my fourth and hopefully final year. I am an active person in my local athletic community. Over the summer of this year I mostly babysat two girls and I took two summer classes. When I am not in class I am either working, helping remodel my families home or I am doing homework.