Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Event 2

                        Accepted Student Day

On Saturday, November 12, I attended the accepted student day at Rhode Island College. I was representing the YDEV major with Dr.Bogad, and 6 more of the YDEV students. Our tasks at the event consisted of introducing the YDEV major to the new income students. We also shared our journey with them in the YDEV program and where we see ourselves a couple of years from now.
As a new college student, it is very common to be unsure and confused about your career choices and even considering college as an option. During the event, I was stopped by a mother who was telling this exact thing about her teenage daughter who is really confused about her career choices.  It is for this reason that she has not attended college, because she does not want to waste time and money going for something she has her doubts about. After explaining the YDEV program to her, she expressed that the program is something that would match her daughter’s personality:‘’she loves   children but does not want to be a teacher or babysitter.” 

 Just like Eurydice’s daughter, a lot of youths "hits this stage" completely confused about the choices they have to make. It is very important as youth worker to let them know that it is okay to be confused and not to have a definite answer right away.  They should go out and explore until they find something that connects to them.  Here, I see the importance of this open house because it gives the students the opportunity to explore the programs they are considering.

Majority of the new students that made a stop at our YDEV table seemed to be confused about their career choice in the education field. I told them that I was in the same position when I first came to RIC. I shared that it was a long process for me to figure out what I really wanted to do on my college journey. I told the newly accepted students that YDEV program allowed me to combine all of the courses I was interested in and create my own unique study and that is what makes the YDEV program so special.
This event reminded me of the elevator speech that we practice in class with Dr. McKamey (YDEV 250) and classmates. It allows us to briefly describe the YDEV program, why we chose it, and what can be done when you obtain a degree in Youth Development Program.

Event 1

On November 16, 2016 I watched the 2007 documentary ‘’Made inL. A’’ directed by Almudena Carracedo.

This films follows the journey of three Latina immigrants, Lupe, Maura and Maria, who left their country, family, and everything they had to come to the USA with a hope of a better life for them and their family. These women started working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops. For many years, these women had been working in factories were they were being paid minimum wage and working 12 hours a day in an unsafe environment, but they were afraid to denounce the place because they were all undocumented, and they felt completely powerless.
One day, Lupe decided she would not take any more and went in to the factory to take action. Along with others immigrant workers, they joined the Garment Worker Center(GWC) where they found individuals whose mission was to organize  low-wage garment workers in Los Angeles in the fight for social and economic justice. The resources and their strength kept them going until their voices were heard and they won the case. It was not easy at all but they persisted until they won the fight. They embarked on a three year odyssey to win basic labor protections from trendy clothing retailer Forever 21.

Watching this movie was really emotional for me as an immigrant. I was fortunate to be documented, but I have seen my relatives and people of my community going through the same thing. What gets me the most is that all three of those women spent most of their time working to provide for their children. They barely had time to spend with their children.  The only time these kids seemed to be well supervised was when they were in school.  After school hours if the parents were not home to keep them engaged in their school work and with good company, these children often ended up getting bad grades, getting involved with the wrong crowd, and ending up in the streets. This made me realize how important it is to have an after school program and youth space where the youth have the opportunity to be involved in a positive and educational setting.Most of these women In the documentary are mothers of teenagers, who spent most of their time at work so they could provide for the family. While these parents spent most of their time working, it is very easy for these youth to get in the wrong path if they are not being engaged in after school programs that can help them avoid the streets.  This film connected me to a few characteristics of the youth worker. The first of them is, where possible, young people choose to be involved. It very crucial for each community to have a center where the youth can engage themselves, where they will have chance to spent their time with individual (youth workers) who can make a distinct and positive contribution to the personal and social development of these young people, helping them to stay in the correct path and avoid the streets and crimes.
Another characteristic of youth worker this documentary reminded me of is: Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people. Youth work encourages and enables young people to influence the environment in which they live through the use of educative processes. One example of this is the Garment Worker Center(GWC), which encouraged the minority employees to go out there and fight for their rights; if they wanted to see changes they must demand it. At first those immigrant workers were feeling very powerless and they had to put up with whatever was presented to them, until they found an organization that was willing to help them raise their voice and make sure they are being heard.

The GWC connected me to one of the youth centers I have visited this semester called Youth In Action(YIA). This place encourages youths to use the power they have to promote change. This is very important because it is giving the youths the message that they have power and that they can use them most of the time even if they feel they do not have voices. As Giovanni stated in the Youth In Action article A World Where Youth Hold The Power,YIA is where you realize that youth have much more power than we’re given credit for. That’s the cognizance that you have when you come here, because your voice really does matter.”  The same happened with the Latinas from the movies where they felt they had been taken advantage of and their human rights were being violated due to their social status as minorities,until they found the organization that helped to raise their voice and made sure they know that their voice really does matter, and if they wanted to see a change, they needed to raise their voice so they can be heard.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wood, Westwood and Thompson: Youth Worker

According the article Youth Worker, Wood, Westwood and Thompson, (2015) the seven characteristics of youth workers are:
1. Youth work is an educational practice: A youth worker has the same purpose as any educator or form of education. However, youth workers educate in a different setting, and they use different methods of teaching that are used for this practice. Youth worker education is distinguished from the formal education by both its methodology of educating youth and its values.

2. Youth worker is social practice: youth workers engage with youth to provide them advice and guidance work, and provision of personal information.  I saw this practice last spring when I went to visit the New Urban Arts center in Providence where they had one youth worker working with a group of youths that had the same interests and values.
 Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice: youth working is the promotion of social justice for young people and in society in general. Interning as juvenile probation officer, I have come to the realization that most of the youth that have committed crimes have come from an environment where they were misguided or neglected by their family. This leads them down the wrong path, making their individual situations worse until they hit rock-bottom. Some of the consequences of their acts have been extremely radical which profoundly bothers me, and that gave me a sense that they need someone to fight for them and protect them from the social injustice.
Where possible, young people choose to be involved: youth workers increasingly engage with youth in a variety of settings where the youth are compelled to attend, such as school. In this circumstance, youth work and informal education can make a distinct and positive contribution to the personal and social development of young people.
One example is the after-school program “Beat the Street,” in the Providence Public Schools where the youth met with wrestling coaches after class and they train to compete. One of the requirement is the student must maintain good grades and pass all their class. According to their coaches, the students have been building relationships, and they have been hanging outside the school, planning events together and getting along very well.  

Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people: Youth work encourages and enables young people to influence the environment in which they live through the use of educative processes. One example of this is when the students of the Boston Public Schools were not satisfied with the budget cut in one of their schools, one group of youth workers encouraged them to go out and protest it and show their discontent, and through their protest the budget cut was canceled.  It is important for the youth to know they can use their voice and how to make it heard.
Youth work is a welfare practice: youth workers promote the welfare practice and safety to the young people so they can perform well in their society, to make sure they are safe, and have the access for everything they need.In my internship with DCYF, part of my practice is a home visit. When we visit the youth’s residence  we need to make sure the youths’ basic need are being met, such as having food at home, heat and water, and a place to sleep. A lot of the times that is what is causing the youth to have such a behavior; we cannot expect a youth to go to class and pay attention if they did not had dinner last night and breakfast during the day.
Youth work works with young people 'holistically': As a youth worker we have the power to impact the youth’s life and remark them for the rest of their life. We are going to be involved in their life in many different way. From academic aspect to personal and social aspect.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rock the Vote

To be honest this election and candidates have me with no desire to vote!However, just like every citizen it is my obligation to GO OUT AND VOTE. 

I am not feeling both of the main candidates as the future of president, but one of them will be my president for the next 4 years. There is one specific one, that I am praying not to win this election and that is what is motivating me more than anything to go vote.

What makes you shy away from the voting booth?

I don't have any reason that makes me shy away from the voting booth. Voting is something every citizens have a legal right to do so. In my opinion that is something to be really proud about to do. Specially being a woman and of color , for many years women  and people of color were not allowed to vote, now that we have this right to do so I  am not going to take it for granted. 

Do you feel well informed about the issues and candidates? 

Yes, thanks to the media. I have been following the election campaign since it started. I also watched all the four debates. I like to keep myself informed about what is going on around me. Even though I have no desire to vote this election, I did my best to be informed about the candidate I am going to give my vote. It would be really bad to just vote and having no clue about what is going on, I wouldn't risk to support a something I do not believe, or stand for.

The questions I have for this election are?

What is the strategic plan of both candidates to end the police brutality ?
What is Hilary Clinton plan to fight the gap salary between men and women?
What if Donald Trump wins? As an immigrant, does it mean I will have to leave this country?