Friday, December 16, 2016

Event #2

On Tuesday December 13th I attended Reebok headquarters in Canton, MA for a workshop for up and coming youth workers. This workshop hit all of the targets in what do to do when working with kids in an active environment. The three women that ran the show all gave their two cents and some of their own experiences that worked out for them when working with youth. This workshop showed why it is important to get kids moving and get their blood flowing before their day starts, why they should always be moving even though they are not participating in the activity at that point in time, and numerous drills, skill development strategies, and sayings to keep the kids motivated.

The 15-20 youth workers that were present acted out as the kids for about an hour and half and ran through all of the activities given to us by the three instructors. They talked to us like we were the children and kept us motivated throughout the whole work out. These activities consisted of the skill of the day (situps), team work skills, as well as clapping and motiviating the others participating in the program. We also watched videos on working with the youth and what to do in certain situations and why keeping the kids moving is so important.

For myself, I learned a lot off of this program. I run summer camps as well as clinics for young children that my workers can use in the future. There were many different drills that we did that would be appropriate for the kids that are in my program and would enjoy them. I am glad I went to this workshop not only to learn some new skills to use, but I learned a lot about how to keep the youth healthy (diet), as well as why it is so important to keep them moving and active early in the day.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nakkula and Tashalis Chapter 2

Context Mapping is a technique used to design a list of things that affect someone's everyday life. This can show out on paper how many individuals/things you deal with on a regular basis without even really recognizing it. James Marcia came up with four different identities when dealing with making a context map.

Achieved Identity- This is when adolescents realize what their basic values are as well as a set of beliefs that they will use in their every day life. An example can be when realizing that you finally like the new job you started after a number of times trying other things out.

Foreclosed Identity- This is when someone commits to something without really having any prior knowledge into what is going on or any background on this particular topic. An example of this can be getting a job that involves kids when you have not really had any prior experience with them.

Diffuse Identity- This stage is when the youth have not really figured out their social identity just yet or even realized what their own personality consists of. An example of this is sitting home not trying to find a job or even attempt to look into what you want to do in your future.

Identity Moratorium- Individuals who are in the middle of a crisis and their commitments are not defined. At the same time they are still seeking for advancements and making attempts. An example could be focusing on a particular subject in school and knowing that is what you want to get in to. But at the same time you second guessing about something else you may want to do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Event #1

A few weeks ago I attended a baseball coaches convention at Mohegan Sun. This convention offered so much information that I plan on using in the future not only when it comes to baseball but with the youth in after school programs and curricular activities as well. It was a two day convention going over different skills as well as discipline teaching strategies, teamwork strategies, and different ways of communicating with the youth. This convention was held by current MLB Players, College Coaches such as Auburn and Coastal Carolina (defending national champions), as well as numerous MLB pitching and hitting coaches. They all shared their stories about an experience when they were young kids and how a coach changed their lives. They fed off of that and told why they wouldnt be where they were today if it wasn't for that particular person in their childhood lives. I have had a couple of people impact my life and especially during high school. There was one teacher and was also our class advisor that made high school an experience of a life time not only for myself but for my peers as well. I realized after going to this convention that I want to make an impact on a child's life and I want do do something in their childhood years that they will remember for a lifetime and reflect about in the future. I have a great opportunity from where I work that can change someone's life right now and I plan on using the skills that I learned as well as doing a lot of reading from all of the information that I got from the brochures in order to do so.

A couple of these links are videos from the annual convention including a lot of information as to what it is all about

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Elevator Pitch (What is a youth worker)

Youth workers promote being active and living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is from a healthy diet or playing sports to keep physically active we need our youth living healthy lifestyles. Obesity in children is a huge factor today and youth workers can help solve that problem. Youth workers can help the youth build communication and social skills. This is very crucial because of the fact that the youth needs to learn how to speak with one another not only with their peers but with adults as well and learn how to go about particular situations. Youth workers should promote after school activities for children and help them get into safe environments rather than out on the streets where trouble can happen. Youth workers should also find areas where certain children are struggling and help them figure out ways that they can succeed and overcome these troubles.  

Rock the Vote

Some questions that people may ask about the election are:
Where do I vote? How do I know who is on my ballot? Can you use technology/cell phone at a polling place? What do I do if the polls close and I am in line?

What makes me want to vote is the fact that this is your right and opportunity to have a say in what goes on in the country. Although it may not seem like your vote counts because of how the election process is set up (especially your vote in RI) it does. Town officials also can see whether you are a registered voter or if you did vote which can be essential for some job opportunities as well, especially for a town worker like myself. You have a little voice and say for who gets elected in your community, state, and country and you always should take advantage. Even if someone does not have a whole lot of knowledge about certain candidates, then do some homework and research their plan, background, etc. What makes people shy away from the voting both is maybe questioning themselves on if they are making the right decision. You want your vote to be the one that impacts you in a positive way and the feeling of second thoughts can get in the way. The election drew me in because of how publicized it was and I wanted to make the right decision. There was so much scrutiny towards the other candidate and by watching the debates and doing some research it really drew me in more than ever when it comes to politics.

Three questions:
What aspects come into play when voting for the right candidate?
Are you confident in the candidate you are behind?
Do you feel others will ridicule you by your decision?  

Youth In Action

When our class went to Youth in Action I have to say that it was an experience that I never had before. In all my time in school I never had the opportunity or have seen the students take over the classroom and show the adults/leaders in the classroom what to do. These students that we were with were very sophisticated and mature individuals. You would never know going into it that these were high school kids if you didn't have the prior knowledge. We separated into two groups doing the same activities and to get the students direction, as well as asking questions to have discussion after the activity was very unique and beneficial because it just had a whole different aspect on the activity. I feel as if students who are engaged in this program have the power of voice to acknowledge how kids can learn from their peers. Doing this may help a student appreciate something that they never thought they would and could change their total opinion on something because of the way it was addressed by the youth. Some people learn better from hearing different voices and approaches from people that they can relate to.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

RK Program

You never know what kids or anyone you associate yourself deal with on a daily basis at home. Doing these various techniques and exercises may not only relax someone but at the same time become more diligent in anything they do. Someone may not be performing to the best of their ability because of their stresses and are reprimanded at work / fall behind in school. These programs can definitely go a long way with all ages not only with the youth. Adults in these programs can make them better parents for their children in the long run and can be beneficial if they are going through a hard time with a lot on their minds. These exercises can also build everyday skills for kids that they can use with others they associate themselves with. It also can promote problem solving skills and can help the youth when dealing with a hard topic. Instead of just shutting down and giving up they may build up their confidence and solve the problem with success or at least give it a good effort

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ideology Inventory

I feel like my values when it comes to youth work comes in a variety of ways. From what I filled in on the inventory, I believe that one of the most important things is keeping the youth away from engaging in risky behaviors such as drug use, sex, violence and bullying. Providing children with facts and teaching them what bad things can come about engaging in those activities may help them in the long run. Teaching the youth to be independent can be very beneficial as well. I feel like kids can become a lot more responsible when they are taught young how to be independent and not rely on others to perform simple tasks for them. This is where teaching them their problem solving skills can come into play. Kids need to be motivated in order to learn. I know when I was a kid if i was not motivated or intrigued by a particular topic I would lose focus very easily. The kids need to find out learning things enjoyable or else they will lack focus and may not be successful in the particular topic that is being covered. Preparing the youth on what to expect in the future is very crucial. We want our youth to be prepared in case a certain situation as well as what is going on in our society. We need to make our learning enviornments as enjoyable as we can.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Construction of Adolescence

1. Adolescence
2. Self-Construction
3. Inter-psychological Development
4. Scaffolding
5. Zone of Proximal Development
6. Educational Comfort Zone
7. Reciprocal Co-authorship
8. Reciprocal Transformation
9. Theoretical Thinking
10. Construction of Adolescence

Ten People who Co Authored me
1. Mother
2. Father
3. Sister
4. Grandfather
5. Grandmother
6. Brother In Law
7. Uncle
8. High School Coach
9. High School Class Adviser
10. Boss

There are definitely more people in my life that have had an impact on me but these ten that are listed are definitely the ones that have impacted me the most. My father is definitely the one that has impacted me the most throughout my life. All of my friends say to me take a good look at your father now because in 30 years that is literally you. My father and I have a ton in common which makes me the man I am today. Without him I feel like I would definitely be a different person. Through him coaching me growing up in sports up until now with him supporting me through school and work he is always there for me and I hope I am just like him when I get older.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Feeling Invisible

I am sure that everyone in some shape or form has felt invisible somewhere in their lives. Whether it was when they joined a new school and don't fit in with everyone else, getting a new job, being a part of a new team or anything that makes someone feel left out. We hear many stories today of bullying and neglect that can lead to suicide as I have linked in my blog below. In this case, Hobson is taking about race and how she has felt "invisible" in her life. A lot of the things that she did consisted of mostly white population and instead of getting asked how a party went, she was asked by her parents how did everyone treat you which is not what should be happening. I feel as if she definitely got her point across to the people that she was speaking in front of because of the fact that the audience was clapping when she brought up good points. One of the stories she mentioned that caught my eye was when she was taking a swimming class. She had to go 25m without taking a breath and failed many times before she got it. Her coach told her that it wasnt really a drill but was for to get used to working with discomfort and learn how to persevere through feeling uncomfortable which is what some people may go through on a daily basis. The fact that is even thought of as an exercise just shows how people can feel daily and it is a sucky feeling. Minorities are almost forced to live their own lives in some ways away from the white population especially in today's society with all of the black lives matter messages and stands. When it comes to youth I feel that kids feel most invisible when they are in school and they feel left out. If someone gets bullied or left out on a team for recess that may devastate a child and force them not to want to participate in classroom activities with the other children. It isnt a way we want our youth to live, every child should have the best experience that they can when in school and not have to worry about going in everyday and feeling distraught.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In A World Where Youth Hold The Power

The main ideas of this article is that the youth needs to have a big impact on the community they live in. A lot of people especially people who are elderly or close to it do not really care what the community is like in 40 years. The people who need to care is the youth because they will then have families living in the conditions of the future. Hearing different people's opinions that you may not come up with yourself is key as well. People can strive off of what others say and may be able to blend in one one solid change or improve the future of the community. I liked how it showed peoples real experiences when it came to the youth making big changes in their communities. These things ranged from youth having a lot more power than what they have credit for especially when it comes to schools and neighborhoods. One person stated that the youth needs to express themselves whether it is bad or good that is going to be said. High school is a time where people tend to be self conscious about themselves expressing their feelings can change them around with the right help and get them through their troubles.

For me in my work place I feel as if it is very important to get feedback from youth as to what they are interested in or would have changed in order for a certain program or clinic to be more enjoyable and fun. I take a lot of notes on what the youth say when I ask "How could this be better?" or "What would make this more fun?" When these questions get answered I put the input in the back of my mind and use it towards the next program with the same age range of kids or teens. This way you can build off of anything that you do especially for what I do. Those are key questions to ask to make major improvements or changes on a particular area.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

7 Characteristics of Youth Work

1. Knowledge of the principles and practices of child and youth development and ability to use this knowledge to achieve the goals of the program.
- This is taking everything that was absorbed during the time in school and using it out on the field. Whether it be in a class room, social work office, or out on an athletic facility everything learned can be used. The instructor must be aware of all of the various principles and practices and be able to apply. In my work and coaching I use a lot of these tactics that I have learned so far such as positive reinforcement for a child who may get down very easy. They need to see that you saw them do something good even if it is something small.

2.  Ability to comply with applicable safety and emergency requirements.
- This is saying that the instructor must be aware of people that they are working with if they have certain allergies or asthma or any health risks that may cause someone to take action and they need to know how to react in a certain situation. At work we hold on to Epipens for kids who need them and train all of our workers in CPR and First-Aid.

3. Ability to promote an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment that embraces diversity.
- Organizations need to be open to all people and never reject someone from participating in a program for a certain race, gender, disability, etc. I feel as if youth would benefit from working with others in the opposite gender and may be able to learn different things. At work we open our leagues and programs to everyone even those with disabilities and will accommodate for them if need be.

4. Ability to foster academic and non-academic skills and broaden participant horizons.
- There is more to what is in the book for youth workers. Youth workers need to be creative and think of other things to make the youth happy and involved in particular things. Youth workers need to be able to when to go by the book and when not to and explore different things and when do draw the line between.

5. Ability to effectively implement curricula and program activities.
- Youth workers need to be able to not just use what was learned in their time in school, but use it where there is change happening and kids are learning from what is being instructed to them. Youth workers should not just go through the motions and if a message is not getting across quite the way they want to then they should slow down go over something again and ensure the message gets across.

6. Ability to promote responsible and healthy decision-making among all participants.
-  Youth workers need to be able to keep kids active as well as making good eating decisions and ensure good eating habits. I run a lot of youth sport programs that keep kids active year round. What I would like to  hopefully do in the future is do something with the youth teaching them good eating habits at my work. I would really like to make that happen.

7. Ability to develop leadership, team-building and self-advocacy skills among participants.
- Youth workers need to ensure to the youth how important it is to have good team work and leadership skills as well as how important it is to be good as an individual as well such as good attitude, good team player, hardworking, etc.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My name is Mike Bedrosian and I am a Youth Development major at Rhode Island College. I currently work as an assistant director at the Johnston Recreation Department and have been with them for two and a half years. I also coach basketball and baseball at Ferri Middle School in Johnston as well as an AAU organization called the Rhode Island Breakers. I enjoy working with kids and have been coaching since I was 18 years old. All summer I basically worked everyday is it is our busiest time of year. I didn't go on vacation or anything so it was kind of a dull summer for me! I am graduating finally this upcoming spring so I am really looking forward to finally walking across the stage after 7 YEARS!