Monday, November 16, 2015

YDEV Open House

Over the past two years, my sense of pride in YDEV had grown. I began this program uncertain and doubtful. I wondered what kind of job I would end up with, if this was another major I would soon change, if this would finally be the degree to take me where I want to go.

The open house answered most of these questions for me. Dr. Bogad had asked us to remember our elevator speeches, to be prepared to talk about YDEV and what it means to us. As I drove to the event I felt extremely confident. " YDEV is the perfect combination of social work, education, non profit studies, and your area of interest. If you want to work with youth and really make a difference, this is the major for you."  I felt very robot-like as I repeated it to myself, but the more I thought about each of these components and what they mean to me personally, I felt extremely proud to be a YDEV senior.

At the event we (current YDEV students), we were able to piggy back off of each other's ideas and really depict what YDEV at RIC means to inquiring families. Some parents had questions that we hadn't really thought about like, " What makes this different from social work?" or "How does my child combine his/ her area of interest with this degree?" Having these conversations really helped me sort through my YDEV tool box and pull out all the right answers and realistic examples for them.

As I stood there I realized if I can market YDEV to peek someones interest in the program, then I can do the same for myself as a youth worker seeking employment. Everything we have done in class up until now all fell together at the open house. I am now more confident in my degree but also in myself.


I remember reading a book for Open Books, Open Minds, freshman year. I read it but then never participated in any group discussions or events based on the book. I was glad to see the OBOM is still a program on campus that not only is getting students to read but to also share experiences.

I would have to say my favorite story was about the mom who shot the boyfriend in the butt. Not only was it told well but it was funny. Women say things like " I'd kill him if he ever ..." but she actually did! Well, she didn't kill him but she sure did shoot him.

Through out the semester we have discussed telling our own story, co-authors, and single story telling. This particular story was a story the reader had been told herself. I wonder if the story has been altered in away to make it more appealing or interesting. I wonder if the reader has made it a single story that works best for her. Does she like and retell this story herself because this is the way she wants/ likes to think of her mother.

Everyone who shared their story was very brave. I appreciated their vulnerability and willingness to share different aspects of their lives. What made the event more interesting was the mixture of stories told. Some were sad, some where funny, some took you back into a different period of time, or a different place. I really enjoyed this event.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Resilient kids

I think resilient kids is a great example of what YDEV looks like in the classroom setting. I think their method of "seamlessly integrating stress management" is brilliant. We talk about YDEV ideally being achieved outside of the classroom, without limitations. Resilient kids seems to have found a practical and effective way to do bring YDEV into the classroom and to do so successfully.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Listen to THEIR Story

One of the first memories I have of stories being told about youth in this “single story” kind of manner was in a teacher’s lunchroom. I was sent to grab something off the copy machine for my teacher and just so happened to walk in on a group of teachers having lunch. I remember waiting for the copies to finish and the teachers talking about how horrible this one particular student was. I remember thinking to myself, “ Don’t they know his parents don’t care about him?” I don’t remember why I thought his parents didn’t care about him, but I remember feeling sad. I remember thinking to myself, “ This what teachers do? They talk about students and don’t even care to help?” Although the details of what they were saying are vague and the details of this boys life are as well, I will never forget this moment. Yes, he was a troublemaker, disruptive, and extremely annoying at times, but whom they were talking about in that lunchroom was not the same person… at least not to me.
Senior year in high school we were all given the assignment to write a narrative. It could be about anything we wanted. We were told to write as if though we were painting a picture, our words had to create images in the readers mind. It had been four years of growing relationships and long terms cliques. During the editing phase it was the first time I was able to read about someone outside of my “clique” and what he or she had been through. Someone who I had shared many classes and moments with, but never really knew. Despite my natural desire to read about people and know their stories, I was blown away by what people were willing to share, and how they told their story. I was now the teacher in the lunchroom just that the student being talked about, was now able to speak for themselves.