Thursday, September 26, 2013

Positive Youth Development

When looking at the positive factors in youth development, it becomes apparent why so many of our youth have difficulty succeeding in academic settings, and have difficulty cultivating their talents and interests. One or more of the factors that can make or break a youth is so readily available in the area I work in: South Providence. There are a lot of opportunities for positive youth development: City Arts After-school programs, the institute for Non Violence and other Community Action Programs. However, what concerns me are those children whose parents can't pick their children up from After-school. Or those children who are in After-school and they don't want to go home. A little girl in my homeroom was telling me the other day that she was tired and the police were in her home at 2'O Clock in the morning so she couldn't fall asleep.

Family problems, availability of drugs and lack of motivation in school are all issues that can render our youth hopeless. The hope is that we can awaken some sort of fire within them and show them there is a future out there. The hope is that we can create a safe, stable environment by creating programs that will offer a sense of family while encouraging positive youth development. There's a really great school in Rhode Island called The Met. That school has been the second home of all three of my little brothers. They have created a sense of family and support for so many youth that lack that at home and in the neighborhood they live in. They really take the interests of the youth seriously and go above and beyond to cultivate the talents they have and support them in any possible way. They help them learn their way around the state and help them network with so many different community voices so that when they leave the Met they have relationships that will last a lifetime. I think that a program like this emulates what the PowerPoint was talking about: teaching them constructive use of time, boundaries and expectations, and giving them hope.

 I can say from someone who was troubled youth, that there was a Youth Development program that helped shaped me and led me down a path of pursuing a higher education and it showed me a different way of life and I was around a community and I honestly feel like it saved my life. The research shows that these are necessary components to healthy youth development, and it's so inspiring to know that we can really change this world by helping these youth who really need our support.


  1. Adriana,

    I can really relate you what you wrote, especially growing up in rough neighborhoods and though my mom was around I needed some extra guidance due to her working more and feeling a little lost. I am also very familiar with the Met. I have an older cousin that went to the Met and they helped him out a lot. He also works for the Non-violence program in South Providence and he has taken many of his experiences and the guidance that he received from his teachers and passed it on to the youth now. He has been a big inspiration for me being in many of situations that I have came out of. If it was not for his knowledge of prevention programs we both could have been in worst situations and that is why I feel as if it is important for us to grab a hold on to our youth and help direct them.

  2. Adriana, I enjoyed reading your post and how you involved your own personal experience. I think we become involved in the fields that hit closest to home for us, and that we can feel we relate to.

  3. The fire within really struck me. I think you really have a great deal of vision. We do need to keep youth driven. We will be supporters that many youth need in their lives. Not only in high risk but ALL youth.

  4. I really loved reading your post about your own personal experiences. I agree, I think providing a safe and nurturing environment can really change a young persons life.

  5. "We can really change this world by helping these youth who really need our support." Yes!!! I am also familiar with the Met school -- I taught at a very similar school in Texas. I considered myself a youth worker as much as I was a teacher. (Which is now making me think: what's the difference between a youth worker and a teacher?