Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roles in life

We all play a variety of different characters throughout our lives, and we are constantly in battle to try and balance each and every one of them. A "diffuse identity status is a state in which there has been an exploration or active consideration of a particular identity and no psychological commitment to one." We all participate in this personality exchange throughout the day. We become the daughter or son to our parents, to the student in the classroom, to the colleague and employee and our jobs. My own interpretation of a context map is to put all of these roles that we play when we are in different situations into our own map, because often if we think about all of the personalities we portray we could become a bit dizzy. Achieve Identity, Foreclosed Identity, Moratorium, and Diffuse Identity are all a part of how we can organize these sequential identities.

My own Context map 

   Rhode Island College student    
         Youth Development Major
             Waitress at Dublin Rose and Thames Waterside
                        Graduate of Barrington High School 
                               My dog Newman
                                              Going to the gym
                                                 Obstacle course racing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Girl's Rising

While in class last Friday we had briefly discussed a clip about a young girl from a developing country in which she was not allowed simple rights such as an education. Girl Rising talks about young girls from several different undeveloped countries that were deprived of these same rights. The documentary follows girls who have stood up against what is considered societal norms for women. Some have been beaten, raped, kidnapped, or deprived of education and their freedoms. These youth have been given almost nothing in order to survive let alone speak out, and here they are standing up for what they believe in and giving girls all over the world a hope for a better life.

I worked with one of the non-profits last year called Plan USA which helps girls in these countries by providing them with food, shelter, clean water and even educations. The program, "Because I'm a Girl" focuses on women in these places specifically to help them become independent and educated. It is so horrible that these girls and women are faced with so many hardships starting at such young ages. It makes me think back to our classroom discussion about "childhood". While many of us think of jumping rope and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, these girls have barely been given the ability to be a child.

We take for granted all of the things that we have in our lives. Not many children in America have to worry about being able to go to school, because it is our right that we get to have a free education. People in other countries are not however given this right. In many countries if you want to go to school, you must pay for it and if you cannot afford to do so you may not have that ability. Most children in families suffering from poverty must go off to work at a very young age to help their parents make money. It seems like a sad thing to us, but in some cases they know no difference. I am hopeful for these companies and non-profits that are helping children and girls to stand up and be able to have their rights given to them. It makes me really want to go and get involved in these places and be a part of giving these children more opportunities in the world.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A new definition of Youth

"What would our cities look like if we all started to see youth as powerful assets instead of problems?"  Often there is the assumption that youth are trouble makers, they are young and naive and lack general awareness of the world around them. This misconception was struck down immediately while reading this article. These youth were given the opportunity to speak out and express themselves, which reflected significantly through these writings. While reading I could see that these youth had been given the opportunity to have a drastic amount of growth because of their capability to speak their minds.

"Arguments do no always have to be negative", these children have the ability to disagree with someone regardless of their role in society, but are able to construct their argument because they have been given that ability. People in this YIA program are able to disagree with one another, while still having the respect of that other person's opinion. This program allows youth to think for themselves, they are not given a set of ideas to think but instead are allowed to create their own.

"What got me through college was my ability to critically reflect on my own life history, the systems that shaped me yet often excluded me, and the vision I had for all young people behind me." While thinking back on my own experiences of my college education I had typically learned the most in those classes that allowed me to express myself. This idea of the teacher lecturing students for two hours while we frantically scribble down pages of notes needs to be changed. Classrooms are a place where community should take place, where we can have discussion, debate and critical thinking.

The Roots and Remedies gathering had this similar concept for the youth they worked with. The groups were able to come together and talk about different concepts such as "what is education", or "what is democracy". These youth were able to talk among each other and come up with visuals for these concepts. It is critical that we have programs like this that get youth talking and thinking about concepts that are beyond what surrounds them directly. I wish that when I was in middle or high school something like this was available to me. To get youth from all around the world together and see how different and alike their cultural backgrounds are would be such an enriching and enlightening experience that everyone should be able to have at least once.

Youth in Habitat for Humanity