Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In a previous post, Youth citizenship: An intersectional analysis, I briefly touched on the importance of youth engagement to provide young people the knowledge and skill sets needed so they can become active citizens that contribute to building healthy communities and a stronger nation.

The need for involving young people as leaders for social change strategies has recently gained momentum. We recognize that young people carry knowledge and expertise on the conditions of their marginalized position in society and the stresses that such conditions impose on their everyday lives [3].

As such, youth are important sources of knowledge and power, and should be given the opportunity to participate in public life and to contribute their knowledge to the public sphere. Continue reading “Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment”

What gets measured, gets managed: Program evaluation for youth work

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Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

A few days ago, I was catching up with a good friend of mine, and during our mutual vent-session over the frustration we feel about the youth sector, she mentioned something I found so bizarre. Some key youth organizations in our community are opposed to evaluation practices to assess their youth programs and services, even when the opportunities to do so were available. Not surprisingly, some of these programs were not doing so well, although some have been running for a decade or so.

Often times, it is easy to assume that if we make services and programs available to support young people, they would be effective and impactful, which is not always true. Other times, it is easy to become attached to the program, or the funding, or our own ego, and we do not want to find out our program could be no as effective as we thought.  However, if we value the youth and communities that we serve, we must be open to employing systemic measurements to evaluate the outcomes and usefulness of our programs and services. Continue reading “What gets measured, gets managed: Program evaluation for youth work”

Youth cafés: creating youth-friendly spaces

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Photo by Farzad Mohsenvand on Unsplash

Providing physical spaces where young people feel valued and empowered is essential to support their positive development. Safe spaces for youth are places where young people can come together to express themselves and engage in decision-making processes that impact their lives. Continue reading “Youth cafés: creating youth-friendly spaces”

Radical youth work: what happened to the revolutionary potential of youth work?

When I was doing my undergraduate studies, I was very certain that, after attaining my marketable degree, I would lead the revolution that would bring capitalism to its final graveyard. My twitter handle read, ‘Karl Marx is my baby daddy,’ and I was determined to make him proud, although I still have not read the Capitalist Manifesto,*eeks!*, but a copy of it has a special space on my bookshelf.

Such rage was induced via a one-hour lecture on Marx I attentively listened to in my second-year social movements class.  I was, and still am, your typical rage-fueled, poorly informed, whiny millennial.

Disclaimer: since then, my views on capitalism have drastically changed. 

Continue reading “Radical youth work: what happened to the revolutionary potential of youth work?”

4 productivity tips for youth workers

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Happy New Year!

One of my major goals for the new year is to be consistently productive and work on advancing my career as a youth worker, writing more for my blog, and creating more opportunities to grow professionally and personally. #CareerGoals!

Youth workers provide a vital service to young people and the communities that they serve, and studies show that one of the best indicators for job satisfaction is finding work that helps others.

RESOURCE: 80000hours.org provides career advice for people who want to have a social impact.

Continue reading “4 productivity tips for youth workers”

Youth citizenship: An intersectional analysis

Source

Given the nature of citizenship, and it historical, social and political contentions, there remains a lack of consensus on what constitutes citizenship. The legal definition of citizenship defines the term as the position or status of being a citizen of a particular country, with elements such as a passport, or a national identity.

However, citizenship can also be conceptualized as a process that gives ways to relations of power and inequality within a given society that is “contingent upon the subordination of specific bonds of gender, race, class,” which shape the experience of the individual citizen. [1] In short, citizenship is the individual’s relationship with the wider society; it claims who belongs where, who has obligations, who benefits from rights, and who is entitled to services. [3]

Youth: “Citizens of Tomorrow, but Not Today”?

Continue reading “Youth citizenship: An intersectional analysis”

Meaningful youth engagement: Multiple contexts, multiple realities, multiple approaches

Meaningful youth engagement

“Meaningful youth engagement is an inclusive, intentional, mutually-respectful partnership between youth and adults whereby power is shared, respective contributions are valued, and young people’s ideas, perspectives, skills, and strengths are integrated into the design and delivery of programs, strategies, policies, funding.” – YouthPower Continue reading “Meaningful youth engagement: Multiple contexts, multiple realities, multiple approaches”