Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment

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

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”

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?”