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"Accept everything about yourself, I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end, no apologies, no regrets. Clark Moustakas
"Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the face."
Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire. Much to their relief she smiled and said: "Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper." Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: "First Question: Which tire was flat?"
POINT TO PONDER: "Rather than standing or speaking for children, we need to stand with children speaking for themselves. We don't need a political movement for children... [we need to] build environments and policies for our collective future." - Sandra Meucci Children and Youth Voice, Youth Involvement, Youth Engagement, Youth Organizing and Youth Participation in Local Nonprofit Agencies INTRODUCTION: Many youth-serving and community-oriented nonprofit organizations have realized the benefits of including young people on their board of directors and in youth action councils. POINT TO PONDER: “Youth involvement has moved forward. It is no longer seen as a rebellious act, the way it was a few decades ago.” - Maureen A. Sedonaen, executive director of the Youth Leadership Institute
Children and Youth Voice, Youth Involvement, Youth Engagement, Youth Organizing and Youth Participation
in Local Nonprofit Agencies
INTRODUCTION: Many youth-serving and community-oriented nonprofit organizations have realized the benefits of including young people on their board of directors and in youth action councils.
POINT TO PONDER: “Youth involvement has moved forward. It is no longer seen as a rebellious act, the way it was a few decades ago.” - Maureen A. Sedonaen, executive director of the Youth Leadership Institute
Youth on Board helps young people and adults think differently about each other so that they can work together to change society.
Youth on Board envisions a world where young people are fully respected, and treated as valued and active members of their families, communities, and society. To reach that end, we work to:
Youth on Board helps young people and adults think differently about each other so that they can work together to change their communities and schools. We don't just build skills, we build mutually respectful relationships between young people and adults that allow young people to move from the margins of their communities into the center.
What makes our services unique:
Very cool.....see lots more of Youth on Board at:
Youth development must change. For 75 years experts and organizations have been working to standardize the way young people physically, mentally, morally and socially grow. This standardization has happened in programs, classrooms, hospitals and other settings where young people are grouped together according to "ability" and age. This process has been called "youth development".
Many young people have not responded well to this standardization. Despite laws enforcing standardized behavior and activities, in spite of the standardized educational practices and high stakes testing in schools and completely opposite of how many youth workers, sociologists, educators and researchers have expected. Young people and the organizations that serve them are increasingly identifying the flaws of standardization, and are working to transform these perspectives.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or time, we are the ones we have been waiting for; we are the change that we seek."
President Barack Obama
“The more kids participate in these clubs, the better self-concept they have,” said Dawn Anderson-Butcher, an associate professor of social work at Ohio State University.
“And then that self-concept makes children less vulnerable to engaging in problem behaviors.”
Even children who don’t attend a club every day still benefit, she added.
“We’re finding that daily attendance isn’t as important as whether the kids feel attached to the organization and have a good relationship with a staff member. Those two things predict the best outcomes and the least amount of vulnerability.”
This study, which appears in a recent issue of Children and Youth Services Review, surveyed nearly 300 children from age 9 to 16 in a city in Utah. About three fourths of the children were members of a local branch of Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The rest were children who weren’t members, but lived in the surrounding community.
The children filled out the Utah Division of Substance Abuse Needs Assessment Survey, which gauges how attached children feel to their family, neighborhood, and school; whether they have a strong sense of who they are, and strong self-esteem; whether they earn good grades; and whether they feel that they receive positive reinforcement for good behavior from their community.
It asks whether they have engaged in problem behaviors in the last 30 days. Problem behaviors include alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use; academic failure; and gang involvement.
Anderson-Butcher and Scottye Cash, also an associate professor of social work at Ohio State, compared the survey data with the last six months of the children’s attendance records from the club to see if there was any association.
Because club attendance is voluntary, some children come more frequently than others. They freely choose among recreational activities (such as playing basketball), academic assistance, and life skills classes. This study simply counted time spent at the club, and not children’s specific activities.
The study revealed that the more children participated in the club, the stronger their sense of self. Participation in the club boosted their social skills, as well as the positive reinforcement they felt they received from their community.
Children who experienced all these benefits were less likely to engage in problem behaviors.
“As kids’ self-concept improves, it reduces their vulnerability to negative influences, which in turn decreases their likelihood of using drugs and alcohol, joining gangs, or failing in school,” Anderson-Butcher said.
This study is the latest in a series of studies in which Anderson-Butcher has examined the benefits of youth clubs. She frequently works with federally funded programs including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. All such clubs offer free educational programs that are meant to help children better themselves.
Her previous studies have shown that just getting children off the streets and into the clubs benefits them greatly. But children who participate in the educational programs gain an even stronger benefit. So do children who form strong bonds with adults who work there.
Based on this latest study, the researchers suggested that clubs target self-concept as a core component of their educational programs.
Getting adequate funding for programs is always a challenge for these clubs, Anderson-Butcher said. So is getting children to attend the programs.
“If a kid has to choose between playing basketball or going to a life skills class, which are they going to choose?” she asked. “Engagement techniques are key to helping children join these educational programs and stick with them.”
Employee retention is another critical issue. When children get to bond with an adult whom they see regularly, they build a stronger affinity for the club. That in turn leads to positive changes in their lives.
“Strong relationships are built over time,” Anderson-Butcher said.
“It takes time for the children to develop an attachment for the club — to feel committed to it, like they have ownership of it. And with that commitment comes the adoption of norms and positive behaviors.”
Students Against Gangs - A place where students and youths can discuss gang problems with their peers, gang experts, police, and counselors.
Powerful Message and Video
This is one of those videos you never get tired of....enjoy
Way cool.....check it out
Linda from "The Women of Block 12" pointed out this video to me. To me this is proof that there's still HOPE in our world.....thank you Linda!
I have a vision of creating a youth club in Traverse City, Michigan. This club will be named Stripes Youth Club. Since I am a Jail Sergeant hence the name....."Stripes". As the years go by, kids will ask "Why is this place named "Stripes"? The answer will be "A former Jail Sergeant started all this for us“.
It’s my opinion the "concept" of this Youth Club will not only be "supported" by people from the general public but with volunteers from area Jail/Prison/Corrections/Law Enforcement/Courts. I strongly believe creating a Youth Club for the benefit of kids in our community. It would be very rewarding for everyone involved. I honestly believe the kids who experience and participate in the club will be less likely to engage in problem behaviors (such as alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use; academic failure; and gang involvement) as they enter into adulthood.
I feel the kids will have a stronger sense of self worth and the club will boost their social skills, as well as the positive reinforcement they will feel from their community. When you are a young person who doesn't want the feeling of "belonging" to something? I feel "pride" of ownership with this club will follow and many young people will remember belonging to this club well into their adult lives. Again....it is truly a Win-Win situation for everyone involved.
When it comes to helping kids find the right path in life, no one better knows the need for early intervention than a Jail Sergeant or one of his/her hardworking Deputies. In our communities, we live with the failed results! I'm seeking volunteers to mentor youths of all ages, in the hope that we can help them avoid having to live where we work.
Who knows....the "Stripes" Youth Club could eventually be established in many cities across our nation in the future. I would like to see other interested Sergeants or related Corrections/Law Enforcement persons in the United States to contact me. Maybe we could set-up several "Stripes" Youth Clubs across our nation. Could this be a reality some day? Hey...I can dream right?
It is my vision of allowing the kids to take "ownership" of this club. I want them to be proud, committed and feel attached to "their" club and make decisions on what "they" would like to see in the club such as rules, design, furnishings, furniture, equipment, programs, food, concessions, games, artwork, fundraisers etc.
I do not want this Youth Club to be "faith based" nor connected to any certain religion. This may steer some kids away from participating.
I do not want this Youth Club to be "tagged" as only helping troubled, disadvantaged or street kids. I don’t want the stigma that “If I go to the Stripes Youth Club, I’m going to be considered a “troubled kid”. This is not my intent as "Stripes" will be for ALL kids (tentatively between the ages of 11 - 17 years old).
I would seek assistance from local area Law Enforcement/Corrections Officers, Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), Probation/Parole Officers, Court Judges, Court Staff, local County & City government, other organizations and volunteers from the general public to donate their time and work with our area's youth at the club. I would be seeking persons (18+ years old) to interact with these kids and ultimately be another "adult" figure in their life that would include friendship and guidance to these young people. I firmly believe these kids will form strong bonds with adults who work at the club. Again it is a very good example of a "Win-Win" situation.....wouldn't you agree?
It would definitely be a non-profit organization (I am checking into 501 (c) 3 non-profit/tax exempt designation) thus private funding, donations and fundraisers will be necessary to keep the club operating. Personally, I feel the kids will take this as a challenge and will also volunteer their time to raise funds for "their" club. Again....if these kids feel a strong "sense of ownership" it will be key to the success of this youth club.
It's certainly hard to put a "price" on self esteem, self-worth, self-confidence and self-respect for our kids.....ultimately they are our future.
The Stripes Youth Club will provide a safe environment for young people to enjoy many activities. I am in the initial "thought process" of this particular youth club concept. One important factor is we do not have a location for a club yet. I certainly need help and I invite anyone who who is onboard with this Youth Club concept to please e-mail me at email@example.com.