While reading, “A World Where Youth Hold the Power” by Adeola Oredola, I was reminded of the activities we did in class last week on the different youth development ideologies, Positive Youth Development, Critical Youth Development and Risk, Resiliency and Prevention. Some programs may focus on one or two, however, Youth In Action made me think of all three of these ideologies. This program encourages positive youth development because students are encouraged to be themselves. They are empowered and encouraged to speak their minds and be whoever they want to be. I think that this can be an approach to risk, resiliency and prevention. Teaching youth to be themselves and be comfortable with who they are is in a way, prevention to me. They may be less likely to turn to drugs or violence if they have self-esteem.
Youth in the Youth in Action program are also taught that they can make a difference in the community and the world. They learn to work with adults as a team to make a change. Adults and youth are considered equals or partners. This leans towards the critical youth development ideology.
I loved reading this article because it gave me a different perspective on the importance of family/community. I never grew up in a struggling community. I was always encouraged to try my best in school and my teachers and guidance counselors believed in me. I also grew up with a very supportive family that helped me along the way. I can’t imagine where I would be today if I didn’t have that support. This reading really opened my eyes to how helpful these youth development programs can be for students who did not grow up with a supportive family, or community. They can literally change lives. I think that it is so important to have a support system, whether it is family, friends or a program like Youth In Action. Our society values education. If a student does not have a place where they can go for support, or to grow as a person, it makes it almost impossible for them to reach their full potential. I think that developing programs like Youth in Action are now more important than ever.