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Extension > Youth Development Insight > November 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Choir singing is good for your health. Yes, really.

By Sara Langworthy

I've been a singer as long as I can remember. As a kid, I used to sing solos at church but was too scared to speak to strangers who complimented me on my voice. Ahh introversion! But as I grew, my love for music grew with me. From middle school on, I was pretty solidly a "choir kid." There's something deeply soul-filling and rich about joining my voice with others that's hard to describe.

Simply put: singing together connects me with others in a way that nothing else can. And as it turns out, the data bear out this belief.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to foster youth empathy

Lots of recent events have me wondering how to encourage and foster empathy. Empathy is when one person is able to understand how another person is feeling. This sense of understanding is not something we are born with, it is a skill that we learn. The ability to empathize is critical because it allows us to understand other people. It's an opportunity to show caring and compassion; one of the 5 C's of positive youth development. And, it's an essential skill for creating an inclusive world.

We as youth workers have an important role play. We can facilitate strategies to develop and nurture empathy in young people. Embedded in hands-on experiential learning processes, the following strategies can help support development of empathy in youth:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Developing a love for learning

By Jessica Pierson Russo

We want so many things for our young people—confidence, a sense of hope, a successful future. But perhaps the greatest gift we can give them is a love for learning. A love for learning drives us to continually strive for understanding and can nurture a sense of hope and confidence as we arm ourselves with new knowledge that in turn can ensure a more successful future.

A love of learning probably won’t solve all problems. But it can have a deep impact on youth. What is that impact? And how do we instill such a sense of satisfaction in learning that young people crave more?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Minnesota is home to one of the world's largest Somali diaspora populations

By Jennifer Skuza

Minnesota has the nation's largest Somali American community, with census numbers placing the population at about 57,000, followed by Columbus (Ohio), San Diego, Seattle and Atlanta. Kenya hosts the largest number of Somali migrants (both refugees and nonrefugees) of any other country, according to UN estimates.
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