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Showing posts from November, 2015

Let's talk about the first-generation experience

By Jessica Pierson Russo Earlier this year, Extension Youth Development professionals from Minnesota and 11 other North Central states began to explore how to better invite and retain “first-generation 4-Hers.” This is especially important in light of racially-motivated violent events such as those that occurred within the past week in North Minneapolis. They are symptoms of a racial pathology that will continue to plague our country, as well as our youth programs, if we don’t do anything about it, and if we don’t talk about it.

Youth workers need to go out and play!

By Nicole Pokorney Recently, while teaching a room full of youth workers, I was taken aback by a few early-career professionals who were struggling with why they were actually doing youth work. On the same day, I also met an older gentleman who was full of energy for working with youth after doing it for more than 30 years. What was the difference between them?  I believe it was passion and innovation. Through my work with Youth Engagement Matters , a curriculum developed by the University of Minnesota, I teach participants about the Rings of Engagement, which are participation, passion, youth voice and collective action. The course shows adults how to use the Rings of Engagement in their youth work practice.  The curriculum defines passion in this way: “Becoming engrossed in or passionate about something, and based on experiencing the activity itself as rewarding, regardless of outcome or external rewards.  Passion is marked by high levels of attention, concentration, enthusiasm a

How do we support co-parenting in youth work?

By Sara Langworthy A few weeks ago, I attended the Children, Youth and Family Consortium’s Lessons from the Field event on coparenting and divorce. Researchers James McHale Ph.D. and Kathryn Edin Ph.D. talked about their work with divorcing and never married families and ways to promote high quality parenting that benefits children and youth. Their talks raised questions for me about what we’re doing in our Extension programming to support youth and their families, especially when parents are parenting apart.

Equipping our youth with SEL skills: Local snapshots and strategies

By Kate Walker Our public symposium series is an opportunity to invite national experts to share the latest developments and discuss cutting-edge issues in the field of youth development. But there is plenty to learn from our own local scholars and practitioners as well.  At our upcoming symposium on Nov. 24, researchers will share data on how Minnesota youth are doing on a set of social and emotional learning (SEL) indicators and a panel of practitioners will share some promising programs and strategies from right here at home.