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Showing posts from August, 2016

Why youth programs matter for Somali American youth

By Joanna Tzenis   The benefits youth reap in youth programs are well understood. High-quality programs provide enriching experiences that broaden their perspectives, improve their socialization, enhance their skills and support healthy identity development -- especially during adolescence. The specific benefit to Somali American youth is less well understood, because they are less likely than their peers to participate in organized youth programs. I would argue that it's important to engage them in youth programs, particularly here in Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S.

Context means everything in youth work

By Joshua Kukowski  I recently attended a 21st Century Community Learning Center summer conference in which the keynote speaker spoke about how context means everything in youth work, and yet we frequently overlook it when working with young people. The speaker's own context was amazing, inspiring, and tough to hear, yet compelling. It affirmed my own conviction that a young person's context is powerful, and that out-of-school-time programs have the power to tilt young people in the right direction.

Considering Historical Trauma When Working with Native American Children and Families

By Mina Blyly-Strauss, Research assistant - Children, Youth & Family Consortium, Extension Center for Family Development This post first appeared in Family Matters, the newsletter of the Extension Center for Family Development. Image: Mina Blyly-Strauss I came to my CYFC graduate assistant position as an educational professional whose early work was with Native American teenagers. This is a demographic group often noted for some of the largest educational and health disparities in the state of Minnesota. More recently, I have focused on early childhood as a critical time to interrupt cycles of recurring disparities and to start healthy developmental trajectories.

Is there a leadership gap?

By Brian McNeill When I'm out working with community organizations, I hear this complaint from many local leaders: "There are no young people stepping forward to replace me on this committee!" They seem frustrated that they can't leave a community committee because there's no one to replace them. This made me wonder, is there really a leadership gap, and if so, why? Here’s what young people said in a recent survey by the National 4-H Council : Most young people (81%) think leaders today are more concerned with their own agendas than with achieving the goals of their organizations. Seventy-six percent say leaders are focused on different priorities than what matters most to them. Half of youth rate government and political leaders as having weak leadership (51%), among the highest relative to other groups of leaders examined in the survey. Overall, weak leadership is related to not accomplishing what is promised (59%); not working collaboratively (56%); and