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Showing posts from July, 2020

Pivot, but build community, too

By Rebecca Meyer Fostering prosocial, positive connections is critically important for our well-being. It's a skill that we as humans develop over time. Starting as children, we meet, navigate experiences together, form relationships and participate in our communities. Right now, young people are missing out on chances to do that. As youth workers, we can create opportunities for youth to build relationships. But we must be intentional and thoughtful in how we build them into our programming. As we journey through new ways of being, pivot to online learning and innovate our programs, we must continue to hold the importance of relationships in high regard. Building understanding and skill in disciplines like science, where I primarily work, involves teaching individuals. It also involves cultivating their connections with others they can turn to with questions or to grow their interest. Historically, individual skills building has been our focus in youth programs. Community buildi

Building our own resilience during tough times

All of us have had to make adjustments to our personal and work lives in the past few months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It doesn’t seem like the normal we knew is going to come back anytime soon. We have all experienced some form of ambiguous loss in the past months and this type of loss can have negative effects on people's mental and physical health . There are actions we can take as youth workers that we can role model to the youth in our programs so that we all emerge stronger, more resilient and better able to face future challenges. The Center for Creative Leadership states three practices to strengthen resilience . Personal energy management. Manage your own resistance. “Show up,” give your best, and relinquish attachment to the outcome. Stay in the present. Shifting your lenses. Take charge of how you think about adversity. Understand your beliefs about the situation and choose your response. Exercise compassion for yourself and others. Sense of purpose.

Minneapolis youth reflect on George Floyd and racism in their 4-H meeting

Youth programs are designed to be safe spaces that honor young people's identities and are centered around their voices. In this blog post, I feature (with permission) the voices of seven 4-H youth who identify as Black, Somali, and Muslim and share their reflections after the killing of George Floyd -- a trajedy that occurred just a few miles from their homes. Youth dedicated a virtual 4-H club meeting to this topic. Here is what they said. What happened to George Floyd was not right I’m confused. Why were there so many police for just a bad check? They could have just booked him and put him in jail. But he had to put his knee on his neck. Even if it’s fake, George Floyd was listening to the police officer and doing everything he was told to do. They told him to sit down, he’d sit down. “Stand up;” he’d stand up. . . Even if you’re guilty, the police are not supposed to treat you like that. But it's not the first time. Now people are realizing.  They recognize rac