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Showing posts from November, 2020

Help young people to see their infinite possibilities

By Joanna Tzenis Marwa’s hopes to see more people with her identity in the future as leaders. “You can’t be what you can’t see” -- Children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman These words are a rallying cry for those of us who are fighting to build equitable opportunities for people of all races, genders, abilities, sexual orientation and identities. What does research say about representation and its impact on youths’ aspirations? How can youth programs incorporate what research says to support youth in the pursuit of their aspirations?  Young people's aspirations are influenced by what they see and experience in their world, but this process often happens subconsciously . The main characters of storybooks, movies , and curricula , political leaders , and those in high-powered careers are most frequently white males. So young people subconsciously asso

Communicating with stakeholders when the world is upside down

By  Samantha Grant  and  Erin Kelly-Collins We are many months into what we affectionately call pandemic programming. Youth workers are getting smarter about how we offer learning opportunities to youth. It’s been amazing to watch our colleagues innovate. But amid all the change, we can forget to clue our financial stakeholders into how and why our programs are changing.   What is a financial stakeholder? Financial stakeholders are people who have a stake in your program because they provide financial support. In 4-H, Extension committees and county commissioners are our primary financial stakeholders. Yours might be grant funders or other program supporters. These stakeholders want to ensure their investment is having an impact.  Do you know what your stakeholders value?  We developed a stakeholder analysis tool that we use regularly. It’s also a key feature in our staff development curriculum about reporting. This simple tool has transformed how we craft all sorts of reports, but mo

"I'm bored!"

By Jeremy Freeman Every parent hears this refrain. Now that cold weather is setting in, we are all spending more time together indoors and you are probably hearing it a lot more. "I'm bored." In our household of seven, there are days when the kids play endlessly together, sparking new ideas for each other into the evolving activity that lives somewhere between a game, a theatrical play and a wrestling match. Then there are other days when a single glance from a sibling produces disdain and the "boreds." I picture the boreds as small creatures covered in bumps, popping out of my children's mouths like corn from a hot kettle. The Band-Aid solution for boredom is new activities. "Find a new toy! Play a new game! Go outside!," parents cry, as the wind howls and we stay inside, wearing flannel pajamas and holding cups of tea. If the Band-Aid fails to work, the children may return to their screens. The boreds fall back for a time, but rear their ugly hea