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Showing posts from January, 2021

Check in with yourself

By Karyn Santl One of the main roles of a youth worker is to create a safe environment for youth to learn and feel they can share their thoughts and feelings. Creating this environment is based on research in positive youth development . I, along with colleagues from the Center for Youth Development , authored a discussion guide, Creating space for dialogue on difficult and important topics with youth , in response to many of the events that occurred in our country in the past year.   In my further research into the topic of creating space for dialogue, I noticed there was similar advice given to “check in with yourself” first before having a conversation with youth on a difficult topic. As youth workers, we have to make time to process our own feelings and become aware of the way our own identities and experiences shape the perspectives we hold before we can support young people to do so.   Self-reflection is important preparation for facilitating conversations about troubling events

Journaling as self-care for youth

By Sarah Odendahl In many ways, COVID-19 has become the central factor in our lives; the virus is defining how and where we work and go to school, how we shop and celebrate special events, and what activities we do in our free time. We hear about COVID-19 each day on the news, see commercials and billboards about prevention, and make daily choices about how best to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Adolescence during the pandemic While COVID-19 might be the single biggest stressor in adult lives, for youth, especially teens, it is just one of many challenges they face. Adolescence is a time of significant change  in physical bodies, brain structure and function, and social interaction. Teens are molding their identities, creating their value systems, and planning for their futures. With or without the pandemic, questions regarding college, careers, romantic relationships, and how they interact with the world around them are ever-present. Many teens need extra guidance and tools to