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Showing posts from May, 2022

Let’s help illuminate STEM career pathways for youth

By Rebecca Meyer I recently encountered a video clip from the renowned Minnesota author, Nora McInerny, where she states a response to the question: “What is something you didn’t know until an embarrassingly late age?” Her response: “I was in college, late college, an honors college student before I realized engineering majors were not learning to drive trains.” I find that all too often, the careers into which young people aspire are opaque. Like Nora’s perceptions of engineering, these youth may not really know what’s involved or necessary to navigate a successful pathway into their chosen career. This has me wondering more about the types of support that are important to help youth chart these pathways, especially as it relates to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In STEM, we often focus on initiating sparks using the engineering design process or science inquiry through a variety of programs and activities, like the 4-H Engineering Design Challenge program.

From languishing to flourishing

By Nicole Pokorney No one can argue that the last two years haven’t been difficult for everyone. As we emerge from the pandemic and restrictions, people are experiencing the emergence in different ways. There are days that I find myself full of energy and zest, and then other days I feel drained and unmotivated to even do the things that once brought me joy. I was struggling with what was going on and searching for ways to ignite my passion for youth work and my pre-pandemic life. I did a lot of reading, listening, and writing in my attempt to unlock a remedy. I found my answer in a February, 2022 episode of The Happiness Lab podcast . Psychologist and writer Adam Grant revealed the concept of languishing . Adam describes this feeling as the "middle child between mental illness and mental well-being", and that it can truly be described as feeling "meh". As I found myself with piles of work undone, phone calls not returned and, after a week of hard work, a bunch of e

Could asset framing transform us?

By Kathryn Sharpe What if the language that we use as we try to advance equity and inclusion is actually denigrating the very people and communities with whom we are seeking to work? How does the story that we tell about young people affect the ways that we engage with them? Asset framing is a cognitive framework that addresses these questions and which I have recently found to be deeply impactful for me as both a youth work professional and as an individual. Asset-based language was first developed in the educational sector , and Search Institute pioneered a focus on developmental assets in youth development. But recently, asset framing has been championed by Trabian Shorters, the founder and CEO of the BMe Community and a thought leader in bringing this concept to the world of business and philanthropy. He states that it is “defining people by their aspirations and contributions, before you get to their challenges.” He explains that no one goes around thinking of themselves as vu