This article made me appreciate Youth in Action and all the great opportunities these youth workers have to offer. Youth in Action is a great program, started in 1997, that believes “it’s critical for young people to be at the center of change in every community”. This particular organization is geared toward underprivileged teens in urban cities that desire to be the positive change in their communities.
Youth in Action provides a safe place for these teens to come together and be more than “just a teenager”, but become a voice that matters. This is a place where they can gather and be productive. The teenagers that attend, make up most of the board which goes to show how dedicated they are to this program.
What resonated with me most was the importance of building a relationship. I believe that in order to be able to help or guide the youth it is crucial that there is trust and openness. Once the teen feels they can open up and not be judged, they are more adapt to listen to advice or whatever the youth workers have to offer. Growing up I never responded well to someone I didn’t trust. It took me a while to become comfortable enough to share my ideas and ask for help when needed. However, when I began to trust someone, it became much easier for me to advocate for myself and get my needs met.
One of the Youth in Action’s traditions is Plus Delta Hot Seat. Plus Delta Hot Seat gives the teens and youth workers the opportunity to come together and figure out where they are succeeding and which areas are in need for improvement. This includes the youth workers so no one feels threatened or targeted. YIA team truly makes an effort to learn and grow with their group rather than teaching their groups, “nobody is speaking at you”. This is a great example of how the YIA workers work with, not to.