Thursday, December 8, 2016

Event #2

My second event for our YDEV requirement was our Nuts About Dance Fundraiser at the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio. I volunteered to come to the studio on Veteran's Day from 9am-2pm to help separate, pack, and bag nut orders for all of our three studio locations. We were separated among 10 tables and had to weigh, bag, and count how many small bags of nuts we got out of one big box. It was a great way to build team work with not only the staff but some of the senior company members, came and helped out as well before they went into rehearsals. It was a very good group of people who all enjoyed working together as a team while having a fun time doing it! It can be a long tedious day, but with the right attitude it was really a fun experience. 

Since working at the studio has always been a career goal for the future it was cool to be on the business end of things this time and learning how exactly everything worked. I helped take in orders before nut packing day and even got to help unload the truck while I was there. 

Monday, December 5, 2016


On October 1st and 2nd 2016 I received a scholarship from my boss to go to an Acrobatics Arts Module One Training Program for children ages 5-12. The training was in Massachusetts and I had to drive up there on my own. This was my first Dance Education Training experience on my own and I was feeling nervous. I was the youngest one in my session and was feeling like everyone was judging me. It turned out to be one of the best weekends and experiences in my training thus far. I learned new techniques on how to teach, safety regulations, and fun activities to peak the children's interest. The weekend was super fun and informative. Not only did we get the chance to work directly with youth in classes we got to practice skills of our own. We learned creative ways to engage children in classes while letting them be free and having fun. I think being a dance teacher is a lot like being a youth worker because we are seen in more of a "fun and engaging" way as opposed to teachers. We had to take two exams. One written, and one performance on how well we incorporated safety regulations in our spotting and helping youth. 

Youth work and teaching dance have a lot of similar qualities that I haven't realized until now. I have always had the same passion for both and never fully feel like I am "working" when I am doing youth work. This training helped me better my skills in an area I do not always feel is my strong suit. I was fortunate enough to have my boss be supportive enough to push me and pay for me to go to a training like this. I never would have gone if it wasn't for her. 

THIS Is Youth Work

What even is Youth Development? What are you going to do with that degree?

Youth work is so much more than sitting around after school babysitting a bunch of kids until their parents or the bus picks them up. Youth work is so much more than simply "having fun" with kids as opposed to sitting at a desk all day. Youth work is so much more than keeping kids off the streets at night. Youth work is so much more than what it seems. Youth work can be in any setting, after school, church programs, extra curricular activities, community service, and neighborhood youth centers.

I am the person that youth can talk to when they feel alone. I am the person that will mentor youth in the right direction and lead them down good paths. I am the person that will teach youth right from wrong. I am the person that will teach youth how to have their voice heard. I am the person that will make a difference in their lives and they will ALWAYS know that I will be there. I am a Youth worker and I will be there for YOUR child if and when they need me. I will keep them safe and protected while they are in my care. I will do everything I can to make sure they leave me knowing that their voice and opinions are important to this world. 

I am the person that will bring children out of their shells. I will do my best to teach them things that they cannot learn in the classroom. I will teach them about themselves as youth and what they can expect in the future. I will show them how differences bring us all together, rather than tear us apart. I will help youth learn their interests and what makes them who they are. 

I am a Youth Worker. I will make a difference in children's lives. I will teach them BEYOND what the classroom can.

"Ashbury youth club was a big part of me whilst being aged 13-18. It kept me safe and ... from getting myself and my friends into trouble. But it wasn’t all about being kept off the streets. At the age that we didn’t care about anything and found it hard to communicate with parents and teachers. When it felt like the whole world shut you out there was always Jenny that you could just go to talk about anything in the world and she would be most understanding and give you the best advice any could give. A lot of people called her their second mum (she was to me)." Said by a young man as to why young people NEED youth clubs (pg. 32).