Open House at RIC was an exciting event to attend! I truly enjoyed reaching out to the new incoming freshman, and explaining the Youth Development Program. I recall being an incoming freshman and wondering where I fit in this large array of studies. I tried fitting into Teaching, Psychology, and Criminal Justice; however, I never felt entirely comfortable with any of these choices. I always wanted to help youth, but not in the same contexts' that I was finding. I wanted to help youth with actual real issues that are brought on by life, and society.
Majors I took:
Psychology, it viewed individuals as almost test rats; solely looking at science and not really hitting the points that I wanted to explore.
Teaching offered education and help for youth more on the foundation that I wanted to work on, but still was missing the entire picture. I did not want to focus on just strictly the multiplication tables and ABC's. I wanted to critically think, explore, and grow in different ways that education missed.
Criminal Justice major was a major that I felt least aligned with. It focused on punishment more than rehabilitation. I found myself arguing in each class with the professors because their view was the opposite of mine.
During this past Open House at RIC I was more than ecstatic to introduce my real passion, Youth Development. I worked along side my classmates and professor, Lesley Bogad. It was very powerful, and educational watching Lesley as she was leading with myself and my classmates on Saturday. It was cool being the student and experiencing what it is like for the youth that I will be/do work with. I was provided with the tools from Lesley, and then was able to clearly and explicitly described the program and what it entails to many freshman, and their families. With some families, the parents seemed skeptical of what Youth Development is, and would ask me questions surrounding the relevance and importance of Youth Development. I answered those questions with the passion I have for Youth, and illustrated what my classmates and I have done that has been successful in this field. I soon turned skeptics into believers, and touched many hearts of the incoming RIC students. I was so adamant about explaining this major thoroughly, and making sure that I reached those students, who were like myself, giving them a place where they can make a perfect fit.
Youth Work is not for everyone, and not everyone can work with youth. It takes a lot of passion, patience, understanding, open-mindfulness, and love to do what Youth Development Workers do. We do not make enough money for what we do, and we may work ridiculous hours, or be in high tense situations. But at the end of the day this job could not be more rewarding. You are touching the lives and souls of so many youth; helping them grow into the best versions of themselves. I have never felt more at home than I do in Youth Development, and I hope I gave a home to some of the students this past Saturday.