I am currently an intern at Youth In Action in Providence. Being an intern there has been one of the best experiences of my entire life. I live the words of "work with youth", and I could not be happier.
With this concept of work with that I have learned about in my classroom and at YIA, I was able to create a Haunted House on Friday, October 28th, 2016. This was my first real experience of working with youth on a large project. I have already learned so much from my mentor, Pegah, but it was such a different level of learning when I was actually doing the work. The youth brought ideas of what they envisioned for this haunted house to me, and I was pretty much the glue to the project. They had all the pieces, and I aided in putting those pieces together. There was such an amazing collaboration between myself and the youth I was working with.
The haunted house ended up being a ghost theme. Lets just say I took that theme and ran with it! Within a week myself, youth, and some of my family members constructed a haunted house in the basement of YIA for the youth and families in YIA's community. I had youth and other volunteers strategically placed throughout the spooky basement to scare the willing victims that went in. We ended up having around 100 youth come through the haunted house that night. People were very scared, and the project could not have had a better outcome.
From this haunted house I have learned so much about working with youth and what it takes to do so.
I needed a lot of patience, time, understanding, motivation, push, creativity, and thought for this project. I had to be patient in working with youth, and really try and see things from their perspective. I worked extremely hard in producing their vision of what they expected for the haunted house. Some days the youth were absent from YIA, and other days they just had a bad day and I had to refrain from bombarding them with Haunted House discussions. It was a learning experience, and also taught me how to work closely with certain types of youth, and certain types of personalities.
I am just grateful that our vision came through, and that I was able to successfully work WITH youth!!