I first watched the YIA documentary and as I listened, it began to remind me of many things that we have talked about thus far in class. The first thing that I connected this documentary to was the power point and the discussion that we had in class on last Friday. The Roots and Remedies event reminded me of Critical Youth Development. My group was Mairim, Justin, and Anthony, we all began to talk about the things that we find to be critical to youth development and how those things are not being changed, and how can we unite the divide in the lack that the youth are facing. Roots and Remedies reminded me much of this conversation because as I looked at my group and we all come from different backgrounds from religion all the way to race, and R&R have different organizations with different missions but they are all striving for one thing and that is the youth of their community. This was the same for our group of four, we all had one common goal and idea, and that was to find out what it is that is causing the hole in the bridge that is letting these children in the middle fall through the gaps. Also, in the event on the documentary they had different tables and topics to participate in. One of the tables and topics that stood out to me the most was the one about shaping and changing education. For years, we have fought for our education system to be integrated and equal, no segregation and no separation, but in that we also forgot to include uniqueness to culture and environmental circumstances. If a child is not able to speak English, what justice is the school system doing by sticking them into an English only classroom? This goes for any child that speaks any language, we are hurting these children by not properly preparing them we are including them. The young lady in the clip stated that we should shape school systems to the culture that it is in, and allow for their to be multiple languages in the classroom. The best learning environment for any individual is one that is familiar.
I was exposed to group homes and early intervention programs at a young age because my mother worked in the field. One thing that I did notice, especially with the younger youth in these programs and homes were that they felt left out of the community and that they were labeled as if something was wrong with them. My cousin was in a group home and she often times ran away because it did not feel like home to her. Granted no child should have to live in that situation, but for those were not fortunate enough to remain in their original family setting, we need to come up with a way that allows them to be more inclusive in the community that they are in outside of going to school and maybe playing a sport. I know the feeling of being left out and when someone invites you out of pity it is not a good feeling and makes you want to stay alone. If I, and others can come up with a way to first strengthen the unit of the group home to empower the youth who are in the system and give them that family support that they do not have otherwise, this would be the first step in including these youth. We then need to help build within their communities programs that helps to support these children, outside of seeing a counselor or a judge, lets give them a support group (peers, someone who looks and sounds like them, not necessarily by appearance) and show them faces that are different but lives that are similar and them. Once we build them up lets help them to become part of society again. Help them make social connections so that when they do apply for jobs and schools they are not labeled children of the system, but children who have overcome a serious struggle, like many other individuals, in their life and are eager to help those who lives ended up much like theirs. Give them a role model so they can be a role model.