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Working with Youth - Essay Example

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They ripple with energy much of the time – only to settle into periods of time when they do not seem to want to do anything at all. They are easily excited by causes, but are often intimidated by the…
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Working with Youth
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Adolescents can be a challenging section of the population to work with. They ripple with energy much of the time – only to settle into periods of time when they do not seem to want to do anything at all. They are easily excited by causes, but are often intimidated by the challenge of turning that excitement into engagement. Because of this, it is easy for many youth to lose confidence in themselves and turn away from challenges. Groups that want to energize teens for particular causes need to keep four things in mind. First, it is important that young people know that community adults believe that the youth have value. Without that belief, the young people will not be motivated enough to participate in challenges. Second, it is important to find useful positions for young people within the community. Providing meaningful contributions through such roles will help give young people the confidence they need. Third, groups must provide regular opportunities for young people to serve the community – at least one hour a week, but hopefully more. By providing an ongoing opportunity, these groups will build habits that will last a lifetime. Fourth, the group must provide a safe atmosphere where young people will feel the freedom to fail – and to get back up and succeed (Search Institute, 2011).
The Tahoe SAFE Alliance is dedicated to eliminating violent behavior in teenagers. By focusing on such topics as mutual respect, self-esteem, and the traits of healthy relationships, this group seeks to undo much of the damage that has taken place in homes. There are several different elements to this groups curriculum, but the overriding theme is building an atmosphere of respect and dignity in which teens can reassemble their own self-concept and then move outward to work against violence wherever they find it (Tahoe SAFE Alliance, 2012).
Works Cited
Search Institute (2011). 40 developmental assets for youth. developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18.
Tahoe SAFE Alliance (2012). Youth empowerment groups. Read More
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