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saito015

  • Posted "R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me" and to you to Youth Development Insight
    Back in 1966, Aretha Franklin had a big hit song, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Even if you weren't born back then, you probably know it, and maybe, like me, when you hear it, walk around for the rest of the day singing the chorus, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me..." The song became a hallmark for the feminist movement in the 1970's and remains relevant today, especially in youth work. Young people say that respect is vitally important and is something they don't get much of from adults generally, and specifically from teachers, parents, police, and policy-makers....
  • Posted Youth, for a change! to Youth Development Insight
    Last week I had the great pleasure to speak at and learn from a group of 200 youth, youth workers, administrators, funders, policy makers, police officers and researchers in Milwaukee, at a conference called "Youth/Adult Partnerships: Engaging Youth in Community Transformation," organized by the Center for Urban Initiatives & Research. The conference focused on, and modeled youth engagement as a philosophy and strategy for community change. If you know me, you know that youth engagement is a cornerstone of my work here at the Youth Work Institute. The conference organizers did an incredible job of taking a leap of faith...
  • Posted What would you ask young people? to Youth Development Insight
    If we created a regular poll of young people in Minnesota, what would we ask? What would they want to be asked? During the late 1970's and early 80's, Diane Hedin and I and a few others did something called the Minnesota Youth Polls out of the Center for Youth Development and Research which existed at the time at the University of Minnesota. The (sometimes) annual polls collected data from young people around the state about various topics that were relevant to them, such things as:...
  • Posted Wake up to the expertise of older youth to Youth Development Insight
    In preparation for a workshop I did recently on mentoring teenagers, I googled "mentoring older youth" to learn about current research and practice. Virtually all of the links that came up made the assumption that older youth were troubled youth, or high-risk youth, e.g., "juvenile delinquents," pregnant and parenting teens, youth in foster care or with parents in prison. What is that about?! It's ageism, plain and simple. There is such a pervasive belief that teenagers are not to be trusted, are "screwed up," are something to be avoided or "dealt with" rather than that they are creative, ever-changing, exciting,...
  • Posted Ka-ching! Pieces of the youth engagement puzzle fall into place to Youth Development Insight
    At our latest public symposium, Priscilla Little talked about research on engaging and retaining older youth participation in youth programs. During that event, there were a couple of times when I could almost physically feel, even hear, pieces of the youth engagement puzzle fall into a place; a kind of "ka-ching" sound. In a landmark study on engaging older youth, Little and her colleagues at the Harvard Family Research Project identified two program variables that were significantly related to high-retention programs. These important variables were: multiple levels and kinds of leadership opportunities, and staff got to know youth outside the...
  • Posted Saito W.T. Grant Ideas to youth engagement research
    Okay, so these are some of the things bouncing around in my head since Monday's State FAculty meeting...in no particular order. Ultimately I want to know: --How can we make it more likely that young people 13 and older from...
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