Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tiny Leaders

Life growing up for me certainly was not easy. My parents got divorced when I was very young, my mom became a single mother, I only saw my dad on the weekends, and my sister was a know it all brat. Unfortunately for me I had to live in the shadow of my sister who got the straight A's and always made the honor roll while I got B's and C's and was perfectly okay with that, but my mom wasn't. She really controlled most of my life until sometime around 7th grade where I was so upset that my mom was controlling me that my mom, the school principal and I sat down one day after school to discuss what was going on because I was doing poorly in school. We came to an agreement that my mom would no longer heckle me about homework, grades, and give me more free time. In return my mom would receive a phone call on her phone when report card came out so that way she could see it and know when they came out and I would obey any consequences of bad grades without contest. In the end, I started doing better in school, I became more independent, and my mom started to trust me a lot more.
Image result for teddy roosevelt big stickWe truly do live in a world where adults control our world on both macro and micro scales as you can see from my story. My mom being the adult and person in a position of power controlled most of life until I, being the youth advocated for change. Unfortunately though that change did not come without the help of a caring, trusting, and understanding adult who didn't just brush me off and thought  I was a failure. 

The article about YIA just really reminded me about that story and how important it is to listen to youth, ENGAGE youth, and work along side them; not control them. Even here at RIC the youth (the college students) hold a certain amount of power when it comes teacher evaluations, student organizations and the events they hold such as suicide awareness, and even changes to the physical campus.

Image result for tiny leaders
Someone please ask me about this its actually really fuuny
Youth in action does a good job working along side with you to be those leaders and take on those powerful roles that mostly adults control. Unfortunately it is a two way street though meaning youth within the community have to be willing to engage and the adults have to be willing to give up their power and mostly just be a proctor or ignition that starts the engine. YIA takes something that is difficult to do and does it effectively. I am very conflicted with some of the ideas that the article does present but I guess that just means there is topic of discussion for Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dennis!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog entry, especially your story. I was really glad to see you overcome the obstacle that was your mom and able to do better in school by your own advocacy. It is very important for youth to stand up for themselves and also for youth to get a helping hand in advocacy in order to get the education and support that they deserve. Well done!