Ephraim (Center front) with Youth Development Team
As a Youth Development intern and a youth worker I often tell the youth and students to 1) have fun 2) have supportive language and actions and 3) try new things as our agreement during their time at Hidden Villa. However, I recently questioned myself, “Have I been trying new things lately? Have I been using supportive language and actions in my life? Most importantly am I having fun?” As I reflect on my mid-year experiences and opportunities of growth here at Hidden Villa, I realize that I have how much I have been trying new things, consciously utilizing supportive language and actions, and undoubtedly having lots of fun.
1) Have Fun. I see myself as a very serious and concentrated hard worker when it comes to scheduling programs and putting together activities and initiatives for the coming youths. I always try sprinkle in some calm and fun when it comes to the projects and programs that come my way. We are definitely serious about the work that we do here in youth development but we cannot always be serious, we always try our best to have fun whether it be a long stressful day or challenging opportunities are ahead of us, we HAVE FUN!
2) Supportive language and actions can get you anywhere and everywhere you go. I became more conscious about my body language and the words I use when I became part of the Hidden Villa Community in June. We support each other, hand-in-hand, in challenging ourselves to develop the kind of community that we want. I definitely did not notice that I have been using supportive language and actions even before I came to Hidden Villa. I just became more aware and deliberate of these things. I believe that I am a better mentor and educator to the youth when I fully embody and engage with these agreements.
3) Trying New Things. Every day I try to step outside my comfort zone to grow and develop new skills as an aspiring educator and individual. I take on projects and programs to be able to fully engage myself in my community and provide my fullest capacity to the youth and students that come to Hidden Villa. Puzzles and problems become great opportunities for us to develop our skills and become autonomous thinkers and moral agents of the society that we live in. As educators, leaders and mentors we propose trying new things to their level of comfortability allowing themselves the opportunity to grow and learn a lot about themselves and their communities. Trying new things is an opportunity for us to understand each other and to become conscious of the impacts we have, big or small in the communities and people that we serve.
Thus, we have fun, enforce positive language and actions, and try new things in proving a supportive, cooperative and reflective environment for the students, youths and adults to be inspired for a just and sustainable future.