This week’s Teen Resource, the YMCA, had an action item for us to complete. To write an Inclusion Resolution.
Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity is understanding that there are differences between people. When we talk about diversity and inclusion, we are making strides to include people who may be different from us. By creating our own Inclusion Resolution, we are coming up with a way we are able to include those who are different from us and make the committment to do it.
I talked about writing one in my post this week. So, I went to the website, printed off the template and filled it out. See the picture of it below
My resolution includes,
Being open to learning about others and understanding their stories.
Reading more about others who are different from me.
Writing about their story and sharing it on my blog.
That’s the inclusion resolution I made. If you would like to make one of your own, follow this link to the YMCA and download a copy of the Y’s Inclusion Resolution template. Fill it out and share it on your social media profiles.
We can all do a better job of embracing people who are different from ourselves by,
Reaching out to others.
Taking the time to listen and learn.
Want to learn more about the YMCA?
If you want to learn more about the YMCA and what they can do for teens and the community, here is a link to my most recent blog post. Teen Resource – YMCA
What will you do to include more diversity in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
How was your week? Our oldest son left on a trip to Arizona on Saturday, so we are down to one young adult for the next couple of weeks. It will be a fun trip for our oldest while we’ll enjoy some one-on-one time with our youngest.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month. The posts this month are focusing on leaders, issues and pioneers who have had an effect on the history of the different races in our country. The teen resource I am featuring today is no exception. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is a worldwide youth organization that helped create Black History Month.
Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
According to YMCA.Net, the YMCA (also known as the Y) was founded by George Williams and eleven of his friends in London in 1844. It started as a refuge of Bible study and prayer for young men seeking refuge from the hazards of life on the streets.
The first YMCA in the United States was founded by Thomas Valentine Sullivan. He was a retired Boston sea captain who was working as a marine missionary. He noticed a need to create a safe “home away from home” for sailors and merchants. Now there are more than 2700 locations nationally.
Their committment is to Make a Better Us. How do they do that?
For Youth Development – Empowering young people to reach their full potential
For Healthy Living – Improving individual and community well being
For Social Responsibility – Giving back and inspiring action in our communities
Have you thought about ways to improve Inclusion of diversity in your life? The Y has a way for us to do just that by declaring our Inclusion Resolution for this year. Head over to the YMCA Diversity and Inclusion page and dowload the Y’s Inclusion Resolution Template to declare how you will be more inclusive of others this year. Share your committment on your social media and include the hash tags #BeCauseY and #YForAll. I will share my committment later this week, so be sure to check back.
How Black History Month and the YMCA are connected
According to an article written by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, in 1915, Carter G. Woodson arrived in Chicago to attend a celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation of Black Americans. The three week celebration included exhibits which highlighted the progress their people had made since the end of slavery. Woodson and a small group of people met at the Wabash Avenue YMCA and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This group created Negro History and Literature Week which would evolve into Black History Month.
YMCA as a Teen Resource
In their committment to Make a Better Us, the YMCA offers many Youth Development programs. They are set up to nurture the potential of all kids and teens.
Education and Leadership
Swim, Sports and Play
Do you know about the YMCA? Do you know of one near you? Please let me know in the comments below. If you don’t know for sure, you can check on their website Find Your Y. With COVID guidelines, the Y is offering as many programs as they can with everyones health and safety being the first priority. If you find a program you want to get involved in, be sure to contact your local Y and see how they may be offering it.
Deep Valley Book Festival
Looking for a book festival? It’s hard to find one to attend in person. How about attending one virtually? I have just the one for you. The Deep Valley Book Festival will be taking place online March 6-7, 2021 in their Cabin Fever edition.
I will have an author page and The Hard Way will be available for purchase! Be sure to check it out.
Hope you had a good week. Check in with the teen in your life? What did they have to share? Hey teens, did you check in with the adult in your life? Share something with them about what you are thinking about? They would love it if you did!
New Subject – Teen Resource
I wanted to add a new subject to my blog to showcase people and organizations that are out there helping teens and families. I plan to showcase a different one each month. So, we’ll start things off in January with a look at Boys Town, an advocate for teens and families located in Boys Town, NE.
How did I learn about Boys Town?
I was in our kitchen looking the calendar hanging on the wall. We received it in the mail and use it to keep track of important family events. This one is from Boys Town and states 100 years of saving children and healing families. So I went online to find out a little bit more about them.
What they do at Boys Town?
The organization was started by Father Edward Joseph Flanagan in 1917. He developed a lifelong interest in young people and the struggles they face growing into responsible adults while he was ministering to the homeless in Omaha, Nebraska.
Accoring to their website, boystown.org, is a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through life-changing youth care and health care programs across the United States.
Along with the youth care and health care services that Boys Town provides, they are also recognized internationally as a research leader in hearing, language and related communication disorders, and childhood neurobehavioral disorders. Their findings are integrated into the treatment of the children and families that they serve.
Anoother thing I noticed is that they are an advocate for teens. One way is through their views on the Juvenile Justice System. Another is through their programs helping teens to make changes to their lives and help them succeed.
Advocate for Juvenile Justice Reform
I read a couple of books lately talking about inequities in the current justice system and treament of juveniles who have been incarcerated. One of them, Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson is a true story about his experiences as a black lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). EJI is a non-profit law firm who helps people who cannot afford or are unable to fight for their rights. Stevenson tells the story of three different teenagers who committed crimes and were given much stronger sentences that would impact the rest of their lives. EJI looked into the circumstances involved in these cases and through the courts, were able to get the sentences reduced.
Boys Town takes the approach of rehabilatation and redemption rather than punishment and incarceration and advocate for fair treatment and practices of teens if they enter the juvenile justice system. like EJI, they want to give these teens a chance to change the course of their lives despite a bad choice they made to get into trouble.
Advocate for teens to change their lives
Boys Town helping teens and families to get the assistance that they need to reach their full potential. They provide a residental program for teens in need of a second chance.
In the Who we Help section of their website, Boys Town describes the teens that they serve.
“We don’t don’t give up on kids and are committed to helping those who have failed in other systems… We give them the secnd chances they deserve.”
One of the posts on their Facebook Page features a video about a teen named Kahla. She came from an abusive situaton before she came to Boys Town. She is thriving now because of their residental program. In her video testimonial she says,
“Change myself for something better.”
There are many more testimonials of how Boys Town has helped people succeed. You will also find these on the Who we Help Section of their website and on their Facebook and Instragram profiles.
Check out Boys Town
Boys Town is an organization available to help teens and families in need. Not only are they actively participating in their lives, but they are also conducting research into areas to help improve the treatment they provide to their clients.
With their focus on advocating for Juvenile Justce reform and providing teens with opportunities to make a better life for themselves, I believe Boys Town would be a good teen resource for them and their families to look into.
Another good resource for teens would be my young adult novel which focuses on that very topic. The Hard Way is a story about how fifteen-year-old Paul navigates being put into a position by his friends to make a choice between doing something right or doing something wrong.
Here’s a link to The Hard Way on the books tab of my website.
Please forward this information to someone who may be looking for a good teen/young adult read. If you subscribe to my email list, you’ll be able to follow my writing journey and receive a free copy of chapter one.