Opinion

Ask a Youth Worker: When Was the Last Time You Felt Like You Made a Difference?

Youth Today asked attendees of the National Black Child Development Institute’s annual conference earlier this year about a recent time they felt they made a difference at their jobs.

Ihkeem Ma’at, president of Black Child Development Institute-DC Metro

I honestly would like to think that I make a difference on a daily basis. I mean, [BCDI] is a volunteer position … I’m actually an educator and work with the DC public school system. So, I would like to think that for those young folks that I see daily, I’m making a difference in their lives. In addition to that, I’m the executive director for the Braveheart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp, which is a youth-focused nonprofit centered on entrepreneurship, and we do programming year-round, after-school programming as well as family development.


 

Erick Stephens, parent engagement coordinator for Healthi Kids in Rochester, New York

Just recently, I actually sat at the Rochester City School District’s — they put a team together to help look at the discipline policy. And we helped to get recess to no longer be used as a form of discipline. Because all the data shows that that’s the wrong approach, and after a lot of meetings and a lot of data — because you have to have data to support it — we were able to get that written into the policy, effective this spring.

Eric Stevens


 

Faye Brown, preschool teacher for autistic children in Warren, New Jersey

Actually, it was last week when one of my autistic children, age 4, said his first word. It was “eat,” with the sign for eat.

Faye Brown


[Related: Intentional Supervision in the Development of Professional Youth Workers]


 

Herman Cook, retired college professor, early childhood education

I serve on the board of a child development program in DC. And so, being able to share my expertise and experiences, and things like that. To help out little ones. … So every day I try to make a difference by doing something — either learning something or sharing. I try to do some mentoring and be a father, grandfather. So, all of those things. Every step I take, hopefully, it has some influence.

Herman Cook


 

Tana Turner, equity, diversity and inclusion consultant from Toronto

We were doing community consultations around the experiences of African-Canadians in the child welfare system. And I think the last time [I felt I made a difference] was one of the consultations we just finished up, where the community actually felt they were able to voice their concerns and their perspectives that we were going to bring forward in a report to the decision-makers.

Tana Turner


 

Norman Jones, owner, Rhythm Child Network in Los Angeles

So, what I do is I go into a lot of different preschools … do rhythm and drumming. So, every time I do that, I feel like there’s a little seed planted and something that I leave behind for them to blossom in the future.

Norman Jones

 

More related articles:

Youth Workers Need Defined, Broad Career Paths

Global Citizens: Professional Youth-Work Exchange Around the World

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Search

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top