Many times people would ask me what am I majoring in? Of course I would tell them in Youth Development, but then I never really knew how to explain what my major was. I use to tell them its like human development or like education but I was not certified to be the head teacher. Through out the years I development a better definition into what I was doing and I am glad I did with the elevator speeches. Many people undermine what youth workers do or they think are major is nothing but easy work.
What is YDEV? To me Youth Development is where future youth workers are given the tools and resources to help youth become leaders. Help the youth by leading with them and co-write their stories and make sure their voices are heard. Youth are the future generation, so as youth workers it is important to give them a safe space to do so. You want to empower them and make sure they have the resources and guidance to do so as a mentor.
YDEV give youth workers the opportunity to gain knowledge to help the youth out in many different fields including, Social work, Education, and Non-Profit Studies. Also, they are given the opportunity to go out into the field, which involves the youth in an 180 hour internship. Throughout their years in college they are given professional opportunity to attend conferences and events that deal with the youth.
I am glad we are given the opportunities to work on our elevator speeches and basically our definitions of what is youth work. I feel like my pitch of what youth work is will never be as good as my peers, but I think my pitch gives a little idea of what YDEV is. After reading the text that was given, This is Youth Work, it made me realize YDEV is the experiences that makes us want to do what we do. We want to help the youth and become advocates, by leading with, co-authoring, building relationships, having purposeful play and creating safe spaces.