Saturday, May 10, 2014


Listening to TED TALK: The Next Greatest Generation? was a moving experience.  Throughout the talk, the speakers in this episode explained what makes a millennial (someone born between 1981 and 2000), a millennial and the differences between our generation versus another.  Many things make us different from other generations such as new challenges and opportunities.  This involves problems with the economy, longer lifespans, and the introduction to the Internet, just to name a few. Listening to the talk made me realize how enthusiastic, driven, passionate, and knowledgeable this generation is.  For the most part, young people are not seen as front runners on change and making a difference, however young people make such great impacts on others. This talk made me realize that age is nothing but a number, and you should not let your age stop you from finding your true passion and changing the world.

Another concept that really opened my eyes was the discussion involving the Internet. Nowadays, we are the ones that define the entertainment of the future.  In many ways, our generation is defined by technology.  We can determine who becomes famous or gets a piece of the limelight.  This is an interesting notion, and also gives a sense of ownership and say in our own pop culture. Furthermore, this Ted talk explained how teenage girls are the subject of so much in media and pop, yet rarely have a platform to speak for themselves. A girl in the talk explained how she wrote a blog/magazine called RookieMag. She explained that in the blog, “we don’t have all the answers, but the point isn’t to give answers but to inspire them to ask their own questions and find their own answers”.  This quote made me think of youth development workers and how important it is for us to let youth explore the world around them.  We might give them opportunities or inspire them in different ways, but they’re the ones that will pave the way and make their own path in life.


One of the Youth Development event’s I participated in this semester involved going to the Accepted Students Day at Rhode Island College.  This was an opportunity for students accepted to RIC that fall to learn more about the campus and what it has to offer.  Students and their families are also given the chance to learn more about the majors that RIC has while in the SU Ballroom.  Here, tables are set up to represent different majors and current RIC students are there to help students and their families with any questions that they may have.

I, along with a few of my classmates, was able to represent the Youth Development major at this event. This was definitely important since YDEV is a new and upcoming major at Rhode Island College, and spreading the word about it is imperative to its growth.  I was able to speak to students and their families about YDEV and a few of them seemed really interested in this major.  On the other hand, some students seemed very uninterested about the program since they already knew what they were coming to RIC for.  Throughout the day, it was fascinating to see how much influence a students’ family has on them.  A lot of the students I spoke to were pressured into inquiring about majors that they were indifferent about.  This might have had to do with the fact that their parents followed in a similar path or the jobs associated with the major were a bit more prestigious.  Either way, I thought it was interesting that they still followed through with their parent’s wishes, even if it was something they weren’t passionate about.

Accepted Students Day at RIC was all in all a great experience. It was wonderful having the opportunity to spread the word about Youth Development at RIC, particularly since this was our first year in attendance.  It was also remarkable watching the interactions between students and their families when deciding on a major to inquire about.  Adults have a lot of influence on what their child does, when they do it, and how.  As youth development workers, I think it is important that we give back to the youth by providing them options while also allowing them to choose for themselves.  They are definitely capable of making decisions on what makes them happy, and I think it is time that adults realize that!