YOUTH PLUS POWER EQUALS CHANGE
By philosophical definition, power is the ability to influence the behavior of others with or without resistance. By our definition, power is the ability to get things done! To bring about positive change in the world. True power is evident in education, technological advancement, and in revolution, but no more so than in the hands of the youth that make these things happen.
The Power of Youth is a ground breaking, interactive youth empowerment movement & program, featuring inspiring books, audio and video discs, a tour featuring dynamic youth motivational speakers, and a curriculum featuring a series of modules designed to cultivate the power lies within all students. It all begins with illustrating to students that their voice is their power, and that power can help them change their lives, the lives of their family, their community and their world. All Power of Youth offerings focus on teaching the elements of personal power that they possess and the skills they need to harness to create positive change in their lives and community.
The goal of the Power of Youth curriculum is to help youth to…
- Understand the meaning(s) of power
- Realize their power/potential
- Understand their capacity to be change agents
- Identify individuals who have used power to make positive changes in their own lives
- Recognize positive ways to obtain power
- Develop a positive self-worth
- Assess their core beliefs and values
- Understand the importance of knowledge and learn how to access information
- Understand the importance of a positive work ethic
- Identify positive and negative influences in their lives
- Learn how to network and foster positive relationships
- Develop a sense of professionalism
- Recognize their purpose(s) in life
- Set goals and develop a plan to meet those goals
- Learn to communicate effectively
- Make a long-lasting, positive impact in their lives, their families and/or their communities
The Power of Youth curriculum has been designed to align with health education, character education and career readiness standards on both the national and state levels.
National Health Education Standards
1.12.2 Describe the interrelationships of emotional, intellectual, physical, and social health.
2.12.3 Analyze how peers influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors.
2.12.7 Analyze how the perceptions of norms influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors.
4.12.1 Use skills for communicating effectively with family, peers, and others to enhance health.
4.12.2 Demonstrate refusal, negotiation, and collaboration skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
4.12.3 Demonstrate strategies to prevent, manage, or resolve interpersonal conflicts without harming self or others.
4.12.4 Demonstrate how to ask for and offer assistance to enhance the health of self and others.
5.12.1 Examine barriers that can hinder healthy decision making.
5.12.2 Determine the value of applying a thoughtful decision-making process in health-related situations.
5.12.5 Predict the potential short-term and long-term impact of each alternative on self and others.
5.12.6 Defend the healthy choice when making decisions.
Reference: CDC: National Health Education Standards
Common Core State Standards: English Language Arts
RI.9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
SL.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
L.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Reference: Common Core State Standards Initiative
Character Education Partnership Quality Standards
- Promotes core ethical values and supportive performance values as the foundation of good character.
- Defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and behavior.
- Uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach to character development.
- Offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.
- Strives to foster students’ self-motivation.
Reference: Character Education Partnership
Students read the accompanying book, The Power of Youth. It is designed to inspire students to cultivate the power that lies within them. The book echoes Carlos’ motivational presentations by illustrating to students that their voice is their power, and that power can help them change their lives, the lives of their family, their community and their world. The book provides excellent opportunities for discussion on a variety of relevant topics such as identity, servant leadership, scholarship and networking.
Students participate in multiple team-building and energizing activities. These activities will take students from emotional highs to emotional lows as they dig deep and analyze their internal motivation and come to realize their power. Activities will also help students learn the power of working together to accomplish a goal. While many activities will have students laughing or getting caught up in a game, every activity has a deeper purpose students will be encouraged to discuss.
Students are provided with a journal that contains thought-provoking questions, prompts and activities designed to get students thinking about the activities. It also gives them a place to take notes or just decompress after an emotionally-charged activity. After the program, students’ workbooks and journals will serve as a point of reference and reminder of the skills and information gained and self-discoveries made during the program.
While many of the games and activities are done in whole group sessions, students are regularly split into smaller family groups lead by a program facilitator. These family groups bring a more intense focus to the lessons. In the smaller groups, students will be lead in discussions related to the activities and lessons presented during the program. The size of the groups will make it easier and more comfortable for students to speak freely. They will also find support from the group’s facilitator and the other students within the group.
All facilitators believe in the lessons being taught and put them into practice in their own lives. Facilitators are not there to simply tell students what to do. They actively participate in discussions, complete all of the activities and homework assignments and serve as both examples and mentors to the students.
Dynamic youth speakers sharing stories of inspiration that illustrate how young people can use their voices to make a difference in their lives, the lives of their families, their school and their community. Empowering them to live a legacy of change and hope.
Points and Prizes
Students have the opportunity to earn points which translate into getting their names placed on Post-it notes in a bag or a box. The names in the box go into a drawing for a prize at the end of the program. Prizes may be laptops, eReaders and other items teenagers enjoy, but the goal is to get students to look beyond the prizes and understand the personal prizes they have already won by completing the program.
Homework assignments help students immediately put the lessons learned during the workshop into practice in their own lives. Students are asked to complete the homework assignment between each session. Facilitators also complete all homework assignments in advance to provide students with examples. Students who complete the homework assignments are eligible to get their names in the box for the prizes at the end of the program.
- Who you are. Focus: Identity
- Why you are. Focus: Purpose
- What you believe. Focus: Mindset
- What you are worth. Focus: Self-Worth
- What you know. Focus: Knowledge
- Who you know. Focus: Network
- What you do. Focus: Planning
- How you do. Focus: Process
- What you say. Focus: Communication
- How you use it. Focus: Service
Through continuous and dynamic engagement, students learn about each aspect of power, how they work and how to effectively implement that aspect of power in their own lives.