This strengthening the Youth Development as a workforce text has helped me to understand why we should fund Youth Development education. There is data to help support this point and it was something that I thought about when I was growing up and participating in youth work prior to enrolling in the Youth Development program. The main thing I got from this text is that this is a profession born out of a need to have more people properly trained and taught to work with youth professionally. I think this is very much needed as it helps with the quality of service that is being provided to youth.
Let me start off by saying Youth Development graduates are not glorified babysitters, but professionals that are dedicated to ensuring every youth’s well-being by empowering them to become independent thinkers. Youth Development graduates are well prepared for the challenges that come with working with youth and have established strong support systems within our communities in order to help us in this endeavor. Our field is grounded in the principles of social work practice which has been thoroughly researched and proven effective, non-profit studies, and the doctrine of Youth Development of leading with youth and creating purposeful play experiences. We are the emerging professionals that are being employed to strengthen a youth’s mind by bridging learning from the classroom to after-school settings and supplemental enrichment programs.