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  • Marie 6:22 am on June 20, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , youth   

    DUCK and Cover! 

    A phrase I’ve used frequently as of late is “hit or miss”. I’ve said it about relationships, I used it when talking about fast food joints or tea. I also associate the phrase with my work at DUCK.

    These first few weeks have thrown new and exciting challenges at me.

    One of the major challenges that has hit me is the new environment, working with children in junior high and high school. In the past, I have worked mainly with children between the ages of 5 and 8. This summer, I am dealing with rebellious yet brilliant youth. It’s refreshing and infuriating at the same time.

    It’s really hit or miss trying to get them interested in a game. They don’t like talking about themselves, because they feel so much pressure from their peers. This is hugely disappointing in my eyes. I am convinced that having them share with each other is the key to kicking down the walls… but how?

    Then, there are some who try to lead the other kids. Somehow, the other staff and I have to convince him to lead the kids towards good, not disrespect and delinquency.

    To say the least, my job keeps my mind and heart busy. These kids are fantastic, but they have yet to fully appreciate who they are meant to be. I suppose that’s what staff members like us are here for.

    Until next time, I will leave you with a few covers of the song I am teaching the kids to play on the guitar.

    • Jennifer Carignan 4:35 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Marie, it sounds like you’re going to have an exciting summer! I used to volunteer with a similar organization and can empathize with the “hit or miss” feeling of working with teenagers. Believe it or not, they usually do come around, especially when they build a trusting relationship with staff. Music is a great way to create this bond!

      I’m eager to see how your relationship with the kids evolves during the rest of the summer.

  • Marie 6:32 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: arizona, , community, , , phoenix, , urban, youth   



    I’d imagine that that is a duck’s way of saying, “Greetings!”

    Hello, everyone! My name is Marie and I will be a 2nd year student at American in the Fall. For now, I’m a summer intern at DUCK in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes the greeting ever so relevant. DUCK is an acronym that stands for Downtown Urban Community Kids. We work in a specific community in Phoenix, offering the children a summer program in the park and recreation center. We plan out days of fun and academic enhancement so the kids aren’t sitting at home bored, nor are they losing any knowledge they’ve gained from school in the last year. In some cases, the kids have not been in school, so this is definitely an enriching program for them.

    So far, it has been a great two weeks. I met with other staff members and participated in a food drive as well as a rummage sale. One piece of advice I’d like to give anyone who plans to work in this field is to get to know your colleagues through events like these. I don’t mean in a creepy, know everything about them kind of way. I mean, get to know how they function in the work environment, their work ethic, and how they interact with the kids. Many times, if they’ve worked there for a while, it is beneficial to you to see how they act so you can adjust appropriately when it comes time to meet the kids. Also, it assimilates you into the work environment much better and you can gauge how you feel working there.

    In terms of planning the program, one thing I learned is that you can never plan too much. I work with the junior high and high school aged kids at DUCK and sometimes events or activities run too long or too short. Perhaps a staff member forgot equipment or communication was a little disorganized. Making alternative plans or having back up plans ready at your disposal can make the program run smoother and decrease any stress in the workplace.

    Also, when given the opportunity to throw a plate of whipped cream in their coordinators’ faces… they will take it.

    Until next time, I will leave you with a song we’ve been hearing a lot of at DUCK as the kids play pool and ping pong…

    Please, you have to admit it’s catchy.

    Walking on Sunshine/Halo – Glee Cast

  • Kyle Morford 2:46 pm on August 1, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , youth   

    The End of Week 10 and The End of My Internship 

    The time has come that I am done this week with my internship with Youth Advocate Program International. It has been a summer spent indoors on a computer researching and digging up information. I am fairly happy with my progress and what I have accomplished. Looking over the past 10 weeks, I see a trail of research that covers the scope of the IPCR program including peace practitioners, child soldier experts, youth violence and drug experts.

    (More …)

  • Kyle Morford 3:41 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , youth   

    Grants grants grants grants grants? 

    Seeing as I am in my last 2 weeks at YAPI, it seems an inopportune time to begin a large undertaking such as the grants process. My boss has tasked me with searching out all grant possibilities that deal with anything youth related. Seeing the initial 40 page document he sent me with past grants was daunting. I feel that in my last couple weeks I should be winding down but it appears he wants it to be winding up.

    (More …)

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