Fun & Free FRIDAYS: Dr. Elizabeth Wynter

February 09, 2024

Video Transcript

What's important to you about youth-adult partnerships?

Today, we're gonna talk about empowering system involved youth through youth adult partnerships. So we're gonna begin with talking about the problem. The problem is that in the lives of system involved youth, a dark narrative unfolds and those are called adverse childhood experiences. These experiences range from abuse and neglect to witnessing violence in their homes and in their communities, alongside the burdens of having family members that are substance abusing or have mental health issues. The ACES study underscores a sobering truth that there is a direct link between these childhood traumas and the emergence of chronic diseases, incarceration and employment challenges later in life. We also have to contend with a challenge. The challenge is as we confront the daunting task of trying to alter the trajectory of the lives of these young people. We are dealing with prevailing mental models that are keeping the problem in place. These mental models perceive young people as only service recipients overshadowing their vast potential to empower them fully. We need to have a crucial shift in our perception. It's time to recognize these young people, not as passive recipients, but as organizational assets. Each holding valuable insights and a fundamental right to agency in shaping their own lives. So what's the solution? The solution is for us to develop authentic partnership relationships with young people. Beneath the surface of this transformative journey lies a powerful solution, creating those meaningful long term relationships with the youth that we serve. This approach champions the active involvement of youth in decisions that shape their lives, engaging them in the development of policies, practices and programs. This call is to embrace closeness, nurture pluralistic relationships, establish youth councils and implement cosign practices that are going to break free of the constraints of these prevailing perspectives. Last but not least we're gonna talk about the expected results. So let's anticipate transformative results from empowering young people through their active participation in decision making processes. This goes beyond mere statistical metrics. This process allows for them to contextualize their experiences and cultivate essential skills such as self advocacy and leadership. Moreover, it sets the stage for the establishment of trusting relationships with supportive adults, equipping these young people with the indispensable skills necessary for successful interdependence. In summary, this journey is profound from the unveiling of the shadows of the aces to the pitiful pivotal challenge of shifting perceptions and powerful solutions found in youth adult partnerships. The expected results extend beyond statistical measures, delving into the transformative impact on the lives of system involved youth. Together these elements compose a narrative of change, empowerment, and the promise for a brighter future

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