In the previous articles of this series, (insert previous links) we discussed how one can incorporate multiple theoretical, psychological, and philosophical approaches taught in a Master’s in Counseling program into practical application while working with disconnected youth populations.
In addition to understanding the impact of these various perspectives, one must also look at other approaches in order to have a holistic approach to working with and understanding how to impact young people from various theoretical approaches. While we have discussed the psychological approaches, this article in the series will look into the combination of psychological and sociological factors.
One of the primary long-term goals of The Youth Connection (TYC) is to have a direct impact on breaking the cycle of generational poverty.
In 2006, Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities (Payne, R., DeVol, P., Smith, T.), was published. This approach discusses the importance of professionals understanding the dynamic and multifaceted issues regarding the sociological and psychological impacts of the cycle of generational poverty. To address generational poverty, the authors researched and discussed the vast differences, perspectives and approaches to life within each class system. Research suggests that within each class are unspoken rules that either hinder or encourage growth, expansion and exploration for each individual.
One such approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty is career mentorship.
Many times, young people have not had the opportunity to have a positive adult teach and demonstrate appropriate mannerisms, dress and even conflict resolution in the work place; all of which are hidden rules within the professional environment. To create an opportunity for success, one must teach young people the hidden rules of such an environment.
If you think back into your own life journey from a career development perspective, we have all had a supervisor, co-worker, mentor or family member whom took the time out to teach us appropriate ways to address and approach situations within the work environment. For disconnected youth, such individuals are few and far between.
Research suggests that individuals who have career mentorship early on in their perspective careers experienced higher rates of career development and satisfaction then those whom did not (2006, p.84).
There is far more to discuss regarding generational poverty and alas, I’m running out of space. I highly encourage you to look further into the book and the research regarding this approach to working with communities across class and culture.
We have spent much time discussing theory over the last few months. The next articles will discuss how we incorporate all these theories into our direct work and approach with disconnected youth through our cycle of engagement model and approach, as well as how each step of engagement builds off the next.
Heidi Grove began her work in the advocacy field in 1998 when she worked at a local not-for-profit agency in Denver, which provides affordable services for Substance Abuse Treatment. From 2001 to 2008, Grove worked with Gang, Urban and Homeless youth; has presented research findings on youth populations at Local, State, National and International Conferences and her findings have been published in academic journals. In September of 2008, Mrs. Grove independently published her first book, which is a curriculum based intervention for Gang Involved youth. She received a Master of Arts in Counseling from Regis University and was nominated and awarded Regis University’s most prestigious Social Justice Award. Since graduation, Heidi Grove became the co-found of the nonprofit, The Youth Connection (TYC), supporting and caring for at-risk youth in Denver. She is currently a member of Chi Sigma Iota International Honors Society, and is a participant of multiple state and local committees that address: Juvenile justice, policy reform, and research. Follow TYC on Facebook and Twitter.