Youth Communication’s Summer Writing Workshop

I’ve been neglecting this blog, I know, but it’s been for good reason. I’m developing a couple new workshops, one on the teen brain for New Alternatives for Children (more on that later), and two for Youth Communication‘s Summer Writing Workshop (apply here). This year’s theme is identity, so they asked me to do two workshops on coming of age and adulthood. Keith, Virginia, and Luisa (the founder and the co-editors of Represent, their magazine by and for youth in foster care) really liked my program framework because it resonated with their own philosophy if Identity-Based Motivation (IBM). We all believe that it is critical for young people to develop a solid vision of their future selves early on. To me becoming an adult is not merely being able to do whatever you want to do, or having to shoulder an increasing amount of responsibilities. Becoming an adult means becoming the person you want to be.

At their request I’m turning my Tribal Rites of Passage workshop into a “giant writing prompt,” which means that instead of it being tied to a project that lets their imaginations run freely, participants are pushed to reflect on their lives and write more personally about the “tribes” to which they belong or hope to belong. Keith gave the example of a person who might come from a very Catholic Italian family but who identifies as gay. He also raised the challenge of multiracial individuals who either feel the need to privilege one heritage above the others, or refuse to be boxed into one identity or the other.

The YC staff also asked for a “becoming an adult” workshop, and they’re giving me as much time as I’d like, so I think I want to talk about some of the different ways that adulthood is talked about (scientifically, legally, sociologically, etc.). I’m very excited to be working with Youth Communications!

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