As a youth development specialist, I have worked with more than 300 youth who strive to make a difference through Camp Fires Teens in Action program. Everyone wants to make a change, but that requires a voice, actions, and lots of communication. When I was presented with the InterACTION program, I shared what it takes to make a change with students. Imagine being handed the secret to becoming a confident, respected speaker, who successfully problem solves in daily life. The target audiences for our InterACTION lessons are AVID students. These students are self-motivated, strive to be better and have visions of one day attending a university. This program not only teaches youth to interact with each other and adults, but also aids them with conflict resolution. I worked with two English-Learning AVID classes this semester, and these students had the opportunity to perfect a different language, as well as communicate and interact with assertiveness.
When I walked into the classrooms, the students were eager to participate, raised their hands, and asked questions.They absorbed everything I said. When I talked to them about different styles of communication, they had the opportunity to put those styles into practice with a photo-realism project. They got into groups and portrayed their talking or listening styles in one photo. I was surprised when I showed them their photos and they identified the communication style just by a glance. I know for a fact these students will know how to communicate with each other, adults, and gain respect when they are finished with InterACTION. This program gives students those extra tools they need to interact with everyone around them properly, including adults, and how to speak respectfully to parents. I look forward to sharing what I have learned with other youth who are eager to learn and ready to make a difference—starting with themselves.
By Jazmin Garcia, Camp Fire Youth Development Specialist