GTLT was awarded a grant from the Chapman Foundation in November 2008. Project YEDE– Youth Experiencing Diverse Education. The word yede means to go; a moving out from any enclosed place; or to go forth. Project YEDE will cause at-risk children and youth to move out of their comfort zones- their communities and experience the world by visiting museums in Southern California. Museums were chosen because America’s museums are some of the nation’s premier cultural and educational institutions-community-centered places for remembering, discovering, and learning. They present the best of the world’s culture, heritage, and achievement. From the display of artistic masterpieces and the interpretation of our history to the appreciation of our natural world and our scientific accomplishments, America’s museums help preserve the past, define the present, and educate for the future (AAM 2008). Cultural enrichment trips are important in connecting children and youth to their social and emotional development by interacting with their peers but more important the adults who participate as chaperones on the trip.
Research has shown youth development programs can help adolescents become competent, engaged, and responsible adults. Programs should have the following elements in order to be successful:
a. programs incorporating more elements of the youth development framework seem to show more positive outcomes;
b. the evaluations support the importance of a caring adult-adolescent relationship, although these relationships need not be limited to 1-on-1 mentoring; and
c. longer-term programs that engage youth throughout adolescence appear to be the most effective (Roth et al, 1998).
Collective socialization theory (Mayer & Jencks, 1989) and related research (Fletcher, Darling, Steinberg, Dornbusch, & Brown, 1995; Plybon & Kliewer, 2001) have argued that neighborhood social capital—that is, the availability, support, and involvement of positive adult role models within children’s lives—enhances adolescent behavioral and emotional outcomes.
Scholars theorize that participation in youth development interventions can be a medium through which resiliency is fostered in youth by helping them to develop psychological, behavioral, and social competencies to resist adversity (for a thorough review, see Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak, & Hawkins, 2004). In turn, these interventions can create trajectories to positive youth development by preparing adolescents for environmental and psychosocial stressors (Eccles & Appleton, 2002).
Interweaving youths’ unique cultural backgrounds and historical and sociopolitical realities into interventions could maximize the effects of positive youth outcomes (Lee et al., 2003) and promote cultural assets that could facilitate protective factors to help them cope with, negotiate, and manage stressors associated with their unique contextual environment and psychosocial development. Project YEDE- Youth Experiencing Diverse Education will target 25 children and youth from the church and the community. The objectives of Project YEDE– Youth Experiencing Diverse Education are as follows:
To expose youth to diverse cultures in our society by visiting museums.
To prevent youth from social isolation and alienation from their community and from society.
To help each young person develop and actualize their innate potential so they may help themselves for their own benefit and for the benefit of society.