Empowering young People in the Colleges through Youth Care Centers
Youth Care Center (YCC) is one that empowers and enables young people and students to make sure choices for their life. This is a place where young people come freely and have face to face conversation with a youth counselor. YCC is a place where a young people are guided in physical, intellectual, social, emotional, moral and spiritual aspects. Counselling has to be offered on a one-to-one basis to effect changes in many students’ lives and to enable them to make better choices. Guiding young people can be effective when they in turn become the catalyst throughout the neighboring villages and schools. Education has to be empowering and enabling young people ‘to move from head to heart’. The vision of a youth care center has to be revolving around educating the young and empowering them to optimise their potentials.
Principles of Youth Care Centers
The College guidance programme is the specific set of learning experiences which a college provides in response to the guidance needs of its students. There are a number of principles that underpin the College guidance programme.
The College guidance programme should:
- • Be accessible
- • Be the concern of the whole college
- • Be impartial
- • Be young people centered
- • Be transparent
- • Be balanced
- • Be inclusive
- • Be responsive
- • Respect confidentiality in counselling and assessment activities
- • Empower participants to take responsibility for their own development
- • Promote equal opportunities
- • Deploy and make full use of available resources
- • Be reviewed on an ongoing basis
Guidance for the Young People
Guidance refers to a range of learning experiences provided in a developmental sequence, designed to assist the youth to make choices about their lives and to make transitions consequent on these choices. These choices may be categorised into six separate but interlinked areas. Holistic growth of the young people involves: Physical, intellectual, social, emotional, moral and spiritual. “We read that “Jesus grew (developed) in wisdom (intellectually) and stature (physically), and in favor with God (spiritually) and man (socially)”. When all six areas are healthily developed, the young person not only is whole, he feels whole. There is no dark corner of his personality where he feels inadequate to build a protective wall of defense to hide and get lost in society.
The Young Person Holistic Growth Concept
1. YCC promotes Emotional Growth:
• Counselling enables the youth to explore their thoughts and feelings, and the choices open to them; giving care and support through learning to cope with the many aspects of growing up.
• The young people feel their self-worth which is the essential ingredient in personal well-being and interpersonal harmony.
• The Assessment is to obtain a better self-understanding through the use of psychometric tests and other inventories.
• The transfer of knowledge and skills relating to a student’s personal and social development, facilitates self-awareness, decision-making and planning.
2. Social: None of us really lives alone.
• We are thus enabled to create the important qualities like honesty, openness, intimacy, compassion or cooperation and also the realization of the importance of relationships.
3. Physical: Each of us is born with a body
• The youth of today appreciate that well-developed physical potential can be the key to many of the satisfactions of life. Seeing a loved one’s face, hearing beautiful music, making love, creating a work of art, enjoying nature – nearly every pleasurable experience has at least some measure of physical functioning involvement.. Thus creating awareness to take care of their physical potentials.
• The youth are expressive in the transfer of knowledge and skills relating to studying, examination performance, choices of subjects and levels.
• Peer teaching is the important key for them to understand and study easily.
• Information is a means to provide the youth with objective and factual data on education and training opportunities, occupations, labour market information, entitlements etc.
• Thus conducting job oriented programs for them by inviting resources persons will give greater idea about their career with practical and expertise helps.
• The inter-religious approach with the youth help them to understand other religious people with greater faith in their own religion by accepting each other and respecting others’ faith.
• Prayer services channelize without any distinction of religion the spiritual potentials and richness of life.
• The young people take responsibility for what they say and do, thus contributing to social responsibility.
The Roles of College management, Guidance counsellor, Staff and Parents:
In enabling our young people to be responsible and allow them to bring out their potentials for the better life, the roles of different people which play a vital step are as follows;
1. The Board of Management and College management team have a responsibility to ensure that the provision and practice of guidance in the college is of the highest possible standard including and managing the process of guidance planning in cooperation with the guidance counsellor, college staff and partners.
2. Guidance counsellors because of their specialist training have a professional role in each of the main areas: personal and social, educational, career and spiritual. Guidance counsellors are professionally trained to undertake the following tasks within the college guidance programme: empowering students to make decisions, solve problems, change behaviours and resolve issues in their lives. Such activity may be personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling, spiritual counselling or it may involve combinations of each offered on an individual or group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis. Counselling on an individual basis should be part of the support structure that a college provides to students within the overall time allocated for guidance. In addition the guidance counsellor has a key role in collaborating with the college management in the development and review of the college guidance plan and the integration of guidance into the curriculum
3. The College Staff may have a key role in providing support to students and information and advice relating to their subject disciplines and related careers. Individual teachers may be sought out by students on an informal basis for advice and information who may also consult with the guidance counsellor on the needs of an individual student and/or refer the student to the guidance counsellor when specialist competence is required with due regard to confidentiality.
4. Parents have by far the most influence, directly or indirectly, on the choices made by young people including values, attitudes and lifestyle. Parents have an important part to play in helping to establish the needs and priorities of the college guidance programme by supporting and participating through:
1. Consultation with the guidance counsellor and other college staff.
2. Attendance at relevant information and other meetings at college.
3. Contributing to the development and review of the college guidance plan
4. Providing personal assistance to the college guidance programme.
We need to bridge a network with near-by leaders, organizations and other important persons who are very much interested in the growth of youngsters like
• Doctors, Lawyers, Police and other Professionals.
• Youth Related Government Departments
• Local Community Leaders
• Other Youth & Community Organization Agencies
Basically YCC assures the holistic growth of young people in all the above mentioned six areas. The aim of the YCC is to enable young people to bring out their potentials to make their life choices for their well-being and the good of everyone. Its aim is also making them responsible citizens to the society. All those involved work as a team to empower young people.