|Cross section of the meeting with youth|
Baton Rouge, La. - Educator seeks to make impactful change to community through the youth at Opelousas Jr. High School. On October 13th, Krystle Washington at the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives met with students in the Century 21 ‘After School Program’ at Opelousas Jr. High for discussion. The purpose of the meeting was to expose the youth to character education and leadership development through an engaging lesson on creative writing, anti-bullying, and conflict resolution. Students were initially asked to think of a time when they were the bully, target, or bystander. They were later given a “My Story Journal” to briefly chronicle the event. Lastly, students shared and mutually developed better ways they could have handled the situation they presented on conflict resolution.
“Before beginning the lesson, I knew that once I had their attention, I would be able to get them to participate and provide feedback in an engaging and thought provoking manner,” said Washington.
She also added that the main goals accomplished were: students’ ability to work on their writing skills; realize their potential to become leaders amongst their peers; and improve their character through education. Community development starts at the youth level because they are our leaders for tomorrow. When assessing the youth and community intersection, Krystle always reflects on the words of Frederick Douglas, “It is much easier to build strong children, than repair broken adults.”
Krystle J. Washington serves as Extension Educator of Community Development at the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives, a satellite campus of the Southern University Ag Center and can be reached at (337) 943-2410.