28 February 2011


I live in the most materially prosperous nation in the world, and it strikes me as odd some of the etiquette around gift-giving.

13 February 2011

Guidance Remix

I've been experimenting with Wordle as a new graphical way of looking at the language of the Universal House of Justice. I find it illuminating. Thoughts?

The 28 December, 2010 Message:

Wordle: December 28, 2010 Letter from the Universal House of Justice
The Ridvan 2010 Message:

Wordle: Ridvan 2010 Message

06 February 2011

Young Heroes and Junior Youth Groups: Comparisons and Lessons Learned

From 2001-2002, I served as a corps member with City Year Cleveland. City Year is a year of service program for 17-24 year olds that draws inspiration from the nonprofit, corporate, government, and military models in order to engage young adults in an annual campaign of service. I was 18 years old when I joined, fresh out of high school, and the impact CY had on the way I work, serve, and lead has been immeasurable. One of my primary areas of service in City Year was the Young Heroes program, which eventually led me on the path to becoming a junior youth animator.

Young Heroes is a service-learning program for 6th-8th grade students, led by City Year corps members. At the time I was involved in the program, Young Heroes Cleveland engaged about 80 students in educational service activities all day, every other Saturday. Teams of ~10 students were each led by two corps members, who were in turn coordinated and organized by a small leadership team of other corps members.

What did I learn from Young Heroes?

Most of the cooperative games, unity-building activities, and icebreakers I know come from my experience with Young Heroes. My understanding of hoon a given saw to work with 11-14 year olds does too. I also learned a lot about documentation and organizational partnerships, which I think I ought to utilize more effectively as a junior youth group animator. But there are a number of ways in which the Young Heroes model is not conducive to what the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program hopes to accomplish. I've had to learn to keep these in mind in my work as an animator, in order to avoid unhelpful cross-pollinations.