About the Problem
A lack of safe, accessible places for youth to explore life outside of the school. Many kids in the community have little to no supervision or guidance in the home. Kids are left wondering the streets and getting into trouble and even hurt. Some are avoiding going home to a volatile environment and others have no positive outlet resources. The lack of youth activities in our community leads to violence and crime.
Cities & Communities
Adriana a team member is from Barstow, and she experienced the lack of after school activities growing up. She gave us the idea of our focus. I attend a monthly Bunko Night and a few of the players are teachers at Barstow Elementary. This gave me the opportunity to ask them their thoughts on what they thought or saw as issues in the community regarding youths. I also take a pottery class on campus and asked the class for their input on the subject.
The largest demographic living in poverty in the city of Barstow are Females 25 - 34. Not only are youths effected by lack of influences it carries over, holding back young female adults as well.
It is a daily occurrence that the youth of our community are left feeling helpless and stuck.
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The census data shows that as of 2017 young female poverty has risen above all other demographics and is still the highest as of 2023. It will continue to soar if a community is without channels to instill skill sets, self-esteem and vison.
Without exposing the young members of our community to cultural activities as well as professional activities that broaden their goals and abilities, we can assume boredom can lead to higher pregnancy rates and more experimentation into drug use.
I asked three diverse individuals this question. I was given three solid Yeses'. Stepping outside of a box is in a sense shedding new light. Exposure to more brings more of something into a child's perspective. Enriching their minds.
Around schools and low-income housing complexes.
Anyone that has a business in Barstow want to see the members of their community achieve higher standards. Teachers want to see confidence instilled. Parents want to see something other than destructive choices available to their children.
After reaching out to members of our community it is apparent that they all have something in common. The need for something in our life as children and teens to help us develop in a positive environment. Adriana has reached out to students, friends, and residents to get a better understanding of what impact youth centers could make upon a community. After gathering this research many people have stated that activities as a child helped them escape negative living situations and encouraged them to steer away from substances. We believe it is so crucial to have resources that allow for our children to thrive for a better future. As the article from the CDC cited below states “Positive youth development programs strengthen young people's sense of identity, belief in the future, self-regulation, and self-efficacy as well as their social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral competence.” As these types of programs are becoming more common there have been significant statements on children and teens who have benefited from them. Youth centers and programs help not only development of youth but they also allow them to build healthy and strong friendships throughout. Youth centers can also allow for educational assistance and open the doors to different career opportunities. In both articles listed they discuss how as the youth is benefited a community thrives as it’s driven into a positive change. It’s clear our community needs a positive outlet that truly will benefit our future. Recourses Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, November 2). Positive youth development. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 24, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/safe-supportive-environments/positive-youth-development.htm Marilyn Price-Mitchell, P. D. (2020, November 16). Youth programs: What makes them effective? Roots of Action. Retrieved February 24, 2023,