Happy Valentine’s Day! February is often thought of as the month of love, romance, and chocolate. However, February is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This February, seven students from Ingraham High School in Washington applied to be interns at YTech, a digital literacy and civic engagement program of the Metrocenter YMCA. In honor of February’s lesser known theme, the interns chose to focus their work on creating workshops that promote teen dating violence awareness throughout their community.
YTech’s Internship Programs use the Civic Voice Curriculum to teach young people how to gather knowledge, express their opinions, connect and collaborate with others, and take action – all on an issue that matters to them.The Ingraham High School interns followed this model to research types of abuse that can occur in teen dating and teen relationships, to create a public service announcement that educates teens about consent in dating and relationships, to partner with school and community groups to broadcast their Public Service Announcement, and to facilitate workshops throughout their community to teach others how to take action against teen dating violence.
On February 4th, the Ingraham High school interns taught a 90 minute workshop on teen dating violence to a class on new media and advocacy at the University of Washington Bothell (UWB).The interns led the university students through an icebreaker activity, a video screening and discussion, and a step-by-step guide to create their own public service announcement. Specifically, the interns taught the university students how to identify an audience for their message, how to craft a powerful script for their message, and how to use digital media (in this case, iPods) to capture their message.
At the conclusion of the workshop, the university students discussed what they had learned from the interns. Professor Jane VanGalen described the class discussion in this way: “We talked about how incredibly confident and talented the interns were…because they know how to use digital media to make a difference. We’re reading a lot about those very things, so it was great to see such a strong example.” She added, “It was a tremendous learning experience for the UWB students.”
The Ingraham High School students will continue to facilitate workshops on teen dating violence throughout the month of February.
For more information or to apply to the YTech Internship Program, please contact Colleen McDevitt firstname.lastname@example.org
(Thanks to our wonderful MSW Volunteer, Ginger, for helping at the workshop and for finding powerful words to describe the work this young team has begun. Stay tuned for their peer-to-peer workshops in their own school!)