Leadership- Helping Indigenous Youth work through adversity to achieve success.

Paper details

This is a for a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. Senior Research Paper Focal point of a student’s program of study, which has been designed to provided Interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological foundations of this project. This paper should reflect a basic understanding of qualitative and or quantitative research methods and may draw on secondary data. 14 pages, 4000 words 200 hours of student effort worth 6 credits Selected topic is Leadership. Supporting indigenous youth to work through adversity to achieve success. -I need to demonstrate an understanding and ability to analyze an applied research problem. -Develop, select appropriate qualitative, quantitative data to critically assess and evaluate a situation or problem. -Demonstrate initiative, independence, diplomacy, and flexibility when applying learned techniques and theory to practical situations. -Critically analyze, interpret and evaluate current social issues and scenarios and recommend effective problem-solving strategies. Learning outcomes Identify and appropriately uses research, and reporting methods for a problem or a project. Applies Critical thinking to the integration of objective and subjective knowledge in practice. Outcome: Uses disciplinary concepts and links among these to explain how global and local issues are interconnected. Notes from Judy I was going to do a video for my project but it is going to be a lot tougher to do that. I did some notes for my video project. “When you hear many prominent leaders speak, they usually talk about “Youth being the future”. However, what you don’t hear is how they are preparing youth for those futures. My final research project is going to cover the significance of youth leading through adversity. A few of the questions that I will address and cover are the following. • Why do youth struggle with success? • What do youth experience that holds them back from succeeding? (Abuse, neglect, poverty, work, homelessness, hunger, no money and these are just to name a few. • Do you have to be privileged to be successful? No, but it does help. Within this video project you will see and hear some of the issues that our youth are struggling with. Many people that I know, teachers, coaches, counsellors, and some parents don’t always get to hear what our kids are going through. Many seem to not understand the complexities that they have to go through and feel that their failures have to do with laziness and or lack of applying themselves. Our video is going to highlight a few amateur indigenous athletes; some privileged and some not as privileged. We will be interviewing a few parents and teachers to show how unaligned both groups are. This project is going to provide us with the opportunity to portray our youth as they do their best to succeed. You will hear some of them talking about neglect, about losing a parent and about having no support. You will in the same breath hear them discussing why they have pushed through the adversity and wanting to do more with themselves. A question I ask myself is, what makes these kids different and what sets them apart from other kids who may not be as successful. Here are a few questions on the script for them to answer. • Have you ever experienced failure? • Explain how a bad situation or experience in your life changed your outlook. • Tell us what makes you want to do better? As the founder of the company, Synergy Athletics Management Society, the developer of the post-secondary LEAD up program, and the coach of the Synergy Storm basketball program, I see a real significance in the work we do with youth. As a leadership group, we have witnessed many successes as well as many failures. This has helped us establish the vision and goals for our company. This project is going discuss qualitative research as the major platform. A lot of the work we do with youth and programming can’t be measured by statistics. Rather we measure our successes by helping youth achieve their goals. One of the main reasons for us doing this project is for marketing purposes and a baseline for future research. We want others to see how they can to become successful through adversity. We want to prove that one can still lead through pain and heartache and overcome personal obstacles. This video documentary is aimed at Indigenous youth who are struggling with different issues. The video hopefully one day will be used as a tool to help with the decolonization efforts in the province. It will be used as a media tool to prove that cycles are able to be broken. I have already started working on the background of this video, including setting up a camera person, the venues and the actors. I have already invested 20 hours into planning the timeline. I am estimating that it will take no longer than 3 weeks to plan, film, edit and get everything finalized. I have a stack of different leadership resources both academic and professional that I will be using and a page full of internet sources as well. This video is going to be one of the most valuable assignments that I will every produce. Goal. My goal is to write a paper on how to empower, retain and decolonize indigenous and support them in being successful. They ask to use different research methods but I can only use qualitative methods, unless there are others you feel I can use. I have a program on the go called Synergy LEAD Basketball Academy. It is a Basketball Academy and includes leadership skills, and a curriculum for an Associate of Arts Degree. I have included it for your viewing as well. SYNERGY LEAD BASKETBALL ACADEMY. 1.0 Executive Summary Both Synergy Aboriginal Business Strategies and the Northwest Community College, are in partner with the Old Massett Village Council, together they will be introducing the first of its kind, a co-op academic basketball academy in Prince Rupert. This pilot project will offer a combination of academic university, soft skill, leadership cohort and a full-time basketball academy. This program will focus on recruiting First Nations youth between the ages of 18-30 years old. It will focus on delivering a combination of skills to the student, with the main intent being “success”. The name of the pilot project is L.E.A.D, which is the acronym for Leadership, Empowerment, Attitude, and Development. It is well thought out service that aims to increase the overall success, fitness and day-to-day skills for aboriginal youth. It is a great initiative that will enhance the skills to empower our youth. This program is a direct intention of combatting the effects of colonization. Our children, even though they may never have experienced direct forms of colonization, they are still impacted with the effects of colonization. Decolonization is a goal and not the end point. Programs such as this one will assist in an ongoing collaboration of skills, healing, and knowledge for all our youth. This program is a way for our kids to learn about our history. It is a way for them to adopt new skills, which will empower them to be great. And lastly it is a way for them to continue to play basketball, which is something they genuinely love. The LEAD program is a revolutionary attempt to assist our aboriginal youth in their daily lives by providing them with soft skills and university courses. As our children attend school between the ages of 5 and 18, we expect them to adopt life skills in preparation of their futures. However, many of our kids aren’t even getting to that platform. The number of aboriginal children finishing school in the province of British Columbia is approximately 63 per cent. Even though those rates have increased significantly in the past 5 years, there is still a concern for our children. If our youth do graduate, many of them are abruptly probed to get a job or go away to school. This is the most logical step when you turn 18 however, many of our kids aren’t prepared for that next step. 2.0 Delivery With the combined efforts of the Northwest Community College (NWCC), Synergy Aboriginal Business Strategies (SABS) and Old Massett Village Council, we will offer a cooperative learning platform to new graduates. The Northwest Community college will offer the venue, the instructors, facilitation and the administration of the program. Synergy Aboriginal Business Strategies will offer the facilitation of soft skills, life skills, leadership, coaching, mentorship and delivery of the program. Collectively, they will combine their strengths to deliver this program in a respectful, professional and integral manner. The main purpose of this program is to increase success among aboriginal youth within the region. The Old Massett Village Council will offer its support and direction in which way the program will be delivered by providing a board member to sit on a board of directors. They will also work collectively on developing a cross cultural program for their students and our students. 3.1 SWOT ANALYSIS 3.1.1 Strengths Both SABS and the NWCC have a reputation for delivery successful products. Synergy Aboriginal Business Strategies has the reputation for working strategically over the years to increase the success in aboriginal youth. They are actively involved in coaching the Synergy Storm basketball team and delivering mentorship programs to their players. Synergy has strengths in leadership, mentorship, coaching, program delivery, marketing and communication. The Northwest Community College has been an integral part of Prince Rupert for many, many years. They are known for filling the educational training gaps within the region by offering multiple courses and programs in 5 different communities. They have programs ranging from electrical, welding, nursing, and First Nations stewardship programs. This college is known for offering programs that are needed and courses that are required. The Old Massett First Nation is known for their ground-breaking work for their members. They have a great new council, full of optimism, experience and great ideas. Together, all three of these partners will bring a new spin on student success. 3.1.2 Weaknesses Even though both companies have been known to offer great products, they both have their own weaknesses. In the case of Synergy, one of their biggest weaknesses is that they are fairly a new company and only have a few staff. Even though they do well at what services they offer, the lack capacity to be fully functional. The college on the other hand, has a lot of capacity but have limited autonomy to make quick decisions. This limits them in situations, especially then actions are required in a timely manner. A board of directors and strong leadership team governs the college. Unlike a private corporation, they can’t make large decisions without the getting board approval. This can be seen as a weakness on their part. 3.1.3 Opportunities Between these companies they have a lot of opportunities to work strategically in helping youth succeed. The overall goal for companies in working together is to combat the low success rates for First Nations youth in post-secondary and support them to be more active in today’s workforce. 3.1.4 Threats Like many other opportunities, there are threats. In this case, the risk is relatively low but there are evident threats that can decrease the overall success of this program both in start -up and delivery. The first real threat that would be of concern is the risk of other companies replicating the content of the curriculum. Even though this program is the first of its kind in the north, there are companies out there creeping for new opportunities. A safeguard for any replication is to copyright all content before introducing it to the public. Another threat could be the lack of enrollment and interest in the program. However, these risks can be evident in all new opportunities. 4.0 Gap Analysis After close assessment, we have determined that our core market is adults between the ages of 18 and 30. We are focusing our marketing efforts specifically to First Nations local youth. Even though our market demographic is narrow, we are focusing our market efforts on both First Nations communities and potential funders. Our marketing attempts need to be versatile in the fact that we have to use all types of delivery to interest potential participants, lenders and funders. “There is still work to do so every aboriginal student has the skills they need to succeed in a changing world,” said the Minister of Education. 5.0 Ideologies Even though we fully believe in the intent of the above statement, we feel that there isn’t enough being done to help our aboriginal children in becoming successful. Many of the youth that we work closely with seem to only get so far then hit a wall. Either they just stop going or they get kicked out for disciplinary reasons. After spending time with many of these kids, I have come to realize that they don’t have the tools to persevere past any setbacks they may have. Many of the kids we work with come from broken families, single parents, drug addicted caregivers and many of them have a history of abuse within their households. Many aboriginal children also experience the mutigenerational effects of residential school as well. Even though many parents understand what it takes to be a parent, they may not have the skills to be a good parent. This problem has been reoccurring for many generations and still effecting our children. ‘I brought them up in a pretty horrible way-didn’t know how to parent, didn’t know how to show love’-Penguis First Nations elder 6.0 Statistics According to Statistics Canada’s National Household Survey, 1.4 million people in Canada identified as aboriginal in 2011. Aboriginal youth represent 5.9% of all youth in Canada. Even though, our youth represent a large percentage of the Canadian youth population, there are negative statistics that also haunt that demographic. For instance, the 2014 Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview states that nearly half of aboriginal offenders are under the age of 30 when they enter the system and the chances of them reoffending are also higher than non-aboriginals. Another alarming statistic is that 43 per cent of children in Canadian foster care are Aboriginal. These statistics prove that our children are over represented in both a criminal and social settings. 7.0 Realities So, when the Minister of Education says that he is happy that graduation rates have increased for First Nations people, why are we celebrating. We should be rather alarmed that 37 per cent of our kids never graduated. We need to pay closer attention to the negative statistics and pay attention to the fact that our kids are barely reaching parity. We have come to a point where “almost parity” means success in the eyes of the government. For our people, this doesn’t mean anything. What it does mean, is that we are still in the dependency mind trap. We need to break free from assumptions, negative statistics and start moving in the other direction and this is how we can start. 8.0 Marketing Summary The target market groups that NWCC and Synergy will focus on are First Nations organizations including band offices, education/training centres, development corporations and community parents. Most of these market groups rely on multiple streams of information such as social media, word of mouth and community newsletters. We will focus our efforts in the areas below. 8.1 Marketing Demographics We will focus directly at recruiting aboriginal youth who are approaching grade 12 and or who have recently graduated. We will not only pay attention to graduates but students who have come close to receiving their dogwood. There is a target age that we are recruiting, however we want to open this opportunity to all young Indigenous Men. 8.2 Market Needs Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic in Canada but as stated have a negative correlation in terms of graduation and post-secondary success. Within the region, there is an increase in opportunities for aboriginal peoples. However, the downfall is, there aren’t enough skilled aboriginals within the region to entertain those opportunities. Many of the opportunities require multi-faceted individuals who have the certifications and skills to uphold a full-time position. There is also a large increase in baby boomers retiring which opens up many positions for youth between ages 18-35. 8.3 Product Offering 8.3.1 Associate of Arts Degree The Associate of Arts Degree is a provincial credential designed to prepare students for careers following graduation or for transfer into a Bachelor’s Degree program. The Associate Degree curriculum comprises two years of university level study in a variety of academic areas. Students complete a broad range of courses, balanced with in-depth study in specific disciplines. They can earn the first two years of a four-year Bachelor Degree and then transfer* directly into the third year of a degree program at BC universities. To obtain an Associate of Arts Degree, a student must complete a minimum of 60 credits of first or second year courses. 8.3.2 Soft Skills Courses With the following soft skills, you can excel in many ways. Problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people – and displaying a positive attitude – are crucial for success. The problem is, the importance of these soft skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organizations seem to expect people know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work. (Mind Tools) 8.3.3 Soft Skills Modules 1. Culture and History 2. Positive Communication 3. Conflict Resolution/lateral violence 4. Crisis Management 5. Emotional Intelligence 6. Organizational Management 7. Motivational Intelligence 8. Goal Setting 9. Public Speaking 10. Financial Literacy 8.3.4 Basketball Skills Academy The long-range vision of the Basketball Skills academy is to continue the relationship between basketball and academics. We will work closely with the youth and help them achieve their fitness goals, as well as their basketball goals. BSA is advanced player development where we will be expanding their current basketball skills and turning them into elite basketball players. Here is an example of what their schedules will look like, combined with their academics, soft skills training and basketball training. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday University Program 9-12 University Program 9-1 University Program 9-12 University Program 9-12 University Program 9-12 Games Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Soft Skills/Home work 1-3 Weight Lifting 2:00-3:30 Soft Skills/Home work 1-3 Weight Lifting 2:00-3:30 Soft Skills/Home work 1-3 Basketball Practice 3:30-5 Basketball Practice 3:30-5 Basketball Practice 3:30-5 Program Deliverables • Provide more training time for athletes. • Enhance individual skill. • Enhance academic achievements. • Provide support to all students equally. • Learning will be inclusive of each of their own cultures. • No learner will be turned away. • Utilize First Nations Elders to teach history, traditions, policies and protocol. • Learning is emergent. • Large focus on instructor/student interaction. • Students work in pairs. • Not judgmental environment. • Learners are probed to problem solve and come up with their own solutions. • Students assess themselves, with support from instructors and peers. • Students have repeated chances for success. • Assessments don’t include a pass or fail summary. • Students will be encouraged to have their own way of learning. • Culture discussions are cooperative, collaborative and supportive. 9.0 Keys to Success In order for this pilot program to be successful, we must strongly stand by our vision and actively continue to improve. We will be constantly revamping and doing quality control throughout the first year and every year after that. We want this program to be successful, inclusive, genuine and based on Łoomsk (Respect). 10.0 Summary As leaders and educators, it is our job to identify what our children need in order to be successful. Success isn’t something that people are born with. Being successful takes hard work and commitment and is there for everyone to achieve. However, our kids need the tools and support in order to become successful. This program can better prepare our youth for their futures and empower them in their ventures. We have a chance to really make a difference in their lives by providing them with the tools and teachings to be great. Suggest Reading. Suggested Reading List – let me know if OK for you. All readings available online: Book: Steven Snyder (2013) Leadership and the art of struggle: how great leaders grow through challenge and adversity. E-book available via RRU Library. https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/827947266 Articles: Kenny, C. (2015). Restorying indigenous leadership: Wise practices in community development. The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 35(2), 275-278. https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/6181455049 Hare, J., Archibald, J., Fellner, K., & Christian, D. (2011). Editorial: Indigenous youth as the new warriors. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 34(1), 1-6. https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/5390702037 Klau, M. (2006). Exploring youth leadership in theory and practice. New Directions for Youth Development, 2006(109), 57-87. doi:10.1002/yd.155 https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/5156600545 Gould, D., & Voelker, D. (2012). Enhancing youth leadership through sport and physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 83(8), 38-41. https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/828865143 Baillie, C., M.Sc., Galaviz, K., Ph.D, Emiry, K., B.Sc., Bruner, M., Ph.D, Bruner, B., Ph.D, & Lévesque, L., Ph.D. (2017). Physical activity interventions to promote positive youth development among indigenous youth: A rE-AIM review. Translational Behavioral Medicine : Practice, Policy, Research,7(1), 43-51. doi:10.1007/s13142-016-0428-2 https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/6924355157 Applied Articles: Daschuk, J., Akan, N., & Chouinard, M. (2012). Confronting health disparities: University of regina promotes sports for life and aboriginal youth leadership camp. Research Update, 19(3). Laskaris, S. (2009). Windspeaker sports briefs. Windspeaker, 27(6), 29-29. https://royalroads.on.worldcat.org/oclc/5914730572 I need three more applied articles as well that you may find through this all.

Leadership- Helping Indigenous Youth work through adversity to achieve success.