Power of One Final Project

Power of One Final Project

EDU 635 Community & Youth Development

My Initiative, Vision & Mission

My proposal would be to generate and develop relationships with children of the community; this will bring them closer together as a group and help them to start walking in unity. This should be of high importance with all of the cruelty and violence that is going on with our youth in all parts of the world. It is imperative that a healthy community is enforced so that today’s youth can take advantages of the available resources and opportunities that are offered. This helps them to be creative and feel a sense of appreciation and partnership. The ability of bring youth of the neighborhood together is by showing and displaying the endless possibilities. This will open their minds, broaden their expectations and anticipate for a better community; which will encourage them to get involved, share ideas and help in feeling part of decision making (Fisher, 2008). Children living in lower income communities, like some areas in Jacksonville Florida already have a restricted amount of access to public services and should be provided more chances to develop their verbal and cognitive skills as an added effort to mastering tasks and academic areas. It is of high importance that youth do not lose confidence; therefore having a place where they feel an appreciated, somewhere safe and a place that helps build a positive self-image is vital.


Black or African American218,45129.7%

American Indian & Alaska Native56730.8%




Two or more races14,6312.0%

My goal is to bring the youth from multiple diverse backgrounds together in the community. When other youth move into the community, they should made to feel welcomed and friendly atmosphere. It can sometimes be intimidating when you are in a location that is unfamiliar to you and you do not know anyone. It can also be hard to adjust if those that are around you do not make you feel welcomed. There should be something like a welcoming committee to welcome these new families; this will help those new families and their children to feel less anxiety.

My assignment would be to form a committee that whose task would be to create a community event; such as a picnic whose primary focus will be on youth and family. I will have adult and youth volunteers from the community that will help with planning activities to help these new families feel welcome. One activity should include an introduction; this activity should encourage each person to get with one person that they do not know and introduce themselves and tell one thing about them and their family. This is a great starter; if it is a success use this opportunity to talk about larger projects. When a community comes together, it generates social and emotional learning for both parent and children. This also teaches the community how to work together, communicate, solve issues as a group and develop relationships. These activities generates comradery with the youth and adults. There are many adults who feel uncomfortable in different setting; which trickles down to their children. This is an awesome way to prepare for a successful life (Lenz, 2007).

Families are important as well as communities. Setting standards and working together will bring nothing but success for each party that is involved. Communities are made up of adults and youth and one must be reminded that the young are our future leaders; therefore, as adults we must be a positive model that ensures the communities work together and are successful.

The chart below displays the many races within Jacksonville, Florida but not restrained to the percentage for each individual race. This chart also includes the fiscal status and housing demographics for Jacksonville in contrast to other cities and surrounding areas.

White alone- 488, 473 (59.4%)

Black alone- 252, 421 (30.7%)

Two or more races – 23, 638 (2.9%)

Hispanic – 63, 485 (7.7%)

Asian alone – 35, 222 (4.3%)

American Indian alone – 1806 (0.2%)

According to City data, (2015-2018) the following demographics are displayed:

Jacksonville population break down by race:

Statistics Jacksonville Florida National
Population 2017 821,784 20.98 7.6 Billion
Population Density (sq. mi) 1100 3348 1205
Median Age 35.5 42.7 37.8
Male/Female Ration 0.9:1 96:100 or 0.96 1.0:1
Married (15 years & older) 42.1% 58% 56%
Speak English 90.60% 27.2 95%
Speak Spanish 20.8% 58.5% 80.5%
Race Florida Jacksonville National
Caucasian 488,473 59.4% 74.17%
African American 252,421 30.7% 12.56%
Asian 7108 0.9% 4.81%
American Indian 3270 0.4% 0.82%
Native Hawaiian 188 0.0% 0.17%
Mixed Race 3.42% 2.10% 2.68%
Other Race 1949 0.2% 4.79%

Jacksonville offers many possibilities within the community that the youth, families and adults can relate. Activities are a must in an effort to ensure that the youth feel that they are part of the community and helps in developing a positive environment as an added effort to the lower the possibility of troubled youth.

One youth related activity that is targeted in Jacksonville is the YMCA. This program offers many activities; such as swimming, karate, flag football, soccer, aerobics and etc. This programs are available to students of all ages; as an added effort to keep them involved in the community.

Another program within the community that is offered is “IMPACT.” Impact is a nonprofit ministry that has made the commitment to impact, influence and involve the youth. Their mission is to impact students in their daily lives by showing the love of Christ; understanding that Christ is love and it starts with showing our youth the love that God has for them and encouraging them to serve Him. Across the Florida Impact gives kids from every walk of life and every background a place to belong and grow in their belief. Impact is constantly expanding and pursuing multiple locations and partners. Impact is known in prisons and shelters for their strong faith and belief in encouraging others and showing them a better way.

Although only two programs have been cited, Jacksonville has many community activities that encourage and increase community involvement; such as, blood pressure van, blood drives, dental vans and many more. To learn more what Jacksonville has to offer, search the website at http://www.city-data.com/city/Jacksonville.

Garden City Elementary is a school in the community where I live and was very supportive in my attempts in trying to bring the community together; by permitting me to host meeting in their cafeteria. The school board was very cooperative after I explained to them what I wanted to do, the purpose for me doing it, how it will be a success and how it will unlock other opportunities and projects in the community. There were many teachers that committed to making themselves available to help with the project; which was great because they knew some of the families in the community and they were able to pass out the flyers to their class. These flyers gave detailed dates on meetings and where they will be hosted. It was the students responsibility to give these flyers to their parents and share the information with other friends in the neighborhood (who may not attend the school but lives in the community); trusting that they will be encouraged and motivated by the proposal and attend the meeting where they can to voice their apprehensions, thoughts and share their opinion and views that they have. Before the actual meeting took place, I asked the teachers to explain the meeting and its importance. I also asked for them to give the students the opportunity to express their concerns and what they would like to see happen in the community and the project. They were asked to take notes and provide me the feedback that they received. Once I reviewed the feedback, I made copies to hand out in the meeting with the parents.

As I walked and canvased the neighborhood of Jacksonville, there were only a few children playing. This is when I knew that this community needs to be motivated to become not only unified but to become more involved. This is exactly what I needed to see because it encouraged me to push more in making certain that I bring the community together collectively. Once this particular project is finished, every person would be delighted in what they have added in succeeding in this project. My desire is that they pursue other projects and be willing participants. Life is all about growth and change; you must be willing to embrace those changes as they come with the understanding that this is what helps the community grow. One should also be reminded that the community is a group of people coming together as a group working for a common goal. Changes can always be made in a community that can help build, shape and make it better for future generations.

My main concern is for the youth and seniors (elderly) in the community. The youth need to have something positive and productive to do or go to; this teaches them not only how to be great citizens but also mentors, managers, advisors and etc. in the community. There are several demands that should be addressed in the community. When it is handled properly with someone (such as myself) that has a heart for people and the right help, it can be a success. So, I start with small and realistic goals a “vegetable garden.” This gets the community involved. The agreement is to ensure that each person is dedicated to do what they said they would. The students agreed to do their part by providing the necessary response; to motivate the parents in getting involved as well; this helps build relationships, develop trust amongst the community and also provides extra projects in the future.

This community is large; therefore, I will meet with the proper school administration to determine the appropriate time to converse with the families, students and others in the community that will participate in the project. In this meeting I will ask their ideas.

Getting the youth in the community involved in preparing them to lead, will inspire and allow the current youth in the community to develop in the their own personal skills to outline other projects later. Having the youth in the community thinking “beyond the box” is way of helping learn strategies of how to watch, listen and learn the need of the community. This project will be successful and will motivate them to construct other projects that will enhance the community. A community should be one that embraces all nationalities and ethnicity to join and thrive; this includes businesses, schools and other organizations catered to youth that will energize the community in moving towards progression. The youth should also be the decision makers on some of the projects that are important (just as adults) to maintain balance within the community. No person should feel left out from any project within the community. It should be reminded encouraging all to be involved will bring in new faces; which comes with new ideas the will or can benefit the community. With continual determination in convincing the youth to become leaders will keep the community growing and bring forth positive new styles, creativity, ideas and views.

The teachers were asked to get understanding on the project and share ideas of how to generate the information on the flyer. Once the flyer was approved, the students will then take home copies and pass out to friends and family in the community.

Below is a copy of the flyer designed to share and pass out in the community.

Upon evaluating how adults and children function as a unit in my community, my findings were that there is little to no partnership. Working with the youth can have short and long term benefits for the adults that take the time to do so in the community. Desiring to bring children and adults together in a positive manner, I constructed a project and set goals for my community that I wanted to execute and see transpire in the community. So, the goal was to ensure that each child was provided multiple opportunities where they can be given the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and what they can do and how they are also an asset in the community.

Forming a committee of leaders in the community was a must to contribute to the success of my project. These leaders consisted of service providers, public officials, teacher, doctors, lawyers and etc. With this committee with a “willing heart,” we were able to kick start the program. The primary focus is to afford each child with skills and resources in constructing practices that will encourage and inspire them to be improved and diverse people. Hynes, Greene, & Constance states that, “youth are attracted to real programs that concentrates on real work skills through hands on learning (Hynes, Greene, & Constance, 2012). This is why my plan is to make certain that many service-learning experiences are available. These experiences provide students the opportunity to work directly with adults and profit different advantages while doing so.

Providing a positive and operative partnership will permit my initiative to remain growing. This initiative is to continue to focus on the youth in the community. In order to maintain this consistency, I must continue to allow the youth to share their ideas of what type of service learning and building projects that interests them. Allowing them to have a say in the program will have a long lasting effect on if the initiative is beneficial in the community. The primary focus is the youth. Fisher states, “working in partnership allows you to focus on environment improvement in which youth live.” (Fisher, 2008)

Making a sign in sheet available will help me to keep track of those students that are participating and also keep track of the amount of hours and days that are actively participating. During these service learning days, pictures will be taken of the participants and display the pictures to show those students that are involved; in hopes of encouraging other youth to participate and to also show the adults that there are youth that are doing positive things in the community. I will also create a form indicating the status of each neighborhood project, Draper & Freedman (2010).

Below is an outline of the sign in sheet for the youth and for project status. These forms helps in preventing anxiety and added pressure; however, they are able to share the findings and their thoughts regarding the project (good or bad). Once the outline is completed, the outcome will be discussed at the next meeting.

Student Name Date Time In Time Out Hrs. Completed for the day
Name Indicate project Concerns

When adults show interest in a child and are genuine concern about them, positive relationships and developed. This development includes higher academic achievement, self-esteem building, greater social skills and mental health (Scales, Benson, Roehlkepartain, Hintz, Sullivan, & Mannes, 2001). After working with the students for a period of time, you will be able to see those who have made gains in their building skills from the program. To celebrate the accomplishments, I will have a community festival for everyone in the community and celebrate those students openly at that time. During this time everyone has the opportunity to socialize, share ideas and just have a relaxing time.

My goal is to create or develop a community where all children are appreciated and recognized; with the understanding that they are the future community and will soon model what they see. I desire to get as my children and adults in the community to rally together and become more involved. I am wanting to establish an active partnership with organizations where the students will be able to communicate and work with adults; by providing them the opportunity to utilize their decision making skills. My goal is to gain 60% percent participation and support of the community. I also would like to start with a minimum of 10 students who would participate in recruiting other youth and contribute in service learning activities. Lastly, I would like to have three to six organizations that are willing to labor with these children in aiding them with service educational learning involvements.

This type of project made the students feel excited because they were able to be actively involved. Each person that participated received a certificate of appreciation. Garden City Elementary was accommodating in my attempts in encouraging the community to come collectively as a group. They allowed us to host meetings in their cafeteria. When the projects are completed, there will be a small banquet for all parties and participants as a way to say thank you. During this time they will also receive their certificates of appreciation.

Another constructive component for this project and future ones, is alternating the leadership role. This certifies that each person is presented the same opportunity to have a chance and no one person is left out. This also brings on new ideas and creative styles that will continue in increasing the community.


Draper, C., & Freedman, D. (2010). Review and Analysis of the Benefits, Purposes, and Motications Associated with Community. Journal of Community Practice, 18(4).

Edutopia. (2018). Exploring the Benefit of Mindset. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/envision-schools-learning-community-respect

Fisher, D. (2003). Assets in Action: A Handbook for Making Communities Better Places to Grow Up. Minneapolis, MN

Fisher, D. (2008). Quick-start guide to building assets in your prevention program. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute


Grey, B. (2012). Plan to communicate. The Edge of Tomorrow. Retrieved from http://bengrey.com/plantocommunicate.

Lenz, B (2007). A Community of Learners: Building a Supporting Learning Environment.

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