Today more than ever, youth are finding it difficult to measure up to society’s expectations of achievement and self-promotion. This age of technology, social media and free information can inform, as well as injure. While it’s easy for youth to educate themselves on the Internet, it’s also as easy for them to get overwhelmed and misled by claims to fame by their peers on social media. At a time of adolescence where the need to, either boldly stand out, or fit in feels necessary, many youth fall victim to anxiety, isolation and depression instead.
As we send youth out into the world It become more and more important to give them opportunities to gain a sense of who they are, what grounds them, what lifts them, and what skills and tools can they use to navigate their unique personality and identity in life. They need us to be transparent as role models and authentic about what our experience taught us in life.
Gena Jefferson, Founder and Executive Director of JAIA: Just As I Am YOUth Empowerment, shares how we can lay the foundation for promoting self-awareness and self-efficacy in today’s youth.
Gena C. Jefferson, LCSW, Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Life Coach, Performer.
After serving 22 years in the NYC Public School system as a Teacher and Social Worker, Gena founded her private practice Psychotherapy and Consulting Company GJefferson Counseling Svcs. Also, within that same year, 2010, she founded “JAIA: Just As I Am Youth Empowerment”.
JAIA is a personal and spiritual development leadership program for teens and young adults ages 13-24. JAIA’s mission is to empower youth/young adults towards self-mastery, service & leadership through the use of Universal Life Principles and Mindfulness techniques, for the purpose of encouraging mental health & promoting positive youth development.
Gena has Master Degrees, in Special Education, Educational Administration and Social Work from varied institutions. She was ordained by the Interfaith Council of New York, and holds a Certification in Spiritual Life Coaching from the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development.
Gena is passionate about creating environments where people feel safe, empowered and free to express their individuality and to live their very best life!
Memory is a strange experience. We would like to think that our minds record what has happened, like a video tape, but instead, we store bits and pieces of the experience, and our minds construct what we call a “memory” in the moment of remembering — or re-membering, putting the pieces back together in a story that serves this moment. Memory, including our personal history, is constantly being re-membered. Some stories empower, and some stories get in the way of effective living.
The same is true of social memory, whether it’s culture or history. We have been taught, perhaps, that history is about what happened long ago. But here too, we re-member what happened — we patch together a story that hangs together well (or not) and that informs us for the future. Some stories empower, and some stories get in the way of effective living. As one example: what stories are we telling this week about our country, the election? Which re-membering will serve to heal the world, to serve goodness?
Our Clergy Leader, Jone Johnson Lewis, will reflect on the power of how we construct memory, both personal and social.
Our Sundays begin at 11 am and end about 12:30, with time for socializing afterwards. This Sunday, we will be sharing parts of our platform to one or more Societies via video. We are going to experiment with sharing the response period, taking questions from both our Society and those sharing the platform.