The case for investment in the outcome of our young adults entails embedding strategic informal learning opportunities with formal academic pursuits. The teenagers of today do not only represent potential workforce, contributors to social and economic conditions but are the generation responsible for shaping and revolutionizing our world. The distractions present today are becoming alarming and too many young adults are growing into the productive phases of their lives confused, without the adequate mental and emotional resources needed to navigate the labyrinth of the modern globalized world. The teen phase being a time of concentrated emotional, social and cognitive development, requires the concerted efforts of all youth stakeholders (schools, parents, guardians and youth sensitive organizations) to engage them in initiatives that address their peculiar issues and provide them with the skill and information needed for work and life.
In 2015 the World Economic Forum published the skills that will be critical by year 2020.
While the traditional school curriculum continues to meet its academic objectives, non-formal learning settings have become critical in providing learning opportunities, resources and tools for youth personal mastery. Such informal initiatives when undertaken provides more pragmatic and impactful approaches to youth learning and development such that by the time they graduate from High school, equipped with complimentary learning systems, they would have had realistic experience for their phase and equipped to forge meaning from all the exposures they have gained.
The SUMMER ACTION YARD™ (SAY), a teenage workforce readiness initiative is an annual INTENSIVE interactive experience intentionally conceived for our teenagers, engaging and challenging the young vacationists ‘JUST THE WAY THEY LIKE IT’ to take decisive steps. Congregating teenagers from different schools across the world and deploying the SAY Model, it exposes our young adults to workplace choices, age-appropriate, fun-real-world case studies, discussions, games, social undertakings and responsibilities in dramatic ways as tools for knowledge transfer.
Such informal initiatives when undertaken provide more pragmatic and impactful approaches to youth learning and development such that by the time they graduate from High school, they would have had realistic experience for their phase and equipped to forge meaning ahead through all the exposures they have gained.
The SAY Model is supported by our research efforts and standards of excellence set out by International Youth Foundation (IYF).
Figure 1: SUMMER ACTION YARD™ (SAY) Model
The SAY experience, a defining opportunity, cultivates life and workplace readiness, linking education, vocational and workplace training efforts with the skills and competencies needed for successful work life. We reckon that once this understanding is made, the practice of them leads to personal mastery and leadership along the way.
To our Youth stakeholders: Parents, guardians, institutions, youth sensitive organizations and the larger community, you play a fundamental and essential role in ensuring diverse learning opportunities are taken advantage of. SAY provides a platform for our youth stakeholders to “walk the talk” by making their own contributions and investments in the outcome of today’s teenager.