Volunteers participating in the summer program in Bellflower and Boyle Heights (Los Angeles) were asked to fill out a questionnaire and then send it to two other people who had not been involved in the summer programs. Teachers, parents, school administrators and anyone who works in contact with young people can benefit from the results of this survey which highlight similarities and differences between young people who volunteered and those who did not, and shed light on what is happening to young people during the pandemic.
Here are some essential points that emerged from this analysis.
Self-awareness: If young people are accompanied during these pandemic times, they feel more aware of who they are and are more aware of their reactions in and to situations like this.
Closeness with family: young people need support, why it is important that families create their own routine, in which they can spend time together. It is vital that parents take an interest in their children's hobbies and find ways to be part of them.
Conflict Resolution: This pandemic has given us the opportunity to be close as a family, but this closeness can sometimes create some kind of conflict. This can be an excellent opportunity to practice conflict resolution and empathy techniques.
Death and uncertainty: these are the greatest fears of young people in recent months. Therefore, children must be helped to cope with their anxieties and fears.
Anxiety and Depression: These are words we need to be aware of, as many of our young people suffer from these problems. School leaders, non-profit organizations and parishes must ask themselves: "What are we doing to support our young people who are going through these situations?"
Gratefulness: This pandemic offers an excellent opportunity to help our young people to be grateful, learn to appreciate what they have and, more than anything else, show them how they can use their resources to improve our society.
The complete research is available online in English and Spanish.