The Intergenerational Change Initiative’s current projects include the Change Focus NYC project which I am very honored to be a part of this fall semester. I joined the team in late August, and I’ve learned so much from the current researchers including ways to build and sustain a positive community amongst youth and adult researchers. When we first meet, we always check in with each other. Whether it’s a structured ice breaker or a quick “how is your week going?” our ability to assess the energy within the group is tantamount and important to preparing for the work that we do each week.
Our sessions include opportunities for all team members to share their thoughts, reflect on the analysis of the research and ask pertinent questions. Since we have a great deal of projects at different stages, we break into groups to increase overall productivity and each member selects a subproject to work on. During the last third of our session, we find time to discuss our progress, identify next steps, and complete written reflections to document our feelings. The time we spend working in mini-groups also provide opportunities for us to bond through the data analysis process and our ability to be creative and listen to each other. There are many “fun” moments of research which include engaging the mind, appreciating the intelligence of others, and discovering new things from the data that happen naturally through our work. It’s one of the many benefits of working amongst youth and adult researchers and the great experiences is a component that helps to build and sustain the community we are creating around the work that we do.
- Rachel J
ICI takes pride in creating positive spaces and inspiring change-makers to impact the community in a positive way and lead social justice change. It is an honor to work with sharp and progressive-thinking youth and adult researchers within the institute. It is also a pleasure to watch our alumni go on to use their gifts and cultivated skills in communities that extend beyond our current work. Over the holiday break, we were bestowed an opportunity to check in with Ayanni Godbold, an ICI alumnus, who is currently enrolled at Howard University with a 4.0 GPA!
Ayanni reflects on her journey thus far, shares advice for current researchers, and leaves a few words of inspiration that will inspire us in 2018 and beyond.
Read her thoughts below!
I am currently back home in NYC because I am on break from college but I usually reside in Washington D.C. at Howard University. At Howard I am a freshman majoring in Administration of Justice aka Criminology/ Sociology. I’m enrolled so far in three orgs: the HU Mock Trial Team, The New York Club, and Breaking the cycle (which is similar to the work I use to do with you guys at ICI).
While working at ICI, I’ve learned how important it is to surround yourself with the right type of people especially when it comes to research. When in a healthy and supportive environment, research becomes more then just research. It consist of passion and makes your finding more enthusiastic. I also learned how important it is to put yourself In other people shoes. When you do this you start to view the world from different perspectives and tend to be more appreciative of where you are. It also makes you want to help people who are not so fortunate to reach the same opportunities you have been able to as well.
My favorite part of working with this institution was traveling with them. When traveling we got to know each other even better then before, while still staying on track with our research, and its purpose. As well as also having fun and enjoying each other personalities.
The program actually helped me realize how fun research is. I had done research projects for school, and other activities before, but joining the program gave me a whole new outlook on how enjoyable it is. As for as the activist part it helped me realize that I really do want to spend my life helping people who need the help. There are so many people in the world who aren’t given the best opportunities, but have so much potential that they need to put to use and all they need is to have some push them, and tell them they are able to amount to their dream. I desire to be that very person, the one that makes them realize they can and they will.
In the future I plan on being a lawyer or professional within the criminology field. I will be a famous dancer as well who opens up a community center to cater towards young kids dreams and aspirations.
To the future researchers: if it’s one thing I can tell you, it’s to always put your heart and soul in everything you work towards. There is no purpose in work if you don’t give it you all so go big or go home :). No but really, just go big because Sarah and everyone else at ICI is working on something big here and they need every last one of you guys help make this grow and evolve!