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