Positive Youth Development

Pursuing
MY Dreams EAGLE Club Project

Curricula
Series – Pursuing MY Dreams

Authors:  Dr. Diana E. Clemons, Njeri Shomari, LMSW and LeAnna Benn

   

The Pursuing MY Dreams EAGLE (PYD EAGLE) Club project is a Positive Youth Development program that will teach youth how to voluntarily refrain from youth risk behaviors that include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence (verbal and physical) and non-marital sexual activity. Each of the age appropriate curriculum stated below teach avoidance from youth risk behaviors in order to stay focused on their future aspiration. EAGLE is an acronym for Emerging and Aspiring Global Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

Since 2004, the Pursuing MY Dreams curricula have been taught in middle and high schools in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City MO, Arlington, Crowley, Dallas and Fort Worth, TX.

FLON has experience in delivering the following selected six interventions in similar settings. The six interventions are; 1) student using three age appropriate curricula with innovative promising practices 2) a parent workshop, 3) EAGLE mentoring club, 4) graduation ceremony, 5) Radio/You Tube media and 6) community outreach.

The name of the age appropriate curricula is also the affirmation, therefore when students share with others the name of the curriculum program, they say I am Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin! (Grades 6-8) and I am Pursuing MY Dreams – I Can Do It! (Grades 9-10).

The MY Journey:  The Rites of Passage to Responsible Adulthood, developed for students, grades 10 – 12 equips students to be career and college ready as well provide them life skills to secure their future to be self-sufficient adults. 

Overall, students will hear and be affirmed to reinforce the youth risk avoidance affirmation – “I am an emerging and aspiring leader, focused on my future career. I will not get involved in using drugs, drinking alcohol, perform any violent acts (verbally or physically) and will avoid all sexual behavior”.

The power and purpose of the students PMD – series is affirmations are what students think, say, or feel that becomes their reality. Affirmations are short, powerful, yet simple statements designed to manifest a specific goal.

By and large, facilitators share with their students that their positive thinking affirmations are designed to encourage a life filled with
positivity and gratitude.

Additional skills and expectations are gained by teaching about the emotional, social, academic, financial and physical decisions facing teens. The data suggests that teens benefits in many ways by achieving self-regulation.

   

The Pursuing MY Dreams curricula, includes five “Journey Steps” that consist of 12 45-minute lesson in PMD – Let MY Journey Begin! and 13 45-minute lesson in the Pursuing MY Dreams – I Can Do It! and MY Journey:  The Rites of Passage for Responsible
Adulthood.

 Contents of all three curricula align with FLON’s Positive Youth Development and Sexual Risk Avoidance Education program goals and objectives. Lessons use various interactive mechanisms; music, videos, creative writing discussions, workbooks, journaling, skits and practice in specific skill building as well as discussions with parents and caring adults.

The PMD curricula consists of five (5) topical “Journey Steps, that includes twelve (12-13) forty-five (45-55) minute lessons developed to clearly communicate that teen sex is a risk behavior for both the physical consequences of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; as well as sociological, economic, and other related risks.

The curriculum affirms teens to celebrate who they are and what they can become, it empowers them to seek positive futures but engaging in risk behaviors may cancel their dreams.

FLON uses medically accurate information from peer-reviewed publications by health organizations as it integrates research findings into practical implementation for students and parents. This holistic approach is essential to reducing teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other youth risk behaviors (i.e., drugs, alcohol and violence).

FLON has a major focus of encouraging family formation, education, job skills and financial literacy as a means of teaching success sequencing for poverty prevention. Teens and parents want to learn about healthy relationships, goal setting, while resisting sexual coercion, dating violence, underage drinking and the use of illicit drug.

When the program is implemented in the high school, all students, grades 9-12 are taught Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

 

Below is a sample schedule implemented in the high school

In School Curricula Implementation Schedule

Each curricula has 12-13 lessons lasting 45 -55 minutes, with a day of introduction and pre-survey plus a day at the end for post survey.

10th graders

11th graders

12th graders

Y 1

Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

Y2

Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

Pursuing MY Dreams – I CAN Do It

MY Journey: Rights of Passage to Responsible Adulthood.

Y3

Pursuing MY Dreams – Let MY Journey Begin!

Pursuing MY Dreams – I CAN Do It

MY Journey: Rights of Passage to Responsible Adulthood.

 

Topics

10th graders

11th graders

12th graders

Values and Beliefs

Decision making & Problem Solving

Developing Healthy Self Confidence   

Building MY Financial Future

Healthy Relationships while Avoiding Unhealthy Relationships

Job Readiness

Effective Communication and Refusal Skills

Discovering My Future Career

Understanding True Color Assessment & Development

Commitment to Abstain & Cessation Support

Preparing MY Resume

Developing MY Future Career Journey Plan

 

 

 

The Center Disease Control (CDC) considers teen sex to be a risk behavior, together with other risk behaviors, such as drug use, lack of physical activity, and failing to use a seatbelt when riding in a car, as indicated by inclusion in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

An integral protective factor built into each curricula is parent teen handouts. These handouts review classroom content and foster communication on parental understanding about risk behaviors. Discussions allow parents and teens to share their expectations for positive futures.

For more information about the Pursuing MY Dreams EAGLE Club Project program, contact Dr. Diana Clemons at (816) 985-1338.

Resource:Healthy People 2020 Family Planning Objectives. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [Cited August 10, 2016].  Available from: https://www.healthypeople.