As an information technology professional and a parent of children that are well versed in technology at a young age – I’ve often conveyed my concerns and recommendations about social media / mobile computing and its impact on our youth. I’ve always wondered about the youth that tend to fall between the cracks, whether “at risk” or those of parents that haven’t embraced this digitally enabled world. Nowadays, you no longer need to be technically savvy to install an application that tunnels you into various social media networks. Over the past year, there’s been so many stories in the mainstream media about mentoring programs that have failed our youth – or those that are simply outdated and unable to motivate our youth. TODAY”S “IN THE ZONE” QUESTION: Are you interested in establishing a mentoring program in the 21st century? This is the first post of a series on this budding mentoring program.
Along my travels in the social media world – I recently had the pleasure to meet Ms. Rodeena Stephens – Founder of Art of Perception. Ms. Stephens is well versed in social media and engaged in various professional organizations that promote a powerful, productive and positive message. I found a very dedicated individual who puts her heart and soul in everything that she does with facilitating youth enrichment events. Ms. Stephens is solely interested in bringing a change into how our youths are engaged in social media. In 2011, Art of Perception was born. This New York based organization provides mentoring and training to youth interested in pursuing a career in media. One of the program goals is for young people (ages 13-17) to produce mini documentaries that display their talents in writing, producing, editing and administration. The “early” return on investment and clearly understanding the need for this scope of work – there’s been a push to incorporate a curriculum for college level students too.
It’s refreshing to interview grounded folks that clearly understand their purpose/mission and know exactly what they want to accomplish while also seizing their moment. There’s simply a lack of certified professionals that donate their time, treasure and talent to our youth. Today’s youth don’t follow the standard model of a two-parent home and/or simply lack social etiquette. Our youth are totally engaged in social media and deal with level of peer pressure that their parents couldn’t have imagined growing up thirty or so years ago. In this digital age, we’re constantly made aware of cyber-bullying and in-appropriate use of social media digital platforms. As we’re all aware Facebook is currently at 901MIL users and Twitter is currently processing 27,000 tweets per second. Other popular networks such as Instagram, Tumblr and You Tube are mainstays in our society.
The Art of Perception network consists of volunteers that are industry professionals in various fields of media communications and education. The program offers workshops that focus on Public Speaking, Social Media Etiquette, Creating an Internet Profile, Building Healthy Relationships, Creating a Digital Resume and the various stages of production. Sessions will conclude with each teen writing, producing and editing their video blog or documentary.
Through training and technical assistance, Art of Perception ensures that volunteers throughout the New York City are effectively trained and screened. The goal is to produce projects that offer the positive achievements of our youth.
In August – Art of Perception just completed a series of workshops. In October – Art of Perception will host workshops in Far Rockaway, Queens in association with the NYC Department of Education. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be checking in with this organization to help spread the word of upcoming events, video blog samples and Skype chat with it’s founder on strategic planning and her detailed events / dates for the next series of workshops.
For additional information about the Art of Perception or interested in sponsorship or volunteering:
Email: [email protected]