Wednesday, February 6, 2013

YEL Project Selection

 What do teens want most for Christmas?

 Over the course of two weeks, IYEL has solely focused on choosing a project issue and selecting a way of presenting this issue.

 Starting with the week before the Christmas break, we played Google Feud as our check-in, which is a game like Jeopardy. The I-YEL team was split into three groups, Cuties with Sebastian, Hanakwan-mas, and Fruit Cakes. Jie who was leading the activity, searched about the most popular Christmas gifts on Google. We, the participants, were to guess any random gift that may apply until a general category such as, iPhone which applies under and electronic or the Apple company product category. Did you know that most students want a computer for Christmas? This activity left me excited to play our annual game of White Elephant at the end of the day!

Skipping to the serious portion of the day, we started to jump into choosing our project issue lead by me, Nathaniel. The last Wednesday we met, we had brainstormed as a group the multiple issues that apply and effect to our Bay Area community focuses on an environmental or social aspect. Over the course of thirty minutes, we as a group swiftly listed and eliminated issues. At I-YEL, we respect that not every issue can be addressed, and those less popular were eliminated from our palettes. Toward the beginning, progress was slow. Soon after, we eliminated from an estimated 20 to 30 issues and voted down to nine we all felt relevance with. Those nine issues turned out to be Nutritious Eating, Animal Testing, City Awareness, Outdoor Avocation, Preserving the Ecosystem, Adding More Parks Into the Hood, Cleaner Water for Everyone, Animal Companionship, and Air Pollution.

After a quick lunch break, we all regrouped and split up into pairs. Each pair would research more about each issue and was given an hour and thirty minutes to do so. Filling out a chart, we were to find facts or statistics, relevance to our community, what our parks can do to help, how it applies to an environmental or social aspect, and possible projects. After researching the all nine topics, we grouped together in the Youth Room and presented in pairs each topic. This was the time to make these topics relevant, to make them personal. Tears were shed, stories were told. Even our Backyard Bound team members couldn’t help but to join in on the discussions. After heart felt and heard presentations, the I-YEL members were given time until the following Wednesday to better understand each topic and embrace that a compromise must be met by the end between all nine.

After a long day coming to an end, we all regrouped as we prepared for the ultimate Christmas gift exchange showdown. White elephant lead by Sam and Jie. Over the course of the two weeks before this glorious event everyone participating, UTB and I-YEL teams, brought in gifts worth $5-$15 dollars and that had no use to them but could have use to someone else. The gifts were kept a secret, wrapped in the deceiving gift wrap lied gifts that could have or couldn’t have been useful. The game was played by having each participant choose a ticket containing a number within an enigmatic hat, much like the hats that magicians use, and that number would select the order in which the participants would get to unravel the mysterious wonders. Having the lowest number, one, was considered having the best. Over the course of the game, participants are given the ability to either choose another gift out of the pile or steal another persons gift giving the person who got his/her gift stolen a choice to steal a separate gift apart from what was stolen originally or to choose again. A gift can inevitably be stolen up to three times, but after that it’s locked and the owner must keep it, forever. Towards the end of the game, after everyone had selected a random gift, the participant with the number one would have an option to steal another person’s gift or keep his/her gift thus ending the game. I originally stole and was the second owner of a large display of the map of the world, but by the end of the day I went home with a home made massage parlor of a used foot roller, back scratcher, back hitter, and an easy-make nestle hot chocolate with caramel. Perfect gift! I donated it to the center, so it’ll be in use. Thanks for the amazing gift!


-Nathaniel Ng

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