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
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!