For over 40 years, Evanston-based non-profit Y.O.U. has been providing quality programs and services to youth. Their vision is that all young people acquire the skills, self-confidence, and opportunity to participate fully, freely, and responsibly in the life of the community.
The Scott Family shares their story of how Y.O.U. has impacted their lives in this video:
About the Video Producer, Director, Editor: Shuling Yong Cinematographer: Jeff Perlman Production Assistant, Additional Sound: Andrea Blake
We’re now done with our very first session and I’ve been blown away by all the talent in the room. So much experience. So much wisdom. We wasted no time on day one. Tasked with introducing everyone to our works-in-progress within 5 minutes, I took the leap to turn an idea that’s been in my head for months, into reality. I’m excited about highlighting and exploring a much heavily praised aspect of Singapore with folks here in Chicago.
Adventures In Learning
The documentary I’m going to be working on throughout the course of the program and beyond will shine a spotlight on innovation in the classroom, before teens enter university. Areas of interest include classrooms that incorporate social entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, or global citizenship.
The interest in these new curriculums and teaching methods really stem from my experience of growing up in a very “exam-driven” educational system, where school was more about learning to get the good grades than it was about learning… actually learning. I remember feeling like a fish out of water when I first stepped into the classrooms at Northwestern University. “You mean you actually wanna hear my opinion?” And also in constant awe of the number of fellow students around me who truly believed they could change the world.
Research Research Research
I’d like to follow stories both in Singapore and in Chicago. If the above resonates with you, I’d love to chat. In this initial research stage, I’m seeking people who’ve done academic studies on the education systems in Singapore and the US, and those who are directly involved in either education system, whether as a teacher, an administrator, or even as a student with an opinion to share.
At this point, I’m still searching for the right points to cover, characters to follow, and stories to tell. Know someone who fits the bill? Send him/her my way.
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Imagine going from zero experience in an art form that scares you, to performing that very art form in front of 750 people at a major concert venue in your city. Fear Experiment is one experience that’s helped over a hundred adults take fear face on over the last few years in Chicago.
Fear Experiment creator Saya Hillman made the sign-up criteria clear – you sign up solo (so everybody starts off as strangers), and the idea of doing FE has to scare you. You must have had no formal training in dancing, improv, a capella singing, or stepping, and you’ve gotta be ready to be practicing twice a week for 3 months before being thrust on stage. Everybody has to work together and be supportive of each other. It’s kinda like summer camp for adults. One filled with like-minded individuals looking for a challenge.
People sign up for various reasons. Some do it to overcome social anxiety, some do it to be a good example to their kids. ABC7 News featured a stepper who proved just this past Saturday at Fear Experiment 3 that being deaf was no obstacle too big for her. When I signed up to do the improv portion, it was to push myself to speak my mind off the top of my head more. Growing up in a culture where sharing one’s opinion both at home and in school was never encouraged, I found myself struggling to participate in class at Northwestern; constantly over-thinking what I was about to say, afraid to offend or be incoherent.
Learning improv in a fun, cozy environment that wasn’t already filled with people who were really good at it was a huge help. Our improv coach Pete did a great job of helping us all build trust in one another, so we would be better able to let go of our inhibitions and fear of being judged. We also practiced tuning out our inner self-critics (what Seth Godin fans refer to as The Lizard Brain). You know, the one constantly going “you’re not funny enough,” or “you look really ridiculous”. I also laughed hard enough at every practice to build some ab muscles. ;)
All in all, an absolutely fulfilling experience with a wonderful, diverse community and something I’d definitely recommend anyone. Friends don’t let friends get stuck in mundane work-eat-sleep cycles. There’s more to life than that. Go. Do something that scares you!
Here’s a peek at what happened pre and post-Fear Experiment 2:
Remember the day you moved out of your parents home and into a space of your own? You know that liberating feeling of being able of living life independently, having the choice of what you want to do and when? We sometimes take our daily lives for granted. We hop on the train, we go to work, we hang out with friends, we do all the wonderful things life has for us. But for people with disabilities, the fastest growing minority in the country, doing some of these daily tasks require a little more support.
Meet Patrick and Elise, two participants at the Center For Independent Futures, and witness their transformations over the years. Their inspiring stories are just proof that with the right supports in place, and a strong, inclusive community, everybody can achieve the skills needed to live an independent life! Watch on.