We, here at Y.E.P., have been waiting to see what the spring brings to make an announcement about this summer’s program. As we, like everyone, debated what could happen, what might happen and how soon we will be able to move towards leaving our homes we began talking about alternative venues for this summer. Of course we (most of us are teachers during the year) brought up online options. At first I railed against it. The Youth Exchange Project is about making connections. How can we make connections without our model of long, intensive, days that are often highly physical?
Impossible. That is NOT the vision. This is NOT our strong suit and experience. How can we connect without (breathing the same air/sharing the same oxygen) physical connection?
But then…as we, our students and colleagues get more and more comfortable in the zoom classroom a zooming intensive doesn’t seem impossible. In fact, a zoom intensive would allow other opportunities that our vision has always included. We envisioned a program which includes the Youth Exchange Project to work nationally and internationally. Perhaps this is the way we can start to cultivate those experiences. What if…. Y.E.P.International is a thing?
So, in that vein, we are actively pursuing and weighing the options, obstacles, benefits and possibilities. Please keep checking back here to see how we are adapting (growing?) in the face of this global epidemic. We and our youths need this connection now more than ever. Lets see what we can do!
If you are reading this and think, Ah, I know an organization in my town (or across the world) that may be interested in combining efforts to give our teens the collaborative-creative-experience-of-a-lifetime please let us know.
You can contact Shawnna at: firstname.lastname@example.org!
Stay safe. Be well.
Shawnna Pledger and all of us here at The Youth Exchange Project (International?)!