Volunteering at the AAYC by Ada Sanchez

My time volunteering at the AAYC,  by Ada Sanchez  March 7, 2016

ada sanchez

The Amarillo Activity Youth Center (AAYC) is a 501c3 non-profit that opened April 11, 2007. It is located at 816 S Van Buren, Amarillo, TX 79101.  The organization is investing their time to helping make sure the youth receive all the resources and programs to stay safe and off the streets.  The AAYC is not just for the youth there are programs for adults as well for instance; Zumba, juggling, self-defense and many others. All the staff are volunteers, no one is paid. Al proceeds go to the children to get more programs going and keeping them off the streets.  Volunteers during the month of October get together and display the famous haunted house, Van Buren Frightmare.

Many organizations focus on either having enough money or not having enough people helping but the AAYC’s primary problem is not getting the word out there about what all they do. Having kids and adults to help build together to make this organization even more great, for instance in June they will have a car show called Kars4kids and all the proceeds will go to the community center.

My time spent there was amazing.  The staff made me feel welcomed and it is an inviting atmosphere.  Saw the children be themselves and having fun, running around playing and interacting with each other brought a warm smile to my heart.  It makes me want to spread the word about this organization so that all families know that there is a place here in Amarillo that is family friendly and inviting to anyone.  There are so many activities to do and it is not expensive at all, the max is $3 but   that is a donation.  I saw teenagers interacting and playing with the younger children. This organization is not just run by adults there is a younger staff helping out and they have so many ideas to help improve their facility and Amarillo as well.

“Piaget believed that children’s moral judgements build on their cognitive development” (Myers, 2014 pg. 142). The AAYC organization is focused on the children, it helps them to understand that this is a place where they can go and feel safe and be able to grow in their development.  By seeing and experiencing a good environment it will make their little minds hake good moral judgements. “One way we learn is by association: (Myers, 2014 pg 238) Everyone learns by example of other people. Children are easily influenced either it is good or bad, but the AAYC is a good place to see that there are good things to experience.  By having volunteers who are willing to give their time up to help other children/adults and paving programs to help benefit both is a wonderful community enter.

I believe I will continue volunteering, it was a different experience that made me realize that I can Make a difference even if it is something small. I would like to see how much more this organization can expand in helping children and this community.  Matt Hite and his fellow volunteers have done a wonderful job providing for this establishment and I would like to see it grow even more.  Mabey from me staying and helping out I can use my ideas to make a new program or just by getting more people involved so that no child has to roam the streets and that they can be in a place where they know they are safe and cared for.

By Ada Sanchez

PSYC-2301-003

General Psychology

March 7, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Death of Us

The Death of Us

Our Sedentary Lifestyles

 Are you tired all the time, stressed and have a hard time doing things that use to be easy for you?  Do you feel that YOU are not all you can be?  Did you know that many Americans has adapted to a sedentary lifestyle and that this is killing us.  A sedentary lifestyle is more than just spending an excessive amount of time sitting each day.

This lifestyle has negative health influences including increased anxiety, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and more.   Some people have jobs that require them to sit all day, others sit in front of the TV all the time. A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. We joke a call people couch potatoes, well that’s what we are doing turning our body’s into curved, rounded versions of the image God created us in.

State of mind

As a kid I would go to school and sit most of the day but at least at school you get to get up every 45 minutes and move around; then there’s PE/athletics, Band, lunch and other activities as well.  Our problem is that then many youth in today’s society then go home to sit in front of a TV or computer screen all night and in their free time.

Why?  Well its simple we are training our kids this way.  When they are young, very young; we stick kids in front of the TV to entertain them and keep them busy.  As they grow up they get more and more technology; as adults we get busier and busier and spend less time out of the house doing things with people.  We mentally enjoy that time sitting, doing NOTHING in from of the TV; but it’s at the cost of our health.

Coupled with our changing diets, as we eat less fresh, more processed foods without paying attention to what we are putting into our bodies.

Obese but full

Did you know that just because you are full does NOT mean you are being nourished?  Fatty food seem to fill you and keep the hunger away longer but it’s not putting anything in your body you need.

Today’s society is overweight but under-nourished because we are putting junk in our bodies.  In school we learned Garbage-in/Garbage-out when working with computers.  It’s the same with our bodies.   What are you putting into your body.

Activity

As our population grows heavier and struggles more and more to do daily activities we all have to look at our activity levels.  Yes, YOU, and me and everyone we know.  I’m not saying we all need to goto the gym and become the next Arnold but we NEED to become active.  We need to take time with our kids going places, doing things, and getting out of the house.

Since man was created we have been walking….. Walking, walking, walking.  We all need to remember that our bodies are built to be in an horizontal (sleeping) or vertical (standing)  position; not the bent over form you have when sitting down.  Let’s all try to spend more time up and moving, on our feet.

Ultimately I thin it is imperative to get involved with an activity that requires movement that you enjoy on a regular basis if you want to stay with it.  Whether it be a sport, hobby or activity; its up to each of us to find SOMETHING to get us more active.

Desk Jobs

Ultimately, experts urge people to get out of their chairs and start doing something.   While this may not seem practical for those stuck in an chair or cubicle but small, simple changes like taking phone calls standing up can help. I encourage you to redefine our workouts into all moments, have a weight or stretch-band at your desk.

I spent five years sitting in a call center environment and growing chubbier and chubbier for it.   It’s so easy to grab a bag of chips from the vending machine or a coke from the machine.  if you have been on a job where you’re on the phone all day you understand the need to have something to drink.  Well let’s all try water.  I know yeah, water.  A friend of mine, Patty, introduced me to putting fresh fruit (cucumber, watermelon) into water to give it flavor without the additives and such that are in a lot of the drink mixes.  YUM!  It tastes good too.  I need to start doing more of this; but so do YOU!

Let’s do it!

This is not something easy for you to do alone, get your whole family involved, your co-workers and those that are around you!  Lets make a positive change in our lives TODAY!

Well I have been sitting here typing this for too long, time to walk around and do something less sedentary.  Same to you, right now DO IT!  Let’s go up, on your feet.  Right NOW!

Written by Matthew Hite  Amarillo, Texas

The Talk….

The Talk

by Matthew Hite

Amarillo, Texas

 

Parents, if you have not had the “talk” with your child(ern) its time.  NO not that talk.. The Talk about drinking.  Most children between the ages of 9 and 15 have access or friends that have access to drinks.  Does your child know?  Has your child experimented with drinking already?  Many parents turn the other cheek or pretend it’s not going on with “their kids.”  Don’t fool yourself… Have the talk….

Communicating with teens can be difficult.  It is important to lay a good foundation with your child before they hit the teen years…. and NOT JUST ABOUT DRINKING EITHER….  Your child will be exposed to the outside world, prepare them for it and talk to them before they are put into a situation about it.

Please remember that threats and lectures rarely prevent anything and are usually reactionary in nature.  Be proactive, talk with them and not too them.  Citing laws, rules and regulations will not stop most children.  They need to know these things but that in itself will NOT stop them.  One of the most valuable things you can share as a family is time where you speak openly and honestly with one another.  Maybe at dinner or just before bedtime,  find a time to talk with your kids and to become part of there life or they may not turn to you later when they are encouraged to experiment with things.

Talk to your children about your past drinking and share stories about it.  Be factual and let them know a few things that could happen to them if they do drink.  You need rules that are spelled out clearly.  Share your personal opinions, beliefs and thoughts about drinking and then clearly layout ground rules about drinking.  Work with your child and help them feel good about themselves.  Self esteem is vital so that they can say NO to those that admire later when and if approached.  Be a good parent and work on building a positive family environment so that your kiddo will be willing to talk with you.  Also be a good role model and practice what you preach.  Lastly know where you child is going, when they will be home and who they are will and follow up to make sure they are where they are suppose to be.

It’s a lot of work being a parent and I hope this will help you remember that YOU make a difference in your child’s life and that these tips can be applied to any topic; NOT JUST DRINKING!

Family values have NEVER been so important.  Kids today face a different world than their parents.  Family life is different, family structure is different but YOU can’t use this as an excuse.  Parents and children are spending less and less time together everywhere because of technology, social media, TV, video games and parent’s busy personal life.  YOU have to make TIME!   .

Yes the talk…. every talk…. every day… be a positive influence to your child, don’t just talk, listen!

 

 

AAYC Host Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Event

On April 5, 2014 we hosted a March Against Child Abuse and a Child abuse prevention event in the Gym of the AAYC.

This was a great community wide event with performers and leaders throughout the city involved including Troop 89 Boy Scouts of Amarillo, Amarillo Parks and Rec, AAYC Youth Leadership Cabinet, A-team rentals, Tommy the Hacker of KissFM, DJ Karaoke Joe, The New Life Church youth band, casa DJ Ro Ro, Cody Perez Photography and many others from all over the community.  The event also included a March for awareness through downtown Amarillo.  The goal of the event was to educate and raise awareness of Child Abuse.

Here is the link to the Article in the Local news paper, Amarillo Globe News

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Photos are posted up on the AAYC Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/373aayc

Also check out more info about the AAYC at

http://www.amarilloyouth.org

 

2014 Karing4Kids; child Abuse Prevention Event

April 5, 2014

AAYC’s First annual Child Abuse prevention event, a part of the AAYC Child Safety Initiative.

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015 photo by Matt Hite

The 1st Annual AAYC Karing4 Kids Child Abuse Prevention Event April 5, 2015

Amarillo Globe News Article:

http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-04-05/youth-center-fights-child-abuse

Nearly 200 came out to support Amarillo Activity Youth Center as it participated in the national March Against Child Abuse on Saturday.

Participants of all ages, including some students from the AAYC, marched several blocks in downtown Amarillo holding handmade signs with anti-child abuse messages.

The AAYC offers many classes for Amarillo youth, including fencing, community service and basketball, and many of the students came out to support the event.

“Our kids made the signs,” said Matt Hite, AAYC executive director.

Although the march had been done before, this was the first time AAYC hosted an event to coincide with the march at its facility at 816 South Van Buren St.

Speakers from the community came out to share personal stories and offer their talents.

Some of the speakers included Tommy the Hacker of Kiss FM, DJ Karaoke Joe, the New Life Church youth band and a guest speaker from CASA.

“We wanted to make it fun,” said Vee Montanez, event coordinator.

Montanez said she helped plan the walk last year, but an event like the one held Saturday had never been done before. She asked friends in the area to participate in hopes of bringing people together and making the event more fun.

The event offered many activities, but the focus was on the prevention of child abuse.

AAYC's Karing4kids, 2013

AAYC’s 1st annual Child Abuse Prevention Event in Amarillo, Texas

“A lot of times the abuse goes unpunished,” said Andria Keelin, event co-coordinator.

Keelin said the event’s purpose was to raise awareness about just how many children are abused.

Youtube Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmxjyyfu2fg

Facebook Pictures

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.682582065142784.1073741842.132243203510009&type=3

Bullying

Bullying

By Vee Montanez

 

WHAT IS BULLYING?

According to Webster’s bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

I disagree with “aggressive behavior among school aged children”
Why? Because bullying can also happen in the work place among adults.

There are 3 main types of bullying:
1. Physical – involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.
2. Verbal – saying or writing mean things.
3. Emotional – distress resulting in someone developing low self-esteem, avoiding situations and becoming withdrawn.
Other forms of bullying include cyber, disability, gay, parental and sibling bullying.

I’ve found that cyber bullying is the most common in our day and time because of the popularity of social media. Kids are now doing something they call “blasting or outing” on Facebook. The person will share private/trusted information using pictures, online communication and/or screen shots. The person is considered blasted once the private information has been shared publicly. Most kids find this type of bullying amusing and soon after the post has been made the comments start pouring in. Some comments are positive but a majority of them are very negative and degrading. This type of bullying is there for the world to see and can sometimes lead to suicide because the embarrassment and humiliation is too much to handle for the individual being blasted. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a teenager today. Let me rephrase that, I would hate to be a teenager in 2014. Which is sad because I myself have a 16 year old.
There are also other types of cyber bullying which include cyber stalking, exclusion, flaming and masquerading.

What are the statistics?
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:
• The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
• The 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying.

Although statistically the numbers did drop from 2008-2011 I feel the numbers should be zero percent. I know, that’s asking a lot especially in today’s society but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live in a world with peace and harmony? Where we could all get along and not judge one another. Yes, I’m a dreamer! And I’ve seen this world change tremendously thru the years and unfortunately not for the better. I will continue to dream of a world where our youth can live in peace. A world where they don’t have to be scared, worried or live in fear. A world where they can be themselves! We must teach our youth to love, respect and help one another. We must teach them core values. Otherwise we’ve lost all sense of humanity and may God help us all including myself. This is my very first blog for the AAYC and I’ve taken weeks to even talk myself into writing it because I didn’t want to be judged. But last weekend I spent 12 hours at a lock in with our Youth Cabinet Leaders and they taught so many things. They helped me conquer my fear of standing up in front of a class to teach for the very first time. They also inspired me to write this blog without the fear of being judged. I thank you guys for becoming my family and inspiration in a matter of 12 hours. I hope this blog was helpful to at least one person. Please check out the information below including the videos. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you have any topics you would like me to cover please email them to veepromotions@aol.com.

If you or someone you know is being bullied there is help. I’ve listed a few people you can reach out to that will be more than happy to listen. Our youth leaders are amazing individuals from different walks of life with different stories that you may be able to relate to.

Who can I talk to?
If you are being bullied you can talk to anyone at the AAYC (806) 373-2992 whether it be one of our Youth Leaders, or one of our adult mentors/advisors:  myself ( Vee Montanez ), Cody Perez, Christina Lee, Ryan O’Dell, Shelly Heugatter, Matt or LaRue Hite. You can also reach out to Tommy the Hacker of KISS FM by calling (806) 320-0969 or contacting him via Facebook.

VIDEOS:
Amanda Todd’s Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self Harm
http://youtu.be/vOHXGNx-E7E
LIVE DIFFERENT – KINDNESS CHANGES EVERYTHING http://youtu.be/9gLuXt_GHUQ

RESOURCES:
STOP Cyber Bullying – www.stopcyberbullying.org

The Author of this blog is Vee Montanez

veepromotions@aol.com

Vee

Vee

 

Role Models

When we are growing up we look to our role models for inspiration and use this as a guide for how we should behave when we’re older. In later life when we are striving for that same kind of success our role model showed us, it could bring us happiness. Then having the correct role model will help us learn to be successful and adaptive in later life, and that we are happy when we are older having achieved that aim. It’s very important to get the right role model for yourself, and to provide one for your children.

The most common role models for any child are the parents, followed by other immediate family members. This is why it’s so important to be a good role model– as children imitate your behavior. That means that if you smoke, you can expect your child to take up smoking later in life. If you swear meanwhile they too will swear. They will also find other role models elsewhere, as they grow older, just as you probably have different role models today. This is even more the case if you or they are somehow lacking in immediate role models. When we look elsewhere for role models we are have many options. We have our peers, we have characters from the media – comics, films, books, the music industry, sports and all of these can become a big influence on us and how we present ourselves. This might mean they affect us in a minor way leading us to alter the clothes we wear and our habits, or in a major way, leading us to make important considerations in our career or love life that make us closer to our idols, or changing our views on politics or religion.

So what is a good role model?

A good role model should be someone hard working, creative, free thinking and moral. While you can’t choose role models for your children as such, you can make sure that they are exposed to a better selection to choose from. For example encouraging your child to read ‘Superman’ rather than‘The Punisher’ (who murders his enemies and has a general bad attitude) might have a good impact on the way they turn out. However, it’s important not to put role models on a pedestal, everyone makes mistakes.

Where can I find a role model?

As I have mentioned previously, role models are all around us. They come from unlikely places and different walks of life, they come from media and they come from programs geared towards our youth. It has been said the younger generations have no aim, but what can we do about that? Having someone the youth of Amarillo can look up to as a positive role model benefits the youth and help guide them to become successful adults. There aren’t many organizations in Amarillo for the youth, but the AAYC is making its impact as one of the few. The AAYC is a place youth can come to do community service, take sports lessons or just play ball; whatever the reason maybe that draws the kids there. These kids may show up for an activity, but they go away with more than what they came for. The leaders and coaches take time to talk to everyone who comes in, they take a personal interest in their successes. They teach the kids what it means to be a part of a community by helping others and giving back to society. In my early teen years I met Matthew Hite  and several other leaders of the AAYC, and quickly found a group of people who were willing to sacrifice anything for others. I admired the way they were able to find a way to help those who needed it and wanted to do the same in my life. I began volunteering with the AAYC and used my time there to learn what it means to help others. It may be giving someone food to eat or even listening to someone talk about their day. Having a role model such as the ones I found in the AAYC has taught me I can make a difference to someone, and that I can influence others as well.

carajohnson1  This blog was written by Cara Johnson;  cljohnson8952@gmail.com

The Youth of Today

The Youth of Today

 

We have all heard it, “The youth of today…” fill in the blank, it has been said. The most common I hear is this: “The youth of today have no ambition”. People can talk all they want to about the youth of today, but all they are doing is just that, talking. In order for things to change, something must be done, something for Amarillo’s youth. When AAYC opened their doors many youth saw it as a place they could go to have fun and be safe. A place where they could go and learn something new and get to know other people who they may not have ever met.

I participated in several community service events at the AAYC in order to get into the program I wanted to for college, and I worked with several people who were there for other reasons. We were expected to respect each other and get along, which was not hard because when it came down to it, we were all kids needing something this program had to offer. These times taught me a lot about the other kids, some did not have access to food and some did not have goals once they got out of high school. I saw several occasions the staff making sure these kids had food and talking to them about college admissions. Looking back at it now, I am glad this program was able to go above an beyond for the kids that needed it.

The program I was most involved in as a teenager was the fencing program. I started in the program when I was in middle school and continued it as it changed into the AAYC program. The idea of fencing brings many ideas to mind: from using pickets and nails to the older form of fencing. The AAYC offers the modern Olympic style classes one night a week, but what most do not realize, it teaches you more than swordplay.

During my years in the program I was taught how to work in a team; relying on others and having others rely on me for our success. Even though fencing is an individual sport, having others there to support you and guide you is important, even if it is to hand you a bottle of water.

I learned what sportsmanship is about. In fencing you can loose over and over, and still move on to the elimination rounds. What I found unique about fencing is the level of respect that is asked win or loose. You salute each other and the referee each bout and you shake hands at the end. After a loss it was not uncommon for your opponent to coach you in what you should have done. I don’t know of any other sport where your opponent will help improve your skills.

As for ambition, I learned what it was going to take to succeed and I worked towards it. I was not aiming to be an Olympic level fencer, but rather someone who was enjoying something they loved.

Though I am no longer involved fully with the fencing program, its lessons will always stick with me. Think before you act, follow the rules or you will injure yourself, be there for your team and most of all work towards your goals. This program is here to serve the youth of Amarillo and guide them to being the best person that they can be. The AAYC has had an impact on my current life, leading me to currently working on my masters degree so I too can work with children who are needing someone that they know is there for them, just as I have seen this program do.

carajohnson1      This blog post was written By Cara Johnson cljohnson8952@gmail.com

Kars 4 Kids!

The Kars 4 Kids Car Show was a great success, and we would like to thank everyone who came out and supported us. We raised a lot of money that is going to help build up the AAYC and create a better environment for kids to grow and learn.

Special Thanks to Jacob Morin for his awesome artwork. Check him out here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aiOCfIhM-M

Special Thanks to Jacob Morin for his awesome artwork. Check him out here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aiOCfIhM-Mmoney that is going to help build up the AAYC and make it a better place place for kids to grow and learn.

What really made the Car Show great was the effort our volunteers put in. Current and former kids who have been a part of the AAYC came out and did their part to ensure that the show went smoothly and that everyone had a good time. From hosting fun activities to presiding over the Silent Auction, our volunteers really made the event the success that it was.

So, for any of y’all reading. we want to give a huge thanks for all of the great work you did.

Thank you for your time and your effort.

Thank you for your patience and great attitude.

Thank you for making us a stronger organization.

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