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