Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Next Generations Conference-Some comments

Next Generations conferences are arranged by Rotary but organized and facilitated by students. In District 7980 in southern Connecticut we have a conference in February each year. Hear are some comments.

Here's Dave Ullman who is quoted in the comments

Here is the student who talked about Next Generations to the Trumbull Rotary Club

You Gotta See These Youngsters In Action

Evani Dulal, a junior at Trumbull High School, talked last Friday to the club about her participation the Next Generations program. Next Generations is a one day, Rotarian organized, youth directed workshop in which 150 students from across our district meet in small groups to discuss “topics that aren’t traditionally discussed in school,” topics like human sexuality and human growth.

The program provides a forum for open discussion — most sessions are adult free — and so helps these teenagers discover “who and what they are,” in the words of Dave Ullman, a Hamden Rotarian, a Next Generations leader since 1996, and a retired Milford High School History teacher.

Ms. Dulal called the mix of students and the range of perspectives “eye opening.” She recalled a session on racial inequality she attended as a freshman that stood out because of the breadth of the group’s perspectives.

Last year she was a facilitator. She led a session on technology, “something important to our generation because it is so prevalent, though,” she added, “not all students have equal access to it.”

Next Generations brings together students from quite diverse backgrounds. They share experiences, learn from each other, make new friends and come away with broadened, if not new perspectives. Results, Ullman said, are “community building and personal growth.”
“it’s apolitical… This is what they will be involved with.”

He believes this program helps “these youngsters… deal with issues, especially in this day and age, that are so important… (they) express concern about what’s going in our country today. They “learn to be centered, to be assertive.”

“If there was ever a wonderful example of what these youngsters do, if you watch any of the tv networks regarding gun violence and persuading legislators to make changes so they could be protected and no matter the opposition, these youngsters, like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg represent the kind of people Evani (and Next Generations) share experiences with.”

Ullman, still the teacher, commanded the floor when he spoke. He ascribed the success of the program to its affective approach, rather than a cognitive one. It’s “the human piece.” If it was just knowledge — if you could do the math, the science, and be successful, if that’s all it was — then why do we have the problems we do today?”

Ullman commended Justin Phillips as “a very important co-partner, one of the very best I’ve worked with.”

He closed by mentioning the variety of Rotary youth programs, from middle school, through Interact in high school, then Rotaract for college students; the one day Next Generations and the weekend RYLA. There’s the Four Way Test Speech Competition, Youth Exchange and the World Affairs Seminar. There’s UN Day.

And the Rotary Foundation offers scholarships to college graduates and professionals to study peace and conflict resolution, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.

Next Generations, along with Rotary’s other outreach programs, offer opportunities to bring Service Above Self to a far wider audience, to afford young people avenues to learn about and impact a world well beyond their own communities.

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