“From a Space to a Place” at Agape – Discovering Possibilities
One of the sessions in our “From a Space to a Place” program focuses on the interviewing process. We teach our students how to formulate interesting and effective questions in order to gain insight into the needs of their community. Students learn the importance of eye contact in conversation, as well as how to actively listen and take notes to fully understand the views and opinions of the people they are interviewing.
For this session at Agape Development, we brought in two college students studying social work to act out “good” and “bad” interview scenarios. These visual performances helped to reinforce the proper interviewing techniques, while providing some humor to an otherwise dry subject. The students then had time to write down a few thoughtful questions to ask a partner, so that they could practice interviewing each other, and their mentors, before interviewing actual community members the next week.
The next session began with anticipation, but quickly turned into a moment of positive growth. Students who had once been nervous about interviewing community members came to realize that they could hold meaningful conversations with adults. They eagerly investigated the concerns and needs of their community, writing down the key facts of each interview. Having a voice is empowering, especially for the youth who may feel unheard or disconnected from their community. These two sessions helped to instill a confidence in the teens that will undoubtedly help them as they venture through life. By connecting the youth to the elders of their community, relationships were built that will positively reinforce a brighter tomorrow.