My name is Jason W–, and I am a youth worker. I have been a youth worker for fifteen years, and I hope to be a youth worker for the rest of my days.
I believe that youth workers are individuals that work with or on behalf of youth to facilitate their personal, social, educational, and ethical development and gain a voice and influence in society as they make the transition from dependence to independence to interdependence. I believe youth workers – after school educators, youth development professionals, parents, teachers, case managers, social workers, healthcare workers, funders, elected officials – are the hope for healing our fractured society. I believe that in order for healing to happen we have to heal ourselves.
I was asked last night “What is true for you right now?” My response: grounded. I have been on a path towards intentionality and authenticity all of my life. This path has led me many places – theater, seminary, college, AmeriCorps, college again, San Francisco, marriage. This path has forced me to try and answer “Who is Jason Wyman?” – entertainer, educator, citizen, leaner, innovator, queer. This path has no end and no beginning. And I am grounded firmly on this neverending path.
I believe I am on this path because I have always been searching for questions; because I am uncomfortable with answers. I believe this path led me to become a youth worker. I believe this path is healing me.
I look into the media’s portrait of society, and I see conflict, violence, disparity, poverty. I look into the intentions of youth workers and I see change, passion, commitment, pluralism, compassion. I look into the faces of youth and I see diversity, life, our future. And I want to support a future where all youth thrive.
I believe this future is within our reach. I believe that in order for this future to be realized we all need to discover our path of intentionality and authenticity. I believe te search for questions is the first step on this path.
And so I pose my first question, a question that was asked of me by Maura Wolfe: “What is true for you right now?”
My name is Jason W–, and what is true for me right now is that I believe that youth workers can heal the world.
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