Supporting Its Youth Essay

Supporting Its Youth Essay

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When I first enrolled in the CJC Mentoring Juvenile Justice class, my immediate image that I developed was that I would be mentoring students for their futures. It was my hope that some of the youth at Hilltop Residential Center would listen to the students from UMKC and take advantage of some of the lessons we tried to instill on the residents at Hilltop. I believed that I was fully prepared to work with and mentor the youth at Hilltop. Wasting an opportunity such as this was not an option for me. My professor, Dr. Kristi Holsinger, called the course, “such an usual and special class.” After reading the course outline, I knew this class would become more than just its description.
The first class at Hilltop was spent working with Jackson County Family Court Services Volunteer Coordinator Sonja Potter. The day was productive as the class learned about the background of what the youth deal with in their lives outside of Hilltop. Within the residential facility, Potter emphasized how important it was to build an honest connection with the youth at the residential facility. Potter inspired me to be more transparent when mentoring the youth. I didn’t want to just show up and talk with the youth at Hilltop; I wanted to have an actual impact on their lives. Listening to the teenagers at the residential facility and the workers who devoted their careers to working with the youth was critical. The youth at the facility were a mixture of both girls and boys. It would take a precise level of research to understand how the girls functioned versus the boys at the residential center. Dr. Katherine Van Wormer, Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa, stated, “The reason that a gendered approach is crucial to the treatment ...

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... methods of research. It is the community response that will determine what resources are delivered to the youth of Kansas City.


Bandura, Albert. "Chapter 31." Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1977. N. pag. Print.
Molina, Rebecca A., and Taylor Hass. Girls Justice Initiative. Rep. San Francisco: GJI, 2007. Print.
Morris, Mark. "Changing times Mean a Changing Population at Hilltop Residential Center." The Kansas City Star 4 Dec. 2013: n. pag. Print.
Van Wormer, Katherine S. Working with Female Offenders: A Gender-sensitive Approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.
Watson, Liz, and Peter Edelman. "Improving The Juvenile Justice System For Girls: Lessons From The States." Rev. of Marginalized Girls: Creating Pathways to Opportunity. Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy (2012): 1-57. Print.

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