New JSLP Cycle Examines Media's Influence on Youth

By Saudi Encarnacion, Clinical Coordinator

The new Juvenile Service Learning Program (JSLP) cycle started out with a bang. The first days agenda included staff and participant introductions, team building excersices and ended with a written assignment which was based on defining and giving examples of mass media, followed by a group discussion based on this cycle’s theme: Does Media Influence Youth?: Pros and Cons.

As the discussion began there was an outburst of insightful commentaries by the youth. One young man answered, “Well, it can be good and bad because everyone can get influenced by it”. Another participant disputed, “people need to stop taking all that seriously because it’s just entertainment” then another young man responded, “but if you are young it can influence you a lot”. With little guidance, the youth continued to explore the ways different forms of media portray violence and sexuality. They even went into a detailed discussion about the intended subliminal messages advertizements give consumers. The groups participation left quite an impression on myself and the rest of the staff. We were excited to see them excited about the discusssion. Their response to such a contoversial subject indicates that these youth are capable of formulating well thought out arguments in a respectful manner and it is a testament of their desire to learn and be challenged.

All of the staff who work with JSLP are excited for this weekend's insights by the youth!