Today my advisors and I convened in the “War Room” of AlleyNYC to work through the bones of our pilot program, Multiple Paths to Adulthood. So far the pilot is structured as a three-part program that begins with “Conversations on Adulthood,” a series of sessions that approach the topic of adulthood from various disciplinary and cultural frameworks. The objective is to expose young people to different—even conflicting—ideas of what becoming an adult means, so that they can formulate an informed and highly personal definition of adulthood in a manner that resonates within the context of their lives and communities of support.
The questions that run through this module are: What is an adult? How do you become an adult? Are you already an adult? and How do you know? (some metacognition involved in this last question). We hope to give young people transitioning out of foster care the space to sort through their own thoughts and ideas about adulthood at a critical distance from all the messages that filter through from their families, foster care agencies, peers, and other social and cultural forces.
On a more personal note, I can’t describe what a load off my shoulders it is to have all these ideas living in other people’s minds now. I feel especially fortunate to have advisors who are fully committed to the values and principles of Minds On Fire, but who bring perspectives and experiences that complement and enrich my own.