We've been learning a lot about identity In all-star training lately. What this translates to for the all-stars is "game face". Game face is what we present to the larger audience. It is how we want to be precieved. For the all-stars, our game face is profesionalism and youth advocacy. For some of the youth it might be that they are quiet, or that they act out during presentations. Their game face could be saying a whole host of other things about them ,like "dont look at me", or "pay attention to me, because no one else has".
Something one of the level two all-stars said really stuck with me the other day. It was that sometimes when youth are presenting themselves in certain ways, what they are really doing is "hideing from themselves". When a child has no home, has no culture and has no stable friends because they move around too much, they dont have identity. Instead they become whatever they need to be, or in some cases whatever people expect from them.
When I was thirteen I wore dark clothing, dark makeup and made myself completely un-aproachable. Like many other youths I went through a series of masks and labels looking for something that stuck. For people who float through life with no anchor to hold them down, they are suceptible to grabbing onto anything.
Sometimes the only lines thrown to them are the missconceptions of strangers. If you tell a child with no identity that they are angry, they will be angry and everything that goes along with it. Permenance...can be a supportive adult, a lifelong friend or a beleif, but if there is no you to connect it to it makes no difference at all. Identity then should be one of the most important tools we help youth get. Maybe if i get the opportunity during my internship I can develope a workshop around identity.
I think it could be a really effective tool for youth not only so that they are more receptive to other workshops, but for their everyday lives. Once a person has an identity to anchor themselves to it doesnt matter how much instability there is around them, because they will always have someone to rely on. Themselves. -Kayla V.