Friday, January 16, 2009

Building Skills by Doing, by Patty DeDominic

Today I had a chance to listen to presentations by experts on Crime Prevention and Gangs on the California Central Coast at a meeting of the World President's Organization. The Chief of Police, the Executive Director of the Police Assistance League and the Director of Youth CineMedia, an organization which gives kids opportunities to learn film making shared some of their accomplishments and challenges with about 40 business leaders. Each had an important story to tell and talked about the importance of community getting involved in helping solve local problems and challenges regarding public safety and crime. Most of the remarks today were focused on concerns about gang violence and prevention and each of the professionals invited input and community leaders' support.

The work that committed adults can do to help kids is endless! But there is MAGIC that can happen when adults show interest in kids, particularly those at risk of failing in school or getting into serious trouble. If you care about your own community and want to meet some fabulous new people and help others with their potential, perhaps this is something you want to get involved in.

Learning by Doing As in the age old "on the job training" there is no better way to become proficient and confident at something which could end up as a job or important career step. What are YOU doing to build your own skills utilizing new technologies? Consider getting involved as a volunteer in youth activities..... you'll gain new skills and provide a much needed resource in your community.

One such Youth program is YOUTH CineMedia, whose tag line is "creating change through the lens of today's youth"
Located in Santa Barbara, California, this important not for profit is helping kids gain valuable skills and is keeping them stimulated in the process. To be able to edit video is a skill that will lead to creative expression and could lead to a lucrative career. This year several of the kids films will be shown at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

I encourage all professionals to build their own skills by doing. I also encourage you to consider following in the path of some of America's leading corporations and philanthropies, like AT&T, Young President's Organization and the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara by getting involved with youth programs.


Anonymous said...

Go to the website of and see for yourself. Young people can make a difference and are making power films, learning animation & web design, music engineering and photography.

Al Walsh said...

This article reminds me of Pete Carroll, the USC football coach. I recently learned that he's has been going out, on his own, with no fanfare, to impoverished areas of Los Angeles to provide companionship and guidance to kids there. He's even brought them down to the campus to let the atmosphere rub off on them and show them what could be in store for them if they just apply themselves. Now that's the best of America at work. Just goes to show what can happen when we apply the little grey cells and get off our butts.