The service site I am blessed to be able to serve at is called Youth in Action. It is an outreach/youth group whose chief intentions are to foster educational growth. Thus far I have experienced a group of people instilling hope, love, and confidence among the hearts and minds of initially disparate individuals. But do to the warmth of personal relationships via means of games, fellowship, and a spiritual message, I can see the group beginning to transcend stereotypical poverty nomos into a more genuine understanding of who they are as humans. The kids at Youth in Action now recognize that the term poverty cannot be limited to a mere income-based criterion; rather the term poverty should encompass a wider range of paucities: educational, political, mental, spiritual and so forth. And since the term poverty and/or the effects of poverty connote a multidimensional plight, it only makes sense that the solution to poverty should embrace a multidimensional approach. Wess Stafford in his article, "One Child at a Time" agrees: "Poverty requires a multifaceted response." But what exactly is this multifaceted approach? Stafford contends that the beginning of this approach requires the recognition that poverty is actually a "mindset" and that it is key for the individual to recognize who they are as a human.
However we at Youth in Action do not conclude that we should stop t revealing the individual value of a human; rather, we believe that an education is paramount to overcoming poverty. Many kids at Youth in Action unfortunately feel that education is a futile pursuit because they will always be "poor and unsuccessful." It is our duty to eradicate this lie and demonstrate that an education breeds a "practical knowledge and vision," which ultimately aids in overstepping adversity.
Perhaps the epitome of our mission is to reveal the uniqueness of the individual while broadcasting the eminence of an education. I feel that our mission is best described by Stafford: "I don't think my community should look like this. See what's going on over there? That's wrong--and I can fix it!" In essence, we feel that if this quote is uttered, the pinions of poverty have been broken and our mission has been fulfilled.