Posted on 01 December 2015 by Rachel
Q & A: JASON TAKES RA TO THE USA!
Wherever I am in the world, seeing young people learn about healthy relationships and critique culture, I get excited because I know their relationships will be better going forward. That's worth going to work for!
Q: Jason, you recently got your passport out and flew off to the USA, but where abouts did you go?
A: I was in Portsmouth, Virginia visiting a new project called Global Youth Action.
Q: Ohh sunny! What were you up to over there?
A: Not especially sunny, though there were a couple of warmer days! The main reason for going was to train 8 youth workers to pioneer the Romance Academy material in the USA. They're at an early stage in their development but already have strong links in the local community and I don't think it'll be long before they're partnering with the local school. I witnessed the first Romance Academy ever in the USA too. The response was fantastic and it showed me that, despite some cultural differences, young people are asking many of the exact questions they're asking over here. Not only that, the materials work in the hands of experienced youth workers and volunteers alike. Wherever I am in the world, seeing young people learn about healthy relationships and critique culture, I get excited because I know their relationships will be better going forward. That's worth going to work for!
Q: What was their reaction to you taking RA international?
A: Youth workers and young people alike were excited about RA. I think it's partly because they get the importance of learning about healthy relationships and sex, and that conversation doesn't seem to be as open as here in the UK. We'll have to change some specific content (young people in the USA don't know who Jimmy Carr is!) but each of our 14 week sessions seem to work seamlessly ... so far!
Q: If you had to choose one highlight, what would it be?
A: That's a tough one! I got to play football (or, soccer for our North American readers) with some young people on the Sunday, they call it a 'pick-up' game. Whilst that may sound like a bunch of poeple trying out their best chat up lines, I can assure you it was just football. My team lost, but we played well.
Another highlight would be seeing good quality youth and community work from GYA. They're working with families, they're addressing the needs of their community, and they're utilising volunteers! All exciting stuff!
Q: Finally, Christmas is almost here - what's it like in the Royce household?
A: My dad will be up at 7.30am to make a huge roast turkey dinner (my brother used to eat off a platter because a plate couldn't hold it!) and all 19 of us in my immediate family will try to cram around my parent's table. I'm one of 4 siblings, and when we were kids everyone would have to watch every present being opened (excruciating for a young and impatient Jason!) and that tradition still continues, taking a big chunk of the afternoon with 19 of us! I'm most looking forward to my mum's Christmas cake; she tries a new recipe almost every year and every one is a winner!