In the process, youth institutions aim to instill motivation in youth. Educators and staff encourage kids to work hard towards their goals with the understanding that hard work is the key to a better life. Institutions convey messages about children realizing their hopes and dreams, and they encourage children to aspire to succeed. Nevertheless, children still face insurmountable challenges in the broader social and economic landscape, and what was used as a motivational tool becomes a source of disappointment for those who are not able to leverage their accomplishments into actual opportunities on the ground. The disillusionment becomes an obstacle, as children struggle to let go, postpone or reshape aspirations into something that matches their circumstances. In this panel we hope to deepen our view into this inherent paradox of youth institutions. We would like to better understand the forces that provide great opportunities and harsh disappointments simultaneously, and explore the ways young people are coping with this reality.

Please contact me via email lynnsch[at]bgu.ac.il