J2A, the middle section, is where “the rubber meets the road.” It can be confusing that the entire program is called “The Journey to Adulthood” (abbreviated J2A) and that the second two-year stage is also called J2A. This comes from the fact that the J2A years are the foundational piece and teach our young people specific skills that must be acquired and mastered, before teens can move on to the final phase. On the one hand, these are not especially “religious” skills – not things like “Read your Bible” or “Memorize these prayers”. However, we believe these skills, essential for becoming a fully-functioning adult, each hold deeply spiritual implications and applications.
The Six Skills:
- Active listening—the ability to listen creatively and constructively to others and to the self.
- Negotiation—the ability to recognize difference and conflict and to manage compromise while showing respect to all parties.
- Assertion—the ability to express one’s opinions and feelings without aggression or violence.
- Research and information management—the ability to see what questions need to be asked, to track the path to find the answers and to make the new-found information useful to the self and to others.
- Partnership—the ability to establish relationships built in mutual responsibility and accountability.
- Leadership—the ability to think “proactively,” to share the ownership of ideas, inspiration and effort, and to recognize skills and interests in others.
The Six Affirmations
- I know how to listen to myself and to others.
- I work to my strengths. I can recognize strengths in others, and will help them to work to theirs.
- I make a difference. I have something of value to contribute. I know how to serve.
- I actively build relationships. Community is one key to a successful life.
- I recognize there are four steps to a task: the need, the plan, the process, the result.
- I practice compassion, celebration and the mystery of life.