Every year, YouthQuest employees complete 40 to 60 hours of professional development focused on the latest developments in afterschool best practices, strategies and techniques.
Professional development sessions are held monthly and are led by a variety of experts, such as Dr. Gale Gorke, who specializes in providing training for afterschool employees and Dr. Lauren Czechowski, a pediatric psychology fellow, just to name a few.
“As the youth development field continues to grow, we want our educators to grow with it,” says LaKeitha Givens, YouthQuest Program Director. “We want our staff to be at the cutting edge of afterschool programming.”
Examples of recent professional development opportunities include:
According to Givens, YouthQuest encourages staff to invest in their education and, in turn, to teach students to do the same. The staff attends conferences and workshops not just locally, but across the country.
Recently, YouthQuest staff attended the National Afterschool Association Convention in Dallas, where they learned about developing high quality and innovative programming, engaging youth and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Additionally, the Ready by 21 Conference in Austin, Texas trained staff to prepare students for college, work and life as an adult.
This summer, YouthQuest staff will spend three days learning about strategies to prevent bullying, technology updates and more.
“We aim to empower our site team leaders and learning guides by making sure they have the tools they need to accomplish their goals,” Givens says.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.