BOOST Conference Panel Sessions


Wednesday, April 28

10:30AM - 12:15PM

From Congress to the Classroom, Youth are Changing the World
Moderator: Jonah Gottlieb, Co-Founder, National Children’s Campaign (NCC), Petaluma, CA
Panelists: Ella Crenshaw, Student; Christian Hernandez, Student; Fatima Rojas Nuñez, Student; Kate Roney, Student, Sonoma Academy, Santa Rosa, CA

Youth leaders from the National Children's Campaign's, Schools For Climate Action Initiative, will discuss how their work has helped hundreds of students nationwide partner with their schools and local elected officials to face the climate crisis head-on.  They will also share their experiences in political organizing, from marching in the streets to writing bills introduced by members of Congress. Learn how youth are changing the world and how you can get your students involved to make a difference in your community.

2:45PM - 4:45PM

Transforming Our Youth Programs - Promising Practices in SEL
Moderator: Pilar Alvarez, Education Director, Young Storytellers, Los Angeles, CA
Panelists: G. Jinger Alvarez, LCSW, Mental Health Consultant, Los Angeles Unified School District, LA's BEST Afterschool Program, Los Angeles, CA; Katie Brackenridge, Partnership Director, Turnaround For Children, Oakland, CA; Jasmine Castleberry, Project Director, Harris County Department of Education, Houston, TX; Kristin Lorey, Community and Culture Director, Young Storytellers, Los Angeles, CA

Social-Emotional Learning is an important guide for navigating experiences and promoting success in life. These skills are powerful predictors of important youth outcomes such as academic achievement, college and career readiness, positive self-esteem and connection to our local and global communities. Come learn from practitioners about the program models, staff practices, and successful partnerships that have shown success and learn ways you can enhance the SEL aspect of your culture on all levels of your program or organization.

Thursday, April 29

10:00AM - 12:00PM

Innovative Practices in Career Readiness
Moderator: Bill Fennessy, Director of Community Partnerships and Work-based Learning, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA
Panelists: Rebecca Brown, Director, Youth Development Programs, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Atlanta, GA; Farrah Farnese, Sr. Director, External Relations, Philadelphia Youth Network, Philadelphia Youth Network, PA; Vereaux Reynolds, CEO, Rising Tide Professional Services, Los Angeles, CA; David Lo, Senior Program Manager, California Society of CPAs, Glendale, CA 

A skilled and robust workforce is essential to the future of America’s economy. Hear from national leaders how they are exploring career integration across sectors to create high-quality programming and career experiences for young people and prepare them for the future workforce. Learn how these programs are meeting participant needs, employer expectations, and how youth are gaining skills to thrive in a professional culture.

1:15PM - 2:30PM

Law Enforcement as Partners & Advocates in Expanded Learning Programs
Moderator: Catherine Van Ness, Associate Director, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Washington, D.C.
Panelists: Eric Gurna, President and CEO, LA's BEST, Los Angeles, CA; Marilyn Hite Ross, State’s Attorney, Winnebago County, IL; Susan Manheimer, Retired Chief of Police, San Mateo Police Department, San Mateo, CA

The value of out-of-school time programs for youth development and as an alternative to incarceration may be self-evident to many of us. However, for those less familiar, the connection is not so apparent. In this session, hear from experts who have made this connection for different stakeholders; that out-of-school-time programs are both a prevention and intervention strategy for youth, including new research from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids on the “Prime Time for Juvenile Crime.”

3:45PM - 5:15PM

Promising Practices in Family Engagement
Moderator: TBA
Panelists: Sheila James, Regional Manager, COSA, Columbus, OH; Sarita Sashington, Strategic Relations Mgr., Be Strong Families, Matteson, IL; Rachel Gonzalez Martinez, Director of Training and Capacity Building; Tina Ochoa, Vice President of Programs, Families in Schools, Los Angeles, CA 

Engaging families as part of the solution illustrates the importance of shared responsibility in family and community engagement. Participants will listen and learn from a dynamic panel about innovative family engagement practices currently working within their communities, with the goal of improving students’ education.

Panel Session workshops contact

Have a suggestion for a Panel Session workshop? Please contact:

Program Coordinator
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Please note: Name badges are required to attend all BOOST Conference events including all meals and all workshops.

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