BOOST Conference Panel Sessions


Wednesday, May 2


Our Neighbors, Our Rural Programs
Beth Chaton, Program Coordinator, After School Programs and Redwood EdVentures, Humboldt County Office of Education, Eureka, CA; Linda Barton, Director, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, Lander, WY; Ronda Jensen, EXCEL Director/Instructional Assistant, Cuddeback Union School District, Carlotta, CA; Angela Henry, Director, SAFE BASE, Unified School District 257, Iola, KS; ASES Program Site Coordinator, Casterlin School, Southern Humboldt Joint Unified School District, Humboldt, CA

Our out-of-school time field is vast and diverse and it is our responsibility to address the needs of ALL youth. This BOOST Panel will share the practice of programs tailored to the unique needs of rural youth. Panelists will share their models and strategies regarding program design, content, sustainability, and talent.


Race, Equity, and Leadership
Steve Gering, Leadership Development Coach, Gering Consulting LLC, Kansas City, MO

To follow the success of our panel last year, Racial Bias and Leadership: The Role of School Leaders in After School Programs, we would like to invite you take the discussion around racial bias deeper; where the knowledge is in the room and the participants are the panelists. Last year we explored the bias that exists in our schools and out-of-school programs that support our children. We reflected on our own biases, the biases of the people we lead, and the bias within our educational institutions including the schools and districts we are responsible for leading. Participants will work together to share and celebrate successful methods, evaluate lesson learned, and generate more strategies that will support our leaders as they work to take action to continue to address the dilemmas they face around racial bias.

 Thursday, May 3


Stop the Stigma - A Mental Health Discussion 
Camrin Christensen, Director of Volunteer Recruitment and Outreach, CASA of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Lilia Mitre, MS, PPS, CWA, Dean of Student Services, Equitas Academy, Los Angeles, CA; Marissa Thompson, MA/EdS, School Psychologist, Empower Charter Schools, San Diego, CA

As educators, you can play a key role in identifying youth with emotional and behavioral problems and linking them to appropriate services. It is our responsibility to create a culture of safety and inclusion for all our students at all times. We invite you to a panel discussion about mental health that will help us identify students exhibiting signs of psychological distress and help connect them to mental health supports in their school and community.


Models of Success: Community Partnerships and Sustainability
Dr. Michelle R. Perrenoud, Los Angeles County Office of Education Expanded Learning Technical Assistance Unit, Downey, CA; Becky Shultz, Director of Expanded Learning, Reach for the Stars Program, Whittier City Unified School District, Whittier, CA; Oscar Hernandez, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club of Whittier, Whittier, CA; Anna Harutyunyan, Coordinator, Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA), Nashville, TN; Carlos Santini, VP of Programs, After-School All-Stars National Office, Los Angeles, CA; Regan Suhay, Co-Founder, Denver Afterschool Alliance, Denver, CO

What if the quality of the staff experience, student learning outcomes and impact on community partners is greatly influenced by the crucial relationship between staff and community partners. In this BOOST Panel session, we invite you to listen and learn from leaders that have developed successful community partnerships that sustain the out-of-school time program in their communities. Participants will walk away with strategies on how to communicate, connect and advocate for a sustainable partnership in their community.


Serving Our Homeless & Foster Youth
Kara Allen Soldati, MSW, Ed.D., President & CEO, United Friends of the Children, Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Michelle Lustig, Ed.D, MSW, PPSC, Director, Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program and Homeless Education Services, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego, CA; Romana Vera, Photographer and Videographer, Los Angeles, CA; Brenda Dowdy, Homeless Education Project Manager, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, San Bernardino, CA; Laura S. Abrams, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Social Welfare, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles, CA

It is important to understand which factors might place youth at greater risk for homelessness, as well as how to help prevent or end an episode of homelessness. While a number of risk factors can contribute to youth homelessness, it is often a reflection of family conflict or breakdown. This panel examines recent efforts to prevent youth homelessness, as well as efforts to improve our understanding of which youth become homeless or part of a foster home.

Friday, May 4


Immigration 101: Keeping ALL Our Students Safe
Aleah Rosario, Director of Programs, California School-Age Consortium, Berkeley, CA; Katia Hansen, President & CEO UURISE - Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education, Inc., Vista, CA; Alejandra Gullien, Director of Legal Services, Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), Oakland, CA

BOOST invites you to a panel discussion about the initial implementation and recent rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Panelist will share the latest information, explain the potential program phase-out and discuss real-life implications of the DACA order on our programs.





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BOOST Collaborative | 1286 University Ave #739 | San Diego, California 92103 | 619-23-BOOST (619-232-6678)

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