Think Together

Exploring Excellence to Expand Learning Opportunities 

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Wednesday, April 26


High School Workforce Readiness Program: Preparing Students for Post-Secondary Work
Gloria Alday, Director of Program and Operations – Older Youth, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

In partnership with Linked Learning, Career Pathway Academies, and Career Technical Education (CTE) programs, Think Together has established a Workforce Readiness and Education Program (WREP), becoming a model for the high school extended learning time field. Participants will learn how Think Together is leveraging the established WREP program to create a staff pipeline for the out of school time elementary school programs and across the industry via graduating WREP interns.
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Invention Education: Building STEM Identity and Community through Activities and Partnerships
Mark Bayaua, Director of Program Innovation, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA; Christine Lawlor-King, Curriculum Writer, Connecticut Invention Convention, Hartford, CT; Brenda Payne, Invention Education Administrator, Lemelson-MIT Program, Cambridge, MA

Invention Education is not only for your students, but also for your community! The presentation will include examples of best practices and real-world opportunities for inventors of all ages! Educators will experience 2 design challenges firsthand, demonstrating a fun process for budding or advanced after school STEAM programs. Think Together will share out how Invention Education became a catalyst for family engagement and an opportunity for interfacing with non-profits and local businesses.
MLA, CB, DS, E, M, H
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Thursday, April 27


Meeting the Moment: How Data & Program Departments Collaborate to Create a Student-Centered Program Design
Shelby Feliciano-Sabala, Sr. Director of Data & Evaluation; Gloria Alday, Director of Program & Operations – Older Youth, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

The pandemic forced us to respond to the changing needs of our communities. Our Data & Evaluation and Program Development departments collaborated to create a new program design that utilized stakeholder feedback from students and staff. We discovered unmet needs while also invigorating the program with staff and youth voices. This led to the creation of a logic model, using stakeholder feedback to infuse throughout the process, creating buy-in and program participation.
MLA, CB, DS, PK, E, M, H
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How to Achieve 90% + Program Staffing
Holly Perry, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition; Richard Tran, General Manager, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

Amid the great resignation and the post-pandemic workplace, Think Together successfully achieved 95% org-wide staffing through strategic cross-departmental partnership. The pandemic significantly impacted education and after school programming creating a gap that needed to be filled. Our team thoughtfully and creatively developed staffing solutions to increase our impact on changing the odds for kids! Come learn the strategies of Program Operations and Staffing Operations used to generate results.
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Employee Engagement in the New World of Work
Rupa Patel, Director of Strategic Projects, Human Capital; Melina Bisbardis, Director of Strategic Projects, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

The past 2 years have shifted our collective mindset in the way we work, creating a new environment for our workforce. Engaging our teams is a crucial aspect of our success, and understanding the new world we work in is imperative to engage and retain employees. This presentation will highlight what the future of employee engagement looks like and how we can navigate our new normal, identify generational shifts, and share impactful strategies to implement an excellent employee engagement program.
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Friday, April 28


Growing Your Leadership to Expand Learning
Sara Adame, Quality Assurance Coach - San Bernardino, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

This workshop will focus on growing leadership skills. Throughout this past year, our expanded learning programs continue to experience expansion. With expansion comes the need for leaders to step into new roles. This training will provide intentional strategies that will support individuals in honing their leadership skills to prepare for these roles.
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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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