BOOST Conference Panel Sessions


Wednesday, May 1

10:30AM - 12:15PM

Youth Voices in STEM and Community Engagement: Strategies and Models
Anita Krishnamurthi, Ph.D., President of the Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society (CYESS), Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC; Leah Silverberg, Senior Project Manager, Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC; Abbey Mae Pitcher, Program Manager, Technovation, Menlo Park, CA;  Candid Mack, Youth Advisory Board (YAB) Coach and Program and Events Coordinator, National Girls Collaborative Project, Dallas, TX; Thulani Jwacu, Director, Kitty Andersen, Youth Science Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 

Interested in STEM? In community engagement? In centering teen voices? Come hear about a new initiative from the Afterschool Alliance that is supporting connections between these issues. We will present new research that maps effective strategies and models and features four partners actively engaged in this work: Million Girls Moonshot, National Girls Collaborative, Technovation, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. You will leave with ideas, tools, and support you can use to do this work.
Strand: Panel; Program Design, Development & Quality

2:45PM - 4:45PM

How Do We Address Equity From Within? Lessons From Young Leaders and Researchers on Improving OST Participation and Belonging
Melissa Connerton, Senior Communications Officer, The Wallace Foundation, New York, NY; Deepa Vasudevan, Ed.D., Researcher, Human Services: Youth, Family, & Community Development, American Institutes for Research (AIR), Arlington, VA; Sam Mejias, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Justice and Community Engagement / Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science, Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY; Spandana Pavuluri, College Student, Vanderbilt University, Louisville, KY; Helen Wilson Obuna, College Student, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Out-of-school-time programs help develop interests, skills, and connections. Yet youth from lower-income families don’t have the same OST program participation rates as many of their peers. Delve into the findings of a youth participatory action research project on how youth experience OST programs. While adults may focus on “quality" checklists, youth focus on the social dimensions of peers and belonging. Hear insights on engaging youth in program design and co-constructing spaces where youth belong.
Strand: Panel; Program Design, Development & Quality; Partnerships & Building Relationships; Older Youth

Thursday, May 2

10:00AM - 12:00PM

Open Space, Open Minds- The Unworkshop

Connect, reflect, and network by joining this informal, flexible, and open community space. Use this time to meet with your team or meet new peers, reflect on your learning, and strategize on how you will take action and implement your learning from BOOST. No facilitators, no agenda, just an open space to convene, collaborate, and create new paths forward in your classroom, program, and community.
Strand: Program Development, Design & Quality 

1:15PM - 2:30PM

Engage Every Student: The Power of Partnerships
Brandis Stockman, Program Manager, Education & Expanded Learning, National League of Cities, West Valley City, UT; Shital Shah, Senior Advisor, Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Secretary, US Department of Education, Washington, DC; Lisa Salazar, Executive Director, City of Los Angeles Youth Development Department, Long Beach, CA; Sheryl Davis, Ed.D., Executive Director, San Francisco Human Rights Commission, San Francisco, CA; Nicole Kooiker, Deputy Superintendent, Cedar Rapids Community School District, Cedar Rapids, IA

As modeled by the U.S. Department of Education’s Engage Every Student initiative, this session highlights the value of intentional collaboration between state and local school districts, elected officials, and afterschool and summer learning programs. Hear from municipal and school district leaders about how they are leveraging partnerships, and come away with a plan to develop sustainable partnerships to increase access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs.
Strand: Panel; Program Design, Development & Quality; Staff Leadership; Partnerships & Building Relationships; Sustainability

3:45PM - 5:15PM

Center Youth Voice: 5 Trauma-Informed Activities
Daniel Hatcher, MPH, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Washington, DC; Cassandra Arechiga, Trauma-Informed Care Specialist, Woodcraft Rangers, Los Angeles, CA; Sunny Vachher, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, SUNNY, Producer, TED/TED-Ed, United Nations Ambassador, Los Angeles, CA  

Belonging and connectedness are essential for youth well-being; at the heart of this is storytelling. In this interactive panel, attendees will learn simple trauma-informed activities to help youth (and adults) find and share their voice. All resources shared are free and publicly available.
Strand: Panel; Program Design, Development & Quality; Partnerships & Building Relationships; Older Youth

Friday, May 3

9:15AM - 11:15AM

Model of Innovative Practice: Best Practices for Families in Need of Services
John Acosta, MBA, Homeless Innovation Program Coordinator, San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, Atascadero, CA; Carrie Collins, Family Advocate Services Director, The Link Family Resource Center, Atascadero, CA; Mariana Gutierrez, Family Resource Center Program Supervisor, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA 

Communities and schools face unique challenges in identifying, supporting, and connecting with families who need services. San Luis Obispo County’s SAFE System of Care was identified by CDE as a Model of Innovative Practice: scalable best practices for wraparound services, blending and braiding of funds, and strategies that have a positive impact on student/family connection and achievement.
Strand: Program Design, Development & Quality; Partnerships & Building Relationships; Sustainability

Panel Session workshops contact

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

Virginia Mebane round 

Virginia Mebane
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Becky Shultz round 

Becky Shultz
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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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