Aside from the NAA Annual Convention, this doesn't happen to me often.
NAA recently participated in the annual convening of SD Bechtel Jr. Foundation's Character Development grantees. This well-planned event provided intentional opportunities to reflect and connect with over 120 grantees and funders. One thing stood out loud and clear: This group believes in the importance of youth development and the adults who provide experiences for young people. This group believes in you!
How do I know? Here are a few soundbites heard over our three days together.
Caring consistent adults can change the game. —Coaching Corps
There is a best in every kid. It's the grown-up's responsibility to create the conditions for the best to come out. —Playworks
We don't create potential, we defend it. —Big Brothers Big Sisters
Support adults to be in a better place to support kids. —YMCA of the USA
How adults show up for young people is critical. —Boys & Girls Clubs of America
As a leader for the national professional association for our field, representing a membership of nearly 30,000 afterschool professionals and leaders, I want to tell you that you matter, we see you, we know your worth, and we—the collective "we"—are here for you.
You are our people.
Written by Heidi Ham, NAA's Vice President of Programs and Strategy, lover of leadership development, and part-time poet.