Professional Development

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Next Generation Leaders: Where are They Now?

Each year, NAA recognizes the Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders—showcasing young emerging leaders who have a proven passion for professional development and demonstrate influence and efforts to elevate the field.

AfterSchool Today spoke with Stacy Galdamez and Lasheena Williams, MNM, CNP, members of the 2017 class of NAA's Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders, to learn what they've accomplished since being recognized.

Stacy Galdamez was a Quality Assurance Coach with THINK Together when she was recognized among NAA's Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders. Since then, she's earned two significant promotions within her organization, starting with the Director of Programs and Operations position. Today, she proudly serves as General Manager for the THINK Together Bay Area region.

Galdamez's hope when she was recognized in 2017 was to make a positive impact on the field and to be a positive role model—a hope she still believes in.

"My passion has always been in this field," said Galdamez. "Being a product of afterschool, I have experienced the power and impact these programs have on our youth."

Though Galdamez can't say for sure if the award contributed to her ongoing success, being lauded as one of NAA's Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders was a great honor to receive.

Since being recognized in 2017, Lasheena Williams, MNM, CNP, received a promotion and is now the Senior Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator with the Orange County Government in Orlando, Florida. In this role, she manages the fund distribution process for nonprofit organizations, including out-of school time programs. She also went on to become a Certified Nonprofit Professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

When she was recognized, Williams hoped to serve as a voice and advocate for afterschool's importance and to see her community flourish. Today, she continues to live by those words.

"The Next Gen award has allowed for heightened visibility and influence in the field of afterschool and the nonprofit arena," said Williams. "It supports me in personal branding and has increased my confidence when it comes to taking risks and seeking new opportunities."

After being honored as one of NAA's Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders, Williams noticed increased recognition and acknowledgment when attending local afterschool events.

"Receiving this honor has polished my personal and professional life, and I am extremely appreciative for it," said Williams. "In addition, I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in NAA's Building Capacity of Leaders of Color Project."

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for AfterSchool Today.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of AfterSchool Today.