Professional Development

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NAA's Expert Hub—Success from the United Way of El Paso County

Recently, the NAA Expert Hub helped connect the United Way of el Paso County with two valuable trainers, resulting in a successful workshop on family engagement. Here's how:

The Client: Aligned with United Way of El Paso County's (UWEP) goal to improve opportunities for youth, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation's IGNITE Initiative is focused on engaging disconnected youth in high-quality out-of-school programs across El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in Texas; Doña Ana, Luna and Otero counties in Southern New Mexico; and Ciudad Júarez, Mexico.

The Challenge: UWEP was seeking an expert trainer to deliver an in-person, one- to two-day (eight to 12 hours total) training program on Family Engagement targeted at IGNITE Initiative grantees. The trainer needed to bring not just expertise on parental engagement, but also prior experience engaging with Hispanic/Latino families in particular and a high level of comfort engaging with bilingual audiences. They also had a very limited budget.

The Support: UWEP reached out to the Afterschool Expert Hub for help. The Afterschool Expert Hub team invested time in understanding UWEP's needs and then built out a detailed project scope that included organizational context, tasks and deliverables, desired qualifications, timeline and budget. Once UWEP approved the project scope, the AEH contacted a curated list of 14 experts in the network with the right expertise and experience. Three experts responded with formal proposals and after a round of interviews, UWEP selected Development Without Limits (DWL), an afterschool training and consulting firm.

The Result: Through a highly interactive workshop, two DWL facilitators—one of them bilingual—trained workshop participants in English and Spanish on how to develop their parent engagement and communication strategies, and provided resources to help them implement their desired strategies. DWL also shared best practices on creating and improving volunteer roles and related training for parents. The results were overwhelmingly positive, and UWEP was thrilled with how the project rolled out.

More About the Afterschool Expert Hub: The Afterschool Expert Hub is an innovative service brought to you by the National AfterSchool Association and Catalyst:Ed. It is specifically designed to help afterschool and expanded learning program providers and partners around the country connect with experts for their most critical short-term projects and professional development needs. More than just a directory of professionals, the Expert Hub works to ensure that every project is set up for success by investing efforts into understanding the needs of organizations and matching projects with experts who are the right fit.

Photo courtesy of the United Way of El Paso County.

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