2nd YDPN Power!

Power through a Network of Peers 

Quarterly Outlook – Happy Summer!

This is the second in what we hope to be quarterly communications (or as we have information to share) to our members called YDPN Power!.  We are a growing Network that hopes to meet your needs as a youth worker.  In the past, we have been asked to forward events, opportunities, and information from our members.  This new format, YDPN Power!, is our way to meet your requests. 


Each quarter, we will have a standard format for ease of use.  This format will include Quarterly Outlook, Youth Worker Spotlight (Marco Castro-Bojorquez from GSA Network), Organization Highlight (this month it’s HIFY), Events, Funding for Youth (when funds are available), Organization Links, and lastly Job Opportunities (in this issue, look for jobs from HIFY). 


This quarter, we are proud to announce an upcoming event…Incorporating Youth Media into Your Program!  The goals of this event are to showcase the process used to create youth-produced media and to learn more about professional pathways in media production.  Logistical information is located in the Events section.  To become involved in the planning, please email Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com.  This event is co-sponsored by BAYCAT, Project Spera, CHALK, and the San Francisco Art Institute.


The information contained within YDPN Power! is as powerful as our Network because we believe there is Power through a Network of Peers.  Therefore, we rely on YOU to bring your knowledge, events, and opportunities to us for inclusion in YDPN Power!  So please send your comments, ideas, resources, opportunities, etc. to Jason Wyman at YDPN.media.event@gmail.com.


Youth Worker Spotlight – Marco Castro-Bojorquez


This quarter, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Marco Castro-Bojorquez, Northern California Program Coordinator for the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. 


1.         How long have you been a youth worker?

About 3 years. 


2.         Why and how did you become a youth worker?

I used to work in the corporate world, but then after emigrating from Mexico, I had to start in entry level positions even though I had a Master’s Degree. It was a big change in my personal life that made me reexamine my professional involvement, and that’s when I decided to change my career. I used to volunteer, so that’s how I got connected to the nonprofit world.


3.         What is your passion for continuing the work?  

Very much the lack of opportunities that exist for people of color or minorities, and the immediate satisfaction I get from doing this type of work. I can go home on a daily basis and feel that I’ve accomplished something. I don’t have to wait until the end of my projects or programs to see that I’ve succeeded, because it’s fulfilling to see that I’ve created social change.


4.         What other passions and interests do you have outside of your job?

Animal rights and animal welfare which in a way is related to what I do (working with queer youth and their allies). At GSA, I try to raise awareness in the community to create safer spaces for queer youth in schools. I feel that there is very little awareness in the world about animals, like that they feel pain and love, and that their habitats are being destroyed so rapidly. I also feel that animal rights will be the next big social movement that will happen. That’s how I see the relation. I also am passionate about the environment, and I love the Carpenters. 


5.         What do you want other youth workers to know about you?

There is a long way for us to go in regards to getting youth workers recognized as professionals. I feel a big commitment in working towards achieving that. If you choose to become a youth worker or if you’re a part-timer, whenever you commit full time to working in this field, be conscientious about setting up boundaries and standing up for yourself where you work. It’s important to maintain sanity, because it is not ok to get so involved that you worry about your job and the youth you serve outside of work. It’s important to take care of ourselves. I have made one of my best friends working in this field.


6.         Why have you gotten involved with the YDPN or how has the YDPN supported you as a youth worker?

I’ve been involved with YDPN unofficially ever since I started working in the field at the Beacon three years ago. This past year, I started getting more involved. After leaving the Beacon, it was easier for me to understand the need to advocate for the professionalism of this field. Trying to find a job and get a good salary has been a big challenge for me. My involvement will continue because the YPDN has a unique approach to supporting youth workers. I can’t get as involved as I’d like because of the high demands in my job, but hopefully we’ll be able to grow as a movement and get employers more involved so that they see the need for such a network.


The YDPN thanks Marco Castro-Bojorquez for his contribution to YDPN Power!, and for his commitment to the YDPN.  If you would like to learn more about the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, you can visit them at www.gsanetwork.org.  To get in touch with Marco, email him at marco@gsanetwork.org.             


Organization Highlight – Health Initiatives for Youth (HIFY)

This quarter, we are highlighting the Health Initiatives for Youth. 


1.         What is the mission of your organization? 

"To improve the health and well being of young people by empowering them through education, advocacy, and leadership."


2.         How long has your organization been in existence? 

 Since 1992.


3.         What services and programs do you provide to youth? 

We provide workshops on Anti-homophobia, Safer Sex and STIs, Substance Use & Harm Reduction, HIV, Health Rights & Access for youth, Positive Sexuality, Zine making, Self Esteem,  & Body Image for youth and peer educators. Most of these workshops are avilable in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. For newer peer educator groups we offer a Training of Trainers workshop that teaches basic facilitation skills.

We also create publications for youth such as the Young Woman's Survival Guide (soon to be avilable in an updated version, and a Spanish version by next year).

Our newest department extensively trains Bay Area youth to become peer educators and conduct workshops on topics like Birth Control Options and Anti-homophobia to their peers.


4.         How do you support your youth workers? 

Our peer educators are the only technical youth staff we have. We ensure that they are well trained and knowledgable in their topics, and also provide a thorough, holistic health foundation in related principles, such as Anti-oppression, Positive Sexuality, and Harm Reduction. We believe whole heartedly in youth development at HIFY, and provide many opportunities for youth staff to feel invested in, empowered, included and heard as HIFY staff. Their feedback is solicited and considered when making decisions.


HIFY is a laid back, open and relatively democratic entity--this is perhaps one of the best ways that HIFY supports its youth workers. We maintain a workplace that is fluid, quirky and fun. More concretely, HIFY takes a week off every quarter to reflect as a staff, bond, play games, educate ourselves on topics like Anti-oppression, nutrition and gender, and rejuvenate.


5.         Why is your organization involved with the Youth Development Peer Network? 

Because we believe in Youth development and want to stay connected to other agencies that feel the same way.


6.         Is there anything else you would like to share about your organization with the YDPN? 

Hit us up to request our workshops, especially our Spanish/Spanglish ones!! And come fall, we'll have an adult training cycle starting up again where, for an affordable price, youth workers (yes, YOU) can be trained extensively on Working with Queer Youth, Positive Sexuality, Health & Youth Development, Substance Use & Harm Reduction, and Latin@s , Health & Youth Development.



o       YDPN-sponsored: Incorporating Youth Media into Your Program Thursday, August 31st, 2006 from 9:30am to 2:30pm at BAYCAT.  Cost: $10 (Lunch included).  Spaces are limited. RSVP to Jason Wyman at YDPN.media.event@gmail.com by Wednesday, August 9th.  We are currently soliciting organizations and people to present at this event.  Please contact Jason to learn more.  This event is hosted by BAYCAT and co-sponsored by CHALK, Project Spera, and the San Francisco Art Institute. 



If you would like your event listed here, please send an email titled: YDPN Power! Event Announcement to Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com. Please include in your email an external link to your event along with a two sentence description. 


Funding for Youth

This quarter, the YDPN does not have any funding opportunities listed. 


If you would like your funding opportunity for youth listed here, please send an email titled: YDPN Power! Funding for Youth to Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com.  Please include in your email an external link to your funding opportunity for youth along with a two sentence description. 


Organization Links

This quarter, we are proud to highlight organizations that are helping plan, organize, and execute “Incorporating Youth Media into Youth Program”.


BAYCAT (www.baycat.org)


CHALK (www.chalk.org)


Project Spera (www.projectspera.org)


San Francisco Art Institute (www.sfai.edu)


If you would like your organization listed here, please send an email titled YDPN Power! Organization Link to Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com.  Please include in your email an external link to your organization along with two sentences about your organization. 


Job Opportunities

Currently, we are developing this side of our communications.  If you know of an employment opportunity you would like listed here, please send an email titled YDPN Power! Job Opportunity to Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com.  Please include in your email an external link to the job opportunity along with a two sentence description.


Executive Director of HIFY
The Executive Director manages, guides, and facilitates the development and maintenance of all programs and key partnerships, collaborating with staff, board, and community stakeholders to achieve HIFY's mission. The Executive Director also provides the support necessary to ensure smoothly-functioning operations and continuity of HIFY's education, leadership development, and advocacy work.  Deadline for Executive Director resumes:  Monday July 31st.  For more information, please check out: http://hify.org/employ.htm. 


Director of Development and Marketing of HIFY
The Director of Development and Marketing will create and implement plans to diversify and increase HIFY's funding and to promote HIFY's visibility and mission to potential funders and the wider community. Deadline for Development Director resumes: Friday July 28th


There are quite a few job listings for the Bay Area on CalSAC’s website.  Please visit: http://www.calsac.org/careers_search.asp to get more information. 



Thank you for taking the time to read YDPN Power!  We hope that this was, is, and will be a useful tool for you as a youth worker in the Bay Area.  If you have any comments, ideas, suggestions, opportunities, etc., please share them with Jason Wyman at isa_afterschool@yahoo.com.  For ease of use, please include YDPN Power! in the subject of all communications. 


Once again, thanks for reading.  And remember...There is Power through a Network of Peers.


CLICK Here: Youth Development Peer Network main page!