New Year, New YDPN Power! 

February 2008 

INDEX of Content
Program Manager Corner


Financial Connections
  • YDPN Co-sponsored Event - Peer Power!
  • Resources - Earn It, Keep It, Save It
  • Job Opportunities - No postings. Information on how to post to YDPN.

People Connections

  • Youth Worker Spotlight - Rebecca Goldberg
  • Youth Worker Spotlight - Vicky Valentine
  • Upcoming Opportunities for Involvement - “I am a youth worker because...” Campaign

Professional Connections

  • YDPN Co-Sponsored Event - Arts Education Roundtable (for arts education organizations and programs) AND Arts Education Brown Bag (for youth workers)
  • Laney College Course

Intrapersonal Connections

  • Community Resources - Shinnyo-en Foundation Co-sponsored workshops
  • Advocacy Resources - Rock the Vote, Code Pink, and Select a Candidate Website


Program Manager Corner

Getting out the New Year, New YDPN Power! has been incredibly challenging. I have reflected on the impact and meaning that words have, and I have found myself paralyzed by the process. I want to express so much in such a short amount of space. I want to cry and scream because of the number of homicides so far this year – a number that is so alarming and so devastating that I question all of our efforts and ability to combat violence. I want to inspire and motivate because we, Californians and youth workers, finally have the ability to influence a presidential election – we have power. And I want to protest and lobby because once again education and health and human services are the first on the chopping block when it comes to budget shortfalls – education is expected to bear $4.3 billion of a $14 billion shortfall in the next fiscal year.

All of these things – violence, voting, and budget cuts – directly impact our work because our youth, families, and communities are the ones that are always targeted and marginalized and isolated. When violence rises, it is our youth who are killed. When it is a major election year, it is our communities that are told we can’t vote or that our ballots don’t count. When the budgets are cut, we are the ones who are told we are of no value. This is not right. This is not just. This is not fair. This is not equality or democracy. This is not America.

I have the responsibility and privilege, in my role as YDPN staff, to hold youth workers’ voices, passions, and dreams in a manner that empowers all youth workers. I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be in this role.  It is also why I feel such an incredible weight on my words – for I am not speaking only for myself. I speak on behalf of youth workers. And youth workers are frustrated, burned out, and pissed off.

Last week, I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop with Alex Vila and Stacey Daraio on promoting cultural competency. Power is a major factor in speaking and acting in a culturally competent manner, and so we discussed three different types of power – historical, institutional, and people. The dialogue during this training was amazing and showed just how diverse we are as youth workers. No two people shared the same view in that room. I was, and still am, amazed that while we had all of these different ideas and views that are based on our personal and cultural values, we kept free of blame, attack, and defense. We opened ourselves up, a very risky endeavor, and sought to understand one another. This is democracy.

To me, this is where the power of the YDPN resides. YDPN does not seek conformity. We are not a melting pot. Instead, we seek to create spaces, both physical and virtual, to hold this complex and multilayered dialogue in noncompetitive ways. We aim to be intentional. We aim to innovate. We aim to connect. We aim to be a model of democracy and equality and equity.

In the coming year, YDPN is launching our Youth Worker Agenda called The Four Points of Connection. The Four Points of Connection have been collectively built over the last year and a half. Many of you have helped shape this agenda either through participating in a focus group, taking a survey, and/or attending one of our co-sponsored events. The Four Points are:

  • Financial Connections: Empowering youth workers to become financially self sufficient by connecting youth workers to economic resources that build financial literacy and awareness and address affordable housing, health care, and loan forgiveness needs; and convening youth workers and decision makers to identify solutions to inadequate compensation, unclear career pathways, and recruitment and turnover challenges; 
  • People Connections: Empowering youth workers to celebrate their work and intentionality through our “I am a youth worker because…” Campaign and other celebratory events, and embarking on a social messaging campaign that promotes youth development as important work; 
  • Professional Connections: Empowering youth workers to develop themselves professionally and collectively by giving youth workers equitable access to relevant educational and professional development opportunities, especially those led by peers; 
  • Intrapersonal Connections: Empowering youth workers to look inward and connect to their intentionality through creating spaces and tools that promote reflection and values clarification and development; healing, rejuvenation, and self-care; and advocacy skill development.

On Monday, January 28th, we need your volunteer support to move forward the Four Points. We are asking youth workers to attend one of two informational sessions called Peer Power! – 5:00pm to 7:15pm or 6:45pm to 9pm. During these sessions, you will learn how you can donate your incredibly valuable time in very realistic ways. And, in true YDPN form, we will be sponsoring a networking session from 6:45pm to 7:15pm solely to get you all connected to each other. Dinner will be provided. And if after hearing more about our Four Points you realize you don’t have the time right now to donate, that’s okay. Your presence alone is valuable.

I am inspired every day by the reasons all of you are youth workers. YDPN has collected over 100 “I am a youth worker because…” statements from youth workers all over the Bay Area, and I look through them at least once a week. Bill Vanark is a youth worker because “all youth deserve quality, enriching, and inspiring opportunities. Xiomara Galvan is a youth worker because “a youth worker saved my life and I wanna save lives.” And Jora Atienza-Washington is a youth worker because “touching lives was, is, and will always be the TRUE REVOLUTION.”

I couldn’t say it better myself. For working together in a collaborative and equitable manner, we can stop the violence, elect officials who represent us, and end the budgetary attacks on our communities. There is POWER through a network of peers!

As mentioned above, the YDPN is launching its Four Points of Connection. In keeping with this effort, the YDPN Power! has changed formats. The YDPN Power! will be broken into four distinct sections representing the Four Points of Connection. Please bear with us as we make this transition as this is a learning process for us as well.

Any feedback, ideas, or suggestions can be directed to Jason Wyman at


Financial Connections 
YDPN Co-sponsored Events 
YDPN’s Peer Power! and Networking Session - Come network with your peers, learn more about youth worker needs, and find out how you can support the YDPN’s Four Points of Connection in very realistic ways. There is POWER through a NETWORK of PEERS!

MONDAY, January 28th
Session 1: 5:00pm to 7:15pm
Session 2: 6:45pm to 9pm
Networking: 6:45pm to 7:15pm
657 Mission Street, Suite 410 (Cross street: 3rd Street)
San Francisco, CA 94102

To register:
For Peer Power! 1, please register at:
For Peer Power! 2, please register at:


Earn It, Keep It, Save It -- It’s tax time again, which means stress, frustration, and penny pinching. The United Way of the Bay Area provides excellent resources to help YOU become financially self sustaining. AND…one of those resources is FREE TAX PREPARATION for those that qualify. For more information, check out:

United Way of the Bay Area                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Job Opportunities
The YDPN will no longer be *hosting* job postings. INSTEAD, we will be helping facilitate the connection between youth workers and employers. To make this easier for all, if you would like the YDPN to forward your job opportunity, please submit it to in the following format. (Please note: due to work capacity, if job opportunities are not submitted in this format, it is not guaranteed to be passed on to our email list of over 600 youth workers.)

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW – Please keep it brief.

JOB OVERVIEW – Please keep it brief.

SKILLS REQUIRED – Please keep it in a list.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT – Please include contact information.

LINK TO JOB POSTING – Please post your full job description on your own organizational website or a site like craigslist, idealist, or And please include a link to it.

Job Opportunities will ONLY be cut and paste.


People Connections

This month, YDPN is proud to SPOTLIGHT two of our Steering Committee members, Rebecca Goldberg and Vicky Valentine. Read on to learn more about them!

Youth Worker Spotlight: Rebecca Goldberg


How long have you been a youth worker? 

I have been working as a paid youth worker for the California 

School-Age Consortium for the past four years, but volunteered in high 

school at a local community center tutoring kids and in college as a 

mentor for kids in the local elementary school.

Why and how did you become a youth worker?
    After graduating from college, I was doing marketing work for Sesame     

Workshop (makers of Sesame Street) in New York City.  I knew I was     

interested in moving to the Bay Area, but wasn’t sure exactly what I         

wanted to do.  I had work experience in marketing, but was really 

looking  for something more meaningful that I could feel good about.  

While still on the east coast, I was torn between two job opportunities – 

one doing corporate event planning and the other at CalSAC supporting 

afterschool programs.  Fortunately, I had a great mentor at Sesame 

Workshop (also the illustrator for Cookie Monster!) who reaffirmed why 

afterschool programs are so important to youth and the community, and 

that helped me make my decision.  I have not looked back since then.

What is your passion for continuing the work?
    Knowing that the projects I develop help young people find jobs, attain    

skills, and make a difference in the lives of countless youth in the             

community.  I also love being surrounded by and working with other     

youth workers – they definitely are the most fun, creative, and inspiring 

group of professionals I know.

What other passions do you have outside of your job?

 I love to cook, exercise, knit, hike, and camp.  I also love spending time   

with my boyfriend, family, friends, and most important – my cat!

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

That I love my job because of the great youth workers I work with,  

support, or will meet.  We all have so much to learn from each other, I

enjoy opportunities to meet other youth workers and learn from their     

experiences and expertise. 


Why is professionalizing our field important? 

While we know how important our work is, we need the outside world 

to  know and understand the importance of youth work as well.  We’ll    

never get higher salaries or the recognition we deserve unless we believe 

that we are professionals and know how to communicate that to others.  

We’ll lose the best youth workers in the field if we can’t support them as 

professionals with livable wages and opportunities for career growth.   

How are you connected to the YDPN?

I have been volunteering for the YDPN for the past 4 years.  I am             

currently on the Executive Committee and previously served as co-chair 

of the Steering Committee for the past two years.  YDPN is such a

dynamic, genuine organization that I whole-heartedly support and am    

happy to see grow.

To connect with Rebecca, contact her at!

Youth Worker Spotlight: Vicky Valentine


How long have you been a youth worker?

I've been a youth worker since I was a youth...that makes about 14 years!

Why and how did you become a youth worker?

I started out as a participant in a high school outings club, and within a   

year was talked into being a trip leader. I was 15 and took my peers and 

folks much older than I rafting, backpacking, snow camping, canoeing all 

over California. It was kind of weird being in that position at such a         

young age, mostly because people were so weird about me being so         

young. The experience of leading my peers and keeping them safe,           

engaged and connected to these experiences was ultimately very positive 

and completely life changing. Youth work then did not even seem like     

work. It was fun and so very rewarding.


What is your passion for continuing the work? 

Currently, the students I work with keep me very passionate about my     

own work and about the field. I am so lucky to work closely with the 

same 17 students over a period of two years--I get to see them evolve as   

they learn more and more about themselves and the health field. I help 

them stay committed to their health and success and stay positive and 

inspired about their lives.

What other passions do you have outside of your job?

Outside of my job I like to get dirty in my garden. That is my therapy       

most days. I like to cook and watch insects. My 16 year old sister is often 

at my house when I come home, and we spend a lot of good sister time     

together laughing and talking shit.


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

I want other youth workers to know that I'm passionate and 

dedicated…and, like it or not, honest!

Why is professionalizing our field important?

Professionalizing our field will allow the smart, dynamic, committed, but 

tired youth workers that often make up our front lines to continue doing 

what they love--working with youth--as they move up and take on more   

responsibility in their careers. Most importantly, when we are better       

trained, supported and paid, there will be better outcomes for our youth!

How are you connected to the YDPN?

I'm on the Executive Committee of the YDPN, and am involved in             

program development.

To connect to Vicky, contact her at

Upcoming Opportunities for Involvement
“I am a youth worker because…” Campaign -- YDPN needs your help collecting “I am a youth worker because...” statements and pictures from youth workers all across the Bay Area. For more information, please contact Jason Wyman at! Please include “I am a YW b/c...” in the SUBJECT LINE.


Professional Connections 
YDPN Co-Sponsored Events


Imagine Bus Project, Performing Arts Workshop, Streetside Stories and the Youth Development Peer Network are proud to present...

Arts Education Roundtable (for arts education organizations and programs) and Brown Bag (for youth workers) at the San Francisco Main Library!

Arts Education Roundtable
    TUESDAY, February 26th - 10am to Noon
    Main Library (Latino Room A)
    100 Larkin Street (at Grove)
    San Francisco, CA

Community-based arts education poses very specific challenges to arts 

education organizations and programs seeking to collaborate with 

after school, community-based, or other types of youth organizations. 

This roundtable will specifically be focusing on collaboratively defining 

the term community-based arts education while also compiling 

specific best practices in community-based arts ed. Information 

gathered at this session will directly inform the Arts Education Brown 

Bag for youth workers and help generate a deeper dialogue about 

how youth workers can support arts education.

For more information, please contact Jason Wyman at

Arts Education Brown Bag: Inspire Change!
    TUESDAY, March 18th - 10am to 1pm
    Main Library (Latino Room B)
    100 Larkin Street (at Grove)
    San Francisco, CA    


Youth workers are very passionate, dedicated, committed...and                 creative! Whether we create games out of the left one glove, two bats         and half a ball, or are creating art out of found objects, we are always         creating. This Arts Education Brown Bag will Inspire Change by                 helping youth workers define community-based arts education and             identify best practices, connect with their inner creativity through             workshops provided by Imagine Bus Project, Performing Arts                     Workshop, and Streetside Stories, and get youth workers connected to         resources.

    Look for flyers and registration SOON.

In the meantime, for more information, please contact Jason Wyman at

A Little about Our Co-Sponsors

Imagine Bus Project helps break the isolation many inner-city children face by introducing them to the wonders of art. The Project keeps kids off the streets, helps build their self-esteem, makes them better students, and contributes to healthier families in more creative communities.  Check them out at:!

Performing Arts Workshop: For forty years, Performing Arts Workshop (“the Workshop”) has been a leader in arts learning pedagogy in the Bay Area. Today, the Workshop is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression, and basic learning skills through the arts. Our Teaching Artists are specialists in their art form, as well as skilled educators who deliver quality, age-appropriate arts learning. The Workshop is also a respected provider of arts learning to special student populations such as at-risk youth, immigrant/newcomer students, learning disabled students, and preschoolers.  Our three core programs include: Artists-in-Schools, Artists-in-Communities, and the Professional Development Program.  The Artists-in-Schools program provides process-oriented arts instruction to child development centers and K-12 public schools throughout the Bay Area.  The Artists-in-Communities program offers tailored arts instruction in after-school programs, community centers, and county community/court schools.  The Professional Development Program trains artists and educators on the Workshop methodology and demonstrates practical techniques to engage young people in the creative process. Check them out at:!

Streetside Stories: Through the power of storytelling, Streetside values and cultivates young people’s voices, fostering educational equity and building community, literacy and arts skills.  Check them out at:!

Laney College Course
Does anyone on your staff need to:

- Expand their knowledge of youth development principles?

- Learn tools & strategies to successfully support youth?

- Create engaging lesson plans that utilize youth development principles?

- Access additional support as they are working towards job excellence?

Would your staff benefit from:
•       Individual/Group Job Coaching
•       Earning Transferable College Units
•       Free Course Materials (books/workbooks paid by Cal-SAC)
•       Earning Up to $375.00 Stipend
•       Tuition- Free Class (course units paid for by Cal-SAC)

Cal-SAC  (California- School Age Consortium) has been funded to sponsor a Spring 2008 Laney College course: Introduction to Youth Development as well as Job Coaching ( additional professional support and development) for youth workers (including after-school and daycare staff),  as a part of an Oakland Workforce Development Project.

Please see visit for registration information.

More information below:
A cohort of up to 30 students may participate in this job coaching project in the Spring 2008 semester.

Participants must be enrolled in the Intro to Youth Development course  and agree to participate in 12 hours of group coaching as well as up  to 3 hours of individual coaching.  Participants who complete the  coaching components are eligible for a stipend of up to $375.  Additionally, the tuition for the Intro to Youth Development course for participants in the Job Coaching Cohort will be paid by Cal-SAC.

Organizations: Please e-mail me at: to reserve your staff slots.


Intrapersonal Connections 


Community Resources 
Stanford Center for Buddhist Studies
Distinguished Buddhist Studies Lecture Series - Winter
“Are We Not Good?” - Evil as a Universal in the Mahāparinirvāna Sūtra”
by Professor Mark Blum (State University of New York, Albany) 


Friday, February 8, 2008, 4:15 p.m.

At the Shinnyo-en Foundation 

201 Mission Street, Suite 2450

San Francisco, CA 94105


Co-sponsored by the Shinnyo-en Foundation

Advocacy Resources
Want to know more about the upcoming elections? Here are three websites to keep yourself educated:

Rock the Vote - This is an excellent resource to engage young people in civic dialogue. Everything you want to know is right here...including: Why Vote?, Voting for Dummies, Get Involved, and more! Check them out at:

Code Pink - Want to know how to organize a campaign? Everything you could possibly imagine is at this website including: Campaigns, Code Pink Alerts, Blogs, and How to Get Involved Locally.  Check them out at:

Note sure who to vote for in the primary? Minnesota Public Radio pulled together an online survey to help you identify candidates that are close to your concerns. Take the simple survey at: