Spring Showers bring YDPN Power!


Welcome to summer!  In San Francisco that means the morning fog is back, in Oakland that means sunny days, and further east it means it’s getting hot, hot, hot!  And for the YDPN it means another YDPN Power chalk full of information.

Included below, you will find out great information about a FORUM about workforce development issues facing youth workers nationally!  The YDPN is co-sponsoring the two forums; one will be in Oakland (May 22) and the other in San Francisco (May 23).  AND we need YOUTH WORKERS – that’s you! – to ATTEND to VOICE your CONCERNS locally about workforce issues such as compensation, career ladders, recognition, benefits, training, etc.  Please help us spread the word and help us get a great turn out!  (See YDPN-sponsored events below for more information.) 

Additionally, we are hosting a BIG PARTY at DaDa SF Studio (86 Second Street) on TUESDAY, June 19 starting at 5:30pm to CELEBRATE our FUNDRASING CAMPAIGN.  Donations of $10 at the door are requested and all proceeds raised will go to support the activities of the YDPN.  Thanks go out to everyone who has contributed to so far to our fundraising campaign.  If you would like to donate, please CLICK HERE! 

As in past YDPN Powers!, we have included a youth worker spotlight and an organization highlight.  We are proud to Spotlight Yas Ahmed and Highlight the Excelsior Sports Club.  Please read their information below to learn more about who they are, what they do, and how we all can support each other. 

Lastly, we have listed some great Job Opportunities and Training Resources for youth and youth workers.  To download job descriptions, please see sidebar.

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 sms4e.community@gmail.com.


 Youth Worker Spotlight – Yas Ahmed

This quarter, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Yas Ahmed, Program and Policy Coordinator for Youth Leadership Institute AND a new YDPN Steering Committee member.  Thanks Yas for letting us get to know you better, and we look forward to working collaboratively in the years to come! 

How long have you been a youth worker?

I’ve worked with young people since I was sixteen myself, so nearly ten years in some capacity or another

Why and how did you become a youth worker?

Well, I started working with youth as a peer educator and organizer in high school and continued through college…I finished up my undergrad by interning at a local youth development health agency here in San Francisco. Not too long after I was offered a staff position and that was the first time I’d really had a chance to consider youth work as a discernible career path.

Until then, I’d known that I was interested in the social justice nonprofit arena, but hadn’t thought much beyond that. The agency I was with put a lot of value and emphasis on professional development of young staff and succession planning. Since working there I’ve come to realize how deficient some youth organizations can be in prioritizing such things, so I received a really great lesson in organizational integrity (and field sustainability!) at the time without even knowing it. The space and support to really be intentional about doing this work, and how to do it well, was invaluable. That’s stayed with me.

What is your passion for continuing the work?  

The “a-ha” moments. Being a youth worker means not only supporting and advocating with young people themselves, but also really having a commitment to pushing adults’ thinking and actions, right?  So, asking hard questions like, how are we really living the values we speak? How are we interrupting oppression each day? Especially in our interactions with young people. The moments I see those connections or impact – among adults or youth - are really why I’m in this work.

I’ve participated in various kinds of youth programming: health education, training, youth philanthropy and now, policy advocacy work. No matter the framework though, the bottom line that keeps me engaged is a commitment to value-based, youth development work. I want to know that whatever the discipline or “door” we’re using to work with young people, that they are engaged, respected and challenged within that and that ultimately, we are building a progressive social justice movement. 

I guess I was privileged enough to find what inspired me early on. 

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

Many, many. Words are a huge source of mine, so I’m constantly reading or writing. I love trashy B-movies and polyester pants. I’m a transient girl in many ways, so any chance I get to romp around and explore other locales is pretty heavenly, too. I’ve been trying my hand at fiction recently, so we’ll see where that goes…

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

To call me. Email me. Come out for coffee. Connections and collaborations are vital in this work, and I am definitely willing to share! 

Also…that I willingly bring all of me to this work: my identities and experiences are part and parcel to why I’m here and how I move through the world. I really believe our power is personal, which makes it political. I can’t walk in a room without bringing all of me in: queer, Arab, young, feminist…and that’s where much of my power lies.

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

I think that so much time is spent thinking and working toward how to impact “systems” and “fields” that we may forget a central and vital part to achieving that is impacting and developing the person! That’s overlooked a lot of the time when it comes to funding, organizational priorities, and good working practices…I really value the peer-driven model of YDPN and the way that it complicates the question of sustainability when it comes to movement- and field-building. 

The YDPN thanks Yas Ahmed for her contribution to YDPN Power!, If you would like to learn more about Youth Leadership Institute, you can visit them at www.yli.org.  To get in touch with Yas, email her at yahmed@yli.org. 


Organization Highlight – Excelsior Sports Club

This quarter, we are highlighting the Excelsior Sports Club.  Cara Prieshoff, Club Director, was instrumental in helping pull together the Summer Resource Exchange.  Because Excelsior Sports Club is doing such amazing work, we are highlighting them.  If you would like to be featured as an organization highlight, please contact Jason Wyman at sms4e.community@gmail.com.                                                                                                   

What is the mission of your organization?

To promote the healthy development of youth through sports experiences.

Our vision  is to have a neighborhood where youth sports are thriving and parents, youth and community members are working together to support one another. Youth are healthy, confident leaders within the community! 

How long has your organization been in existence?

The Excelsior Sports Club was created in 2005 with the intention of being a source of information and support for the Excelsior community regarding youth sports, strengthen the quality of youth sports programs offered in the community and to identify community needs in order to create new opportunities and sports programs.

What services and programs do you provide to youth?

The Excelsior Sports Club is a network of outstanding agencies working together to support and promote the healthy of the Excelsior youth through sports and physical activities. We are a partnership of community sports providers and neighborhood facilities that broker existing resources, advocated for neighborhood needs and provide increased access to sports opportunities within the community. 

We provide a variety of after-school sports programs at four Excelsior Schools: Monroe Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, San Francisco Community and Excelsior Middle School. Programs include Mission YMCA Explorer Sports (sports specific program of kid’s choice), Mission YMCA comprehensive after-school program (combining sports fundamentals, playground games and discovery club with five days a week of academic assistance), Bay Area SCORES (soccer and poetry program), Girls on the Run (running, nutrition and self-esteem program), AcroSports (non-traditional physical, performance and circus arts program), and Girl Scouts (health & nutrition, arts & crafts and self-esteem program).

The Excelsior Sports Club also provides and supports sports opportunities outside of specific school sites by promoting local resources such as the Excelsior Boys & Girls Club and the Excelsior Youth Center Saturday programs. We also partner with the San Francisco Park & Recreation Department to provide girls baseball and girls volleyball leagues. 

How do you support your youth workers?

The Excelsior Sports Club believes in continuing to strengthen the quality of our sports programs. To that end, we provide six, free trainings a year to increase the professional development of all our youth workers. The trainings are open to all partners within the Excelsior Sports Club and any school staff that work at the four Excelsior Schools where we provide after-school sports programming. We open up the trainings to other community workers when space permits.

A good example of supporting youth workers is the Mission YMCA Explorer Sports program, which uses a cross-age mentoring structure. San Francisco State students mentor high school students in coaching the sports program. Both the SF State students and high school students get practical, hands-on experience providing programming, utilizing youth development principles and mentoring youth. 

The Excelsior Sports Club also provides program check-in meetings twice a season, as a forum to discuss successes, challenges and collectively brainstorming solutions to providing our programs in the community. In addition, all Excelsior Sports Club partners have access to a full-time Director, Cara Prieshoff, for additional support, advice and help with any program.

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

The YDPN is a great resource to be connected to because additional trainings are offered to our staff, it provides a larger network with which to connect to for professional development and friendship and is a source of support if there are specific challenges that we are facing. As a member of the YDPN, we can also establish new contacts, which can lead to new partnerships in providing more opportunities in the Excelsior. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your organization with the YDPN?

The Excelsior Sports Club looks forward to expanding the opportunities for youth to be active and healthy in the community. Any interested organizations who would like to partner with us should contact us at 415-452-7575 or cprieshoff@ymcasf.org.


YDPN-Sponsored Events

Speakers Forum Featuring Nicole Yohalem and Pam Garza

Tuesday, May 22 (Oakland), 9:00am to noon at the East Bay Community Foundation (De Domenico Building; 200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza) 

Wednesday, May 23 (SF), 9:30am to 12:30pm at San Francisco State Downtown Campus (835 Market Street)

YDPN is partnering with the CNYD, OCASA, and DCYF to host a Speaker's Forum on Workforce Development Issues for Youth Workers.  This is an opportunity to hear from a national expert, find out what’s happening locally and engage in a conversation with your colleagues about youth worker needs and future directions.  To register, contact Sheyna Rivera at sheyna@cnyd.org.


Survey Creation Workshop

Tuesday, May 22 (SF), 6:30pm to 8:30pm at CNYD (657 Mission Street, Suite 402)

As part of our Feasibility Study, we will be sending out an online survey to YDPN members.  In the spirit of offering more skills building opportunities for youth workers, we will be hosting a "Survey Creation Workshop" at CNYD (657 Mission Street, Ste. 402, SF).  This workshop will teach you the science of creating an effective survey and will also help formulate the survey that the YDPN will be distributing.  To register for this FREE workshop, please email Rebecca at rgoldberg@calsac.org.  Dinner will be included.


An Evening of Fun, Friends, and Fundraising

Tuesday, June 19 (SF), 5:30pm to 9:30pm at DaDa SF Studio (86 Second Street)

Thanks to our friends at DaDa SF Studio,complimentary house wines will be served until supplies run out. Happy hour prices will be offered all night to YDPN friends! Suggested donation of $10 at the door.  All proceeds go to the YDPN to support frontline youth workers in the Bay Area.  Great prizes will be raffled off starting at 6pm!  For more information and to RSVP, contact Rebecca at rgoldberg@calsac.org.

To donate to the YDPN, visit http://ydpn.bay.area.googlepages.com. 


If you would like your event listed here, please send an email titled: YDPN Power! Event Announcement to Jason Wyman at sms4e.community@gmail.com. Please include in your email an external link to your event along with a two sentence description. 


Job Opportunities

Youth Funding Youth Ideas at CHALK

CHALK is currently hiring young people 14 to 17 at $10.00 per hour for Youth Funding Youth Ideas.  If you would like to download the application, please see sidebar for flyer and application!


Curriculum Development RFP for CalSAC

CalSAC is currently seeking a consultant to take a lead role in developing the curriculum for the new CalSAC Training modules.  This consultant will work closely with project staff, Trainer Network Project Leaders, and Trainer Network committees to develop training modules drawing from the current CalSAC Trainer Manual and integrating new resources such as the California K-8 content standards.The ideal candidate for this work will be familiar with CalSAC and our training content and methodology, as well as have experience with curriculum development for school-age and afterschool professional.  The deadline for proposal submissions is May 29th, 2007.  Please see sidebar to download the RFP.


CalSAC Project Coordinator

The Project Coordinator implements specific projects in support of CalSAC’s mission and goals. This position is responsible for planning, organizing and evaluating regional and statewide events.  For more information, visit: www.calsac.org/careers_joblisting.asp?jobID=1507


CalSAC Project Assistant

The Project Assistant will support CalSAC’s Trainer Network project, CalSAC’s membership program as well as other projects as needed. The primary job responsibilities are data collection, entry and analysis; record keeping and filing; customer service and trainer support; research on out-of-school time issues and resources; general support to office and project staff.  For more information, visit: www.calsac.org/careers_joblisting.asp?jobID=1508


CalSAC Director of Finance and Administration 

CalSAC is seeking a full-time Director of Finance & Administration to maintain the finance and administrative systems in the organization. Responsibilities include accounting, budgeting, human resources, office/facility management, and information technology. This position is responsible for sustaining the internal systems and structures of the organization while continuously looking for ways to improve efficiency.  For more information visit: www.calsac.org/careers_joblisting.asp?jobID=1509


Health Initiatives for Youth Director of Finance and Administration

HIFY’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of young people through education, advocacy and leadership opportunities.  We believe in providing complete, accurate health information to young people and supporting them in making their own decisions.  Our work is grounded in harm reduction, positive sexuality, youth development and anti-oppression principles.  The Director of Finance and Administration oversees all aspects of financial and administrative management, including accounting, budgeting, financial and grant reporting, human resources, facilities, and information technology.  HIFY is seeking to good pool of people to apply.  To download the job description, please see  sidebar.


Training Opportunities

California Keepin’ It REAL Project

This is an opportunity to be trained and teach a substance abuse prevention curriculum (keepin’ it REAL) to 6th – 9th grade after school students.  You will receive $250 and your own copy of the curriculum to keep.  All you need is a quiet classroom to teach in, at least 8 students in 6th – 9th grade, the same group of students on a weekly basis, ability to give homework assignments and be able to teach the lessons 1 to 3 times per week in the fall of 2007. 

If this sounds like something for you, check out this link to get more information or to fill out an interest form:  www.etr.org/kirealeducators or see the attached PDF file for details about this project.

You can call Katie Liermann at 831-438-4060 ext. 110, or email her at katiel@etr.org for more information.


Health Initiatives for Youth Spring 2007 Substance Use & Youth Training

Tuesday, May 22, 9:00am to 5:00pm, & Wednesday May 23, 9:00am to 3:00pm

First Unitarian Church of Oakland
685 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612

More than half of all high school students have experimented with illicit substances, so programs that serve youth must be equipped with skills for addressing this issue. Simplistic messages such as “Just Say No” do not address the real needs or underlying issues youth have when making decisions about substance use. Health Initiatives For Youth’s training challenges traditionally shaming messages by examining the concept of harm reduction and exploring how it applies to working with young people. 

 In this comprehensive 2-day training participants will explore the context substance use among youth including how youth learn about substance use; expand their knowledge of factual information about drugs and their societal and physical consequences; gain skills and strategies for applying harm reduction.  

To register, please see sidebar and download the application.  Deadline to register for this training is Thursday May 17th at 5:00 pm.  For more information, please contact williams@hify.org.



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 sms4e.community@gmail.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.



This month's attachments:

Excelsior Sports Club Brochure 

Excelsior Sports Club Brochure - Spanish 

 Youth Funding Youth Ideas Job Flyer

Youth Funding Youth Ideas Job Application 

CalSAC Curriculum Development RFP 

CalSAC Project Coordinator 

CalSAC Project Assistant 

CalSAC Director of Finance and Administration 

HIFY Director of Finance and Administration 

HIFY's Spring 2007 Substance Use and Youth Training Application