YDPN Power July 2007

YDPN Power! July 2007

Happy summer!  The Youth Development Peer Network is in an exciting phase of growth.  Thanks to the support of Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, the YDPN was able to undergo a much needed feasibility study.  Through our participation in this study, we were able to lay a foundation of intention that was guided and informed by youth workers – those that work with or on behalf of youth!  It was an exciting process because it allowed us to connect with you – our members – in a very authentic and engaging way. 

Now, we are excited to build upon that foundation of intention with the help of funding from San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families and the San Francisco Foundation.  We are moving closer and closer to our vision of having a stable, valued, and committed field of youth workers.  For the first time in our six year history, we were able to hire a part-time Project Manager to help move the YDPN forward and ensure that workers are the center of our organization.  The YDPN is happy to announce that Jason Wyman will be helping us chart that course and bring more workers on board. Jason Wyman has fifteen years experience as a youth worker.  We are excited to have a skilled youth worker helming the YDPN because it keeps us focused on the workers – that’s you.

For this YDPN Power, instead of an Organizational Highlight, we have a message from our new Project Manager.  Also enclosed in this newsletter, you will find a Youth Worker Spotlight (William Paris), Job Opportunities (there are plenty), and Funding Opportunities for Youth-led Projects.  We hope you enjoy. 

And keep those resources coming…for there is Power through a Network of Peers.


Project Manger Welcome

Jason Wyman has worked for Future Leaders of America, AmeriCorps , Minneapolis Unified School District, Burt Children’s Center, OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center, Link to International Studies Academy (a project of Urban Services YMCA), Bay Area Partnership, Excelsior Middle School’s Change! Program, and as a consultant for CalSAC.  He has been involved with the Youth Development Peer Network for over four years, and he is excited to be the first employee of the YDPN. 

Friederich von Schiller wrote “Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”  I remember being a young man and dreaming of being a priest.  The reason I wanted to be a priest was because it brought together community, ethics, purpose, and direction in an effort to build a better world for everyone.  As I made my way through the priesthood, I realized that my vision for a better world was in conflict with that of the Catholic Church, and so I left.  I left in search of something, anything, that might answer the larger question “Who am I in this world?”

I was not quite sure for what it was I was looking.  Maybe it was a sense of purpose, a sense that I can make a deeper impact within a community and move towards a more just and equitable society.  Maybe it was an identity unrelated to religion, spirituality, or sexual orientation.  Maybe it was an ethical base to guide my decision making and life direction.  For whatever it was, I knew that if I put one foot in front of the other and trusted my intuition I would and could find it.

After years of searching, I found it – the field of youth development.  Youth development believes in the inherit goodness and strengths of youth, a sentiment similar to what drew me to the priesthood in the first place, and then capitalizes on that goodness and those strengths to build, support, and sustain resilient youth, families, and communities.  I love being a part of a movement that believes, as Marian Anderson stated, that “leadership should be born of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” 

Woodrow Wilson wrote “You are not here to merely make a living.  You are here to help the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world.  You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.”  As a field, youth development needs to remember that we are here to help young people “live more amply” not just support the transition from dependence to independence; we are here to provide a “finer spirit of hope and achievement” in an era of growing depression, health problems, violence, and isolation; and we are here to “enrich the world” not just our own subset of youth and families.  If we “forget this errand” we will stop short of a true revolution of spirit, body, mind, and community. 

In conversations with youth workers across the Bay Area and the nation, I have heard time and again that youth workers want to be a part of something larger than themselves.  They want to know that their work is supporting an effort of revolution and societal change.  They want to know that they are going to be supported in their work.  They want to know that their youth and families will succeed.  They want to know that they matter. 

The Youth Development Peer Network is in a unique position to collectively build this vision with and by youth workers.  Through its peer-based structure, the YDPN can move this vision forward through trainings, convenings, networking, conversations, social marketing campaigns, surveys, communications, fundraising, days of rejuvenation and self-care, and organizing that speak directly to workers.  The YDPN can support the efforts of other groups (such as Teachers for Social Justice, Coleman Advocates for Children, Youth, and Families, San Francisco Organizing Project, etc.) dedicated to seeing a more just and equitable society through promoting their activities, collaborating on events, and building coalitions to effect policy.  And the YDPN can directly support youth and families seeking change in society by helping increase the quality of youth development programs across the Bay Area and the nation. 

Now is the time for the YDPN to become a leader in the field by advocating for a stronger worker voice in efforts of legitimization and professionalization.  Wages, benefits, workloads, opportunities for advancement that still work with youth, meaningfulness of work,  and prestige all affect our, the workers, ability to meaningfully impact society for the long term.  High turnover rates and career and funding instability lead to shallower work and a sense of abandonment by the communities for which we work.  The YDPN can address these concerns by advocating for policies that support workers, educating funders on the impact of funding instability on the youth, families, communities, and organizations for which we work, and organizing workers to strengthen benefits packages, wages, and employment status and increase the prestige of youth development as a profession. 

As the Project Manager for the YDPN, I will bring ethics, dedication, purpose, and a sense of community.  I will create avenues for worker feedback that directly shape the direction of the YDPN.  I will be open and listen.  I will grow the YDPN into a leader within the field and within the larger society.  I will be a role model for other youth workers, youth, families, community members, and policy makers.  I will promote workers’ voices at all tables at which I sit.  I will reflect on my impact, my purpose, and my intention.  I will share and seek input on my vision for a just and equitable society. 

It is with peace and happiness that I have finally found it, that for which I was searching, the dream of my youth.  I am excited to be the Project Manager of the Youth Development Peer Network because I can help impact society on a much deeper and more meaningful level; I can advocate for workers in the professionalization and legitimization of the field of youth development; and I can “help the next generation”.  For as the Chinese Proverb reads “If you want happiness for a lifetime – help the next generation”.


Youth Worker Spotlight

In this YDPN Power, we spotlight William Paris, III.  William is currently an ExCEL After School Site Coordinator of Tenderloin Community School.  The YDPN is honored to have William also serving on our Steering Committee.  Read below to find out more about him.

How long have you been a youth worker?

In terms of advocating and working on the behalf of young people I’ve been a youth worker since 1999, when I, myself a youth, began to fight for the rights of other young people with the NAACP Youth Department. However, my formal indoctrination into the profession of youth development came in 2002 with the Boy Scouts of America. So that gives me 8 informal years and 5 formal.    

Why and how did you become a youth worker?          

In order to answer this question I have to tell a little story. Here it is.

“Look at this clock,” said my dad. 

“Huh,” I replied.

“Now, tell me how it works?”

“What, the J#!,” I yelled in my head.   I thought I was going to have to listen to my father explain to me why he thought I wasn’t meant to be an engineer.

“William, if you are called to be an engineer, everything about this clock and how and why it works should excite you. The very essence of its workings should excite the inner most part of you. You should be able to sit for hours in amazement at the detailed workings of this clock. Seeing the divinity of its true energy should inspire you to improve and further its creation.  William, you must find what in life is your clock”.

“What????” I thought. 

Then I let life happen.

I’ve come to find out what my dad meant by “find your clock”. Somewhere between an intense personal boredom with calculus and an uncomfortable experience with near academic death I figured out that engineering just might not have been my thing.  Looking to find my grove, I set out on a journey to find my clock, my preverbal self. Inventorying my talents and testing my weakness, I spent the second quarter of my college experience going through a process of connecting with the true energy of me – from pre-law to philosophy. It was not until the middle of an internship with socially and economical impoverished youth in Buffalo that I finally connected with thing that aligned me to my purpose. 

I worked intense hours supporting a summer enrichment camp as an Ameri-Corps intern with the Boy Scouts of America. It was working with these young people that I finally found the things whose essence gave me true inspiration.  No matter how much work it demanded of me, I was still inspired to give it all of my creative force. Helping these young people to find themselves amongst the myriad of disappointment and chaos around them gave me an intense pleasure.  It was as if every time I interacted with them I had a heaven sent message to deliver them. Helping them harness the power that they individually possessed to make their dreams come true connected me to my true purpose. Growing up I always knew that I had a way with people, and a passion for my community.  That mixed with a knack for presentation and a little experience of success, I had this mixed notion that I could somehow change the world. Taught to believe in myself, I lived the assumption that what ever I believed in I could make happen.  Until this point in my life, I thought that everyone had been taught about the power of having faith in yourself, but working with these kids, many whom had little to no positive interaction with adults, I quickly found out how life has a certain way of teaching you not to truly find the things that will make you happy.  So with my lofty sense of altruism, and the desire to change the world, I set off into this calling that is youth development.

What is your passion for continuing the work?  

My passion for the work lies in the chance to connect with young people in a way that is dynamic and life changing, using my personal experience to help guide them to the process of finding themselves. It is my hope that in doing this work I help more people find their own personal clocks.

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

I consider myself to be somewhat of a Bohemian Pseudo Intellectual. I enjoy art in its many forms and connect passionately to the written and spoken word. I am a cultural junkie and get my kicks taking in the theater, live performances, as well as the occasional museum. I am a poet, activist, brother, teacher and friend.

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

I believe that all of us are on some sort of path to find our personal clocks, some of us are blessed enough to have found it in the breath of helping others grow.  If we can harness the collective power of own personal triumphs and struggles, we can help create a world that will allow all of God’s people the opportunity to find their own “clock”. 

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

Because an aligned group of committed, passionate people can change the world.


Job Opportunities

This month we have quite s few job opportunities to announce around the Bay Area.  The YDPN Power will now be going out on a monthly basis.  If you would like to see your job postings reach approximately 450 youth workers across the Bay Area, please submit a job description and brief description to Jason Wyman at sms4e.community@gmail.com.

Please check our the YDPN website to download full job descriptions at http://ydpn.bay.area.googlepages.com. 


Girls Inc. Of Alameda County – www.girlsinc-alameda.org

Girls Incorporated of Alameda County is a private, non-profit corporation, which for 45 years has provided quality programs for girls, young women and families.  Through cutting-edge programs, Girls Inc. is leading the effort to help every girl become strong, smart and bold.  Program areas for informal education include careers and life planning, math and science enrichment, literacy development, health and sexuality, leadership and community action, sports and fitness, self-reliance and life skills, and culture and heritage.

Concordia Senior Program Leader (Full-Time)

A Girls Inc. AmeriCorps Concordia Senior Program Leader is professional, creative, flexible, fun, and able to teach a diverse array of concepts from literacy to conflict resolution, and is able to communicate with both girls and adults.   Above all, this person has the ability to spark curiosity, creativity and confidence in middle school age girls.  For more information about programs, please see our website at www.girlsinc-alameda.org.


Elementary School Group Leader- AmeriCorps (Full-Time)

A Girls Inc. AmeriCorps Group Leader is professional, creative, flexible, fun, and able to teach a diverse array of concepts from literacy to conflict resolution, and is able to communicate with both children and adults.   Above all, this person has the ability to spark curiosity, creativity and confidence in young children.

SUPER STARS GROUP LEADER:  Deliver a dynamic, structured, after-school literacy program for Kindergarten to 2nd grade boys and girls that seeks to build self esteem and achieve grade level reading.  Positions are available at two school sites:  Parker Elementary and Hoover Elementary in Oakland.

GIRLSTART GROUP LEADER:  Deliver a dynamic, structured, after-school literacy program for Kindergarten to 3rd grade girls that seeks to build girls’ self esteem and achieve grade level reading.  Positions are available at four school sites:  Lockwood Elementary, Parker Elementary and Think College Now/International Community School Elementary in Oakland and Wilson Elementary in San Leandro.

WOW! GROUP LEADER:  Deliver a dynamic, structured, after-school enrichment program that seeks to enable 4th and 5th grade girls to increase their self-confidence, interest in learning, leadership skills, and exposure to sports and fitness.  Positions available at three school sites:  Lockwood Elementary and Parker Elementary in Oakland and Wilson Elementary in San Leandro.


Volunteer Coordinator (Full-Time)

Girls Incorporated of Alameda County is committed to involving volunteers in order to expand the number of girls and families served by Girls Inc. programs; increase community support for Girls Inc.; enhance and enrich existing Girls Inc. programs; and create opportunities for youth and adults to positively impact the lives of girls in their communities.  The Community Engagement Specialist would be responsible for working with the Manager of Volunteers in all aspects of volunteer recruitment and retention.


Oakland Asian Students Educational Services – www.oases.org

Come join an organization that is passionate about promoting the leadership skills of youth and staff! OASES is one of the largest nonprofit after school providers in Oakland, serving over 400 low-income youth annually.  OASES engages youth in opportunities that often are not offered at school through leadership, environmental education, diversity education, financial literacy, & arts, & more.

Middle School Program Coordinator

The OASES RISE program operates comprehensive after school programming for middle school students in grades 6-8th at Westlake Middle School.   Westlake Middle School is a vibrant community with a diverse student population: 38% African American; 33% Latino; 18% Asian & Pacific Islander; 9% Caucasian; and 2% Other.

The Middle School Program Coordinator will be responsible for supporting the Director School-Based Programs with the development and implementation of educational enrichment, academic tutorial, and youth leadership.   


Elementary Program Group Leader (Part-Time)

OASES operates a comprehensive after school program (i.e., academic, recreation, enrichment) at Cleveland Elementary School from Monday-Friday, 3-6 pm (1:30-6 pm on Wednesday) for approximately 90 students in grades K-5.   The Elementary Program Group Leader will be responsible for supervising a group of students to extend learning opportunities through the Cleveland QUEST After school Program.  Cleveland Elementary youth identify as 59% Asian, 23% African Americans, 9% Latino, 5% Caucasian and 5% Other.  64% of students qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch programs.


Streetside Stories – www.streetside.org

Streetside Stories is a non-profit literacy arts program that uses storytelling, autobiographical writing, interactive theatre activities and media arts to help students develop their reading, writing and oral communication skills. 

Afterschool Media Arts and Writing Teaching Artist

The instructor will be working in San Francisco public middle and elementary schools. In the middle school workshop, students will write a autobiographical story, record a voiceover, select and create images, then use Streetside’s mobile iBook lab to create a digital story using iMovie. In the elementary school workshop, the students will create a blog of writing and photography with 4th and 5th graders. The emphasize is how to tell stories through writing and visual arts. Community volunteers and interns will offer additional classroom support.  For more information visit, www.streetside.org.


Afterschool Writing and Storytelling Teaching Artist

The teaching artists will teach in afterschool programs in San Francisco and East Bay middle schools, elementary schools and/or community centers to improve students' critical thinking and writing skills using storytelling, theatre, creative writing and the visual arts. We're seeking a bold, creative leader, who is an ally to young people. The program's focus will be on creating community within the after school setting using Streetside Stories curriculum. Community volunteers and high school interns will offer additional classroom support.


Media Arts and Writing Instructor

Tech Tales, Streetside Stories’ digital storytelling program, brings autobiographical writing, visual and media arts workshops to 7th grade students in San Francisco and Oakland public middle schools.  For the 2007-2008 academic year, Tech Tales will be in twelve classrooms, serving about 360 young people. 60% of the students Streetside Stories serves are low-income, 95% are people of color, with many immigrant youth for whom English is a second language. 

Beginning Fall 2007, Streetside Stories will begin the Literate Learners Project, a Department of Education funded program, designed to assist English Language Learners with English language acquisition through the incorporation of performance, media and visual arts.  This will mark the beginning of an exciting three-year partnership with three San Francisco public middle schools and one charter school in Oakland.

The Tech Tales instructor, who will be partnering with a co-facilitator, will teach approximately twelve 4-week digital storytelling workshops in San Francisco and Oakland.  In each workshop, students will write a script for their story, record a voiceover, select and create images, then use Streetside’s mobile iBook lab to create a digital story using iMovie. Community volunteers and interns will offer additional classroom support. 


Outreach Coordinator

The Outreach Coordinator will help ensure Streetside’s success through volunteer management, community outreach and publications. The Outreach Coordinator will have a passion for arts education and excellent project management skills and should enjoy working in a fun, fast-paced and flexible environment.


San Francisco Unified School District ExCEL Site Coordiantors

There are many openings in afterschool programs within San Francisco.  If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, please visit the www.healthiersf.org.


CalSAC’s Career Center

Still looking for work?  Check out CalSAC’s Career Center.  There are many postings all over the Bay Area listed.  You can even search for the title you want! www.calsac.org/career/jobs/


Funding opportunities for Youth-Led Projects

The Disney Minnie Grants 2007 (2nd round) (For US and overseas applicants)

The Walt Disney Company and Youth Service America are pleased to announce grants of up to $500 to support youth-led service projects. These grants support youth (ages 5-14) in planning and implementing service projects in their community. Teachers, older youth (15-25), youth-leaders, and youth-serving organizations are also eligible to apply, provided that they that engage younger youth (5-14) in planning and implementing the service. Service can take place between October 1 and November 26, 2007. Projects can address themes such as the environment, disaster relief, public health and awareness, community education, hunger, literacy, or any issue that youth identify as a community need.

Promotional information is made available in Español (Spanish) <http://ysa.org/AwardsGrants/DisneyMinnieGrant20072ndRound/tabid/244/Default.aspx#spanish#spanish> , Français (French) <http://ysa.org/AwardsGrants/DisneyMinnieGrant20072ndRound/tabid/244/Default.aspx#french#french> , Russian, Chinese), and Hindi. Please forward the translated announcements to your networks. Applications are welcome from all countries, though applications will only be accepted in English. Applicants from China, India, and Russia are especially encouraged to apply. Past Disney Minnie Grantees are also eligible to apply.

Questions? Email MinnieGrant (at) ysa.org. Receipt deadline: August 30, 2007.

Be sure to download the correct application and review all application materials, available at www.YSA.org/awards <http://www.ysa.org/awards>  before submitting.


Youth Venture Grants

Socially conscious young people from the United States between the ages of 12 and 20 years old are encouraged to apply for micro-grants of up to US$1,000 from the Youth Service America (YSA) Youth Venture Program to create sustainable social ventures. Ventures must be youth-led and designed to be a lasting, sustainable asset to the community. Example possibilities include: a youth centre designed to keep youth out of trouble with music and art programs, an anti-peer pressure education campaign, a bike repair shop with a vocational training program, or an assembly program touring inner city schools combining music with anti-drug/violence performances.

Youth Venture is working to build a network of young change makers around the world. Youth Venture provides coaching, resources, and seed funding for young people ages 12-20 to create, launch, and lead sustainable community-benefiting ventures.

For more information, visit http://www.genv.net/en-us/region/ysa


Job Posting Downloads

Girls Inc. of Alameda County

Concordia Senior Program Leader (Full-Time) 

Elementary School Group Leader- AmeriCorps (Full-Time) 

Volunteer Coordinator (Full-Time) 


Oakland Asian Students Educational Services  

Middle School Program Coordinator 

Elementary Program Group Leader (Part-Time)


Streetside Stories

Afterschool Media Arts and Writing Teaching Artist 

Afterschool Writing and Storytelling Teaching Artist 

Media Arts and Writing Instructor 

Outreach Coordinator