Out-of-School Time – Programs, Workshops, and Enrichment for Kids


By Chasidy Celestine, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2018 Nominee/Winner

STEM afterschool

Chasidy Celestine and Co-Presenter Toni Candis smiles after their successful STEM workshop “Engineering for the Non-Engineer” a workshop created to encourage OST professional to bring out the inner engineer within their students by putting on their kid hats for a hands on learning experience!

I am a proud supporter and product of afterschool programs. Growing up, my mother worked after the school bell and needed a safe, secure place for us to attend afterschool. Thankfully, she was intentional in finding programs that included diversity in students, afterschool activities, summer camps and fieldtrips. These experiences with afterschool enrichment centers and programs gave me exposure to places, people and activities I would not have received otherwise. For example, one of the greatest influences of afterschool for me was being apart of dance team in high school. As someone who had no formal dance training, I learned the skills necessary to be a great dancer and compete in local and state dance competitions. Being a part of dance afterschool gave me a sense of belonging, built my self-esteem and reinforced the importance of building relationships and physical health. Continue reading

Becoming a Youth Leader – An Afterschool Journey


By Derrick Hatch, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2018 Winner

youth leader afterschool program

Mr. Derrick with his YAB leadership students.

A Job Or A Career?

When I began working in the afterschool field, I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for. Sure, I was excited about the job; but at the time, it was a placeholder until something better came along.

Oh how wrong I was.

In the beginning, I didn’t think I was quite cut out for the work. Here I was, a white 23 year-old from suburban Southern California. Was I really qualified to be working with kids and teens in the inner-city? What if they laughed at me? What if they made fun of me?

Well, they did laugh, and they did make fun of me. And I joyfully embraced it all. Continue reading

Just For Kids Afterschool Program


By Kaitlyn Ferree, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2018 Nominee

Just for Kids afterschool

The S&S Worldwide team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2018. We are honored to highlight the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community.

I graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in Elementary Education and I went right to work teaching 1st grade and 2nd grade in Florida. I have always had a passion for working with children, which began when I was a freshman in High School and I volunteered at the summer camp in my hometown. It was through the rec league of Kennett Square and from there I was hooked. I went on to work at the camp as a counselor, and then after that I became the coordinator for two years before going to college. In college I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to do, but the one thing that I knew was I wanted to better the lives of children and make sure they are healthy and have the necessities to grow and learn. I ended up going into elementary education and I loved it. I got to learn new skills, ways to target different learning styles, and discovered that what works for some students doesn’t work for all of them. Continue reading

Safari Youth Club – Academic & Sports Afterschool Program


By Hamisi Juma, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award Winner

safari youth club

My name is Hamisi Juma. I came to the U.S. in 2010 as refugee, after I spent 6 years in a refugee camp in Tanzania. During my time in the refugee camp, I was a youth supervisor at Youth Center. This program was established by different community members including me. Because of the difficult situation in the camp, most of the youth was involved in drugs, alcohol, and early pregnancies.

After I resettled in U.S. and saw most of the African and immigrants struggling a lot in the same ways I saw in the refugee camp, I felt concerned and looked for a way I could help them. My question was how, when, and where I can get a place to help them? I started looking for some non-profit organizations for help, and decided to create the Safari Youth Club, with the goals of helping them for their future life. Continue reading

How After School Programs Inspire Today’s Youth


By Kevin Gilmore, National Afterschool Association Next Generation 2017 Award Nominee

after school programs

I started in afterschool as a participant in Big Brothers, Big Sisters when I was in middle school. By the time I was in high school, I was a co-lead in a K-5th grade after school program in a local church. I’ve always had a passion for working with young people. My first paid job was providing childcare for children in my neighborhood. Eventually, my passion for working with youth combined with my passion for culinary arts. I began teaching nutrition classes to the children in the program. When I was in college, I had the opportunity to serve as a youth leader for students in 4th-7th grades at a local church. We led the youth in arts, crafts, recreation and devotions.

After college, I felt a call on my life to move from Toledo, OH to Columbus, OH where I worked at the YMCA Summer Program. I began volunteering at Vineyard Columbus in the café – serving as the leader for the youth café volunteers. I gained employment with the café where one of my favorite times of the year was working with the summer program staff and their youth. I was offered a position with the Community Center’s after school and summer programs where I have led children in grades K-12 over the past four and a half years.  I was asked to direct the high school program and have served in this position since 2015. Continue reading

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