September is always an exciting month at AALEAD. Our after-school programs start up again with some new youth and returning youth from the summer and the previous year. After lots of planning, our staff get to do what they do best – which is provide new opportunities to our youth. This year, we are excited to have launched a brand new after-school program at Annandale High School! The response from youth there has been awesome. We are looking forward to serving 50 new youth there this school year!
A high for me this month was a focus group I conducted with 8 middle and high youth on our strategic plan. One of the things I love most about my role is that I still get to connect with our youth. Our Board just approved our 3-year strategic plan that was developed with feedback from external stakeholders and conversations with our Board, staff, and youth. It was so wonderful to see our youth really engage with the future of AALEAD and to have really solid ideas that mirrored the ideas of staff and Board members. It was a powerful reminder for me that if given the tools, youth are capable of operating at a high level – and can do more than adults often allow them to do.
Stay tuned to our blog for future updates on our programs!