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Empowering the Next Generation: Developing and Supporting Young Professionals in OST Panel

Tuesday, 20 June 2023 09:16

NAA’s Next Generation of AfterSchool Leaders were invited to be the panelist for Empowering the Next Generation: Developing and Supporting Young Professionals in OST, hosted by OSTI-CON and moderated by Angelica Portillo, NAA’s Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives.

During the session, participants learned about NAA's Thriving Workforce Initiative and its efforts to cultivate young professionals in out-of-school time. Additionally, they heard from a panel of Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders about their experiences working in the field and the importance of developing young professionals.

The Big Takeaway: Young Professionals want to feel empowered, engaged, and have agency at work!

Here are three ways to do just that as noted by the panel:

Create Career Pathways

Creating career pathways in out-of-school time has always been important for young professionals in OST as they navigate their careers. Career pathways provide employees with a clear understanding of potential growth opportunities and encourages professional development. When employees know the various career paths within the organization, they can set goals, acquire relevant skills, and feel empowered making decisions about their career progression.

Build a Sense of Community

Building a sense of community provides young professionals with a valuable support system. sense of community in the workplace is critical to engagement, collaboration, and positive work culture. It enhances young professional’s satisfaction at the job, promotes communication, and increases retention rates.

Show Recognition and Appreciation

Showing recognition and appreciation in the workplace is essential as it boosts employee morale, motivation, and overall job satisfaction. When young professionals feel acknowledged for their hard work, it reinforces a sense of value and agency in the workplace.

Looking for more ways to support the next generation?

You can find additional elements for creating an environment where young professionals thrive can be found in the framework for job quality. This framework encompasses the necessary pieces to create a Thriving OST Workforce - helping workers perform well and achieve stability, encouraging employee advancement, and creating a work environment where employees are empowered, engaged, and have agency.

Putting all these pieces together ensures a workplace with a culture of strong relationships and respect. Designing OST jobs with equity and inclusion creates a work environment where employees thrive.


Solving the OST Workforce Puzzle

Building a Sense of Community

Career Pathways

Showing Recognition and Appreciation


Panelist from left to right in featured photo:

Alexandra Frigillana, Workforce Development Program Manager, San Francisco Beacon Initiative
Tozyea Reed, Director of Content, Dallas Afterschool
Angelica Portillo, Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives
Matrex Kilgore, Program Administrator, Texas Commission on the Arts
Itzel Gutierrez, Associate, Collaborative Communications Group
Karin Wolfe, Training Coordinator, Westat