More than a year ago, planning began for the first-ever King County Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre. We worked with a coalition for children and youth in King County called SOAR and Seattle Public Schools’ Service Learning Seattle program. In four months planning, we devised a four-part series of events focused on developing professional learning and collaboration among King County’s diverse youth engagement agencies. The outcomes were awesome.
One of the mantras at CommonAction is “We Can Do What Me Can’t.” Our longstanding commitment to learning communities and the power of collaboration is driven by our teams’ experiences working in education and community settings across the US and around the world. We have consistently seen the outcomes of this mantra, and work to take it to scale with all our clients and collaborators.
The Cadre began in fall 2011 with 22 participants, carefully selected from more than 40 qualified applicants. Answering questions about their own engagement as youth as well as their perceptions of youth today, almost every application laid bare the need for youth engagement. One year later we’d completed more than 40 hours of professional development together. Kyla Lackie and I facilitated all the events. We focused on providing participants opportunities to increase their personal commitment to youth engagement, as well as to increase their professional capacity to engage young people.
The year was a fascinating journey, full of twists and bends, opportunities and growth. Cadre members noted change in many areas, and for me as a facilitator it was enlivening and rich.
This fall we’re launching Year Two of the Cadre. There will be some tweaks to the agendas and turns in the philosophy, but generally the concept remains the same: We Can Do What Me Can’t. Look for more soon!