Connection 2015

An Exercise To Help You & Your Team In Re-framing Failure
Former NBA great Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” But what does that have to do with you? In every field, whether it be on the court or in the office, people experience failure every day. Failure is tricky, because if we allow it, failure can be paralyzing and can prevent us from reaching our true potential. The conundrum is that to be truly great at what you do, it is inevitable that you will fail. How you react to that failure will shape who and what you become. [Read further...]
15 Talks on Youth and Family Services That Will Pique Your Curiosity
Here are 15 talks on youth and family services that will pique your curiosity, teach you something new, and give you a new perspective on your organization and the population that it serves. These video/audio talks are organized as follows (click on the category to jump to that section): Section Categories (Click To Jump To Section): Talks On How To Use Technology In Innovative Ways In Social Services Talks On How To Tell People The Story of Your Organization Talks On Policies Important To Youth Services Talks On How To Strengthen Your Organization Talks That Will Inspire You Enjoy the talks and be [Read further...]
About the Poetry The poetry of Veronica Boyd: sharing her experience of what it means to be an African in this America. About Veronica Veronica Boyd is a native Philadelphian performing artist.   She is 19 and currently a student at Community College of Philadelphia majoring in Theatre.  Veronica enjoys creating songs and the spoken word in her spare time as well as playing basketball and tennis.   She is currently interning for the DoRememberMe Project Global Initiative and Yram, under Sannii Crespina-Flores, working with young people from across Philadelphia to contact other young people from other parts of the world and [Read further...]
Do the right thing, the smart thing, the relevant thing.  Listening when youth speak truth to power, and learning how and whether our programs and services are really working. About Valerie Valerie Threlfall, is no stranger to striving for authenticity and intentionality in working with young people.  From 2008-2012, she lead one of the first national efforts to gather feedback from students about what is working and not working in their schools. This included founding the Youth Truth project, which surveyed over 125,000 kids from 210 different schools, one of the first national efforts to gather comparative feedback from students [Read further...]
LGBTQ youth face a number of unique challenges in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.  What is it about our policies, and our own reactions to these youth, that makes them invisible when they most need support? About Mykel Mykel Selph is a criminal and juvenile justice professional with expertise in gender-responsive principles, the treatment of the LGBTQI population, sexual safety, and the intersection of race and culture in relation to justice system reform.  She has worked with multiple correctional agencies throughout the country on these issues, including her time as the Director of the Office of Girls and Gender [Read further...]
About the Song Madness is an original composition written and performed by Kayla Avitabile, a singer/songwriter voice for youth who, at age 15, also happens to be one. About Kayla Kayla Avitabile is a 15 year old eclectic alt singer/songwriter whose powerful vocals and soulful interpretations set the stage for a year of big performances in a variety of festivals, and TV appearances.  In 2014, Kayla was the debut alternative music artist in the Valley Youth House Youth Artist in Residence Program, funded by Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation. Kayla has been nominated for the Best New Artist for the Lehigh [Read further...]
5.5 million Americans ages 18 to 24 are out of work and not in school and nearly ¾ of these ‘opportunity youth’ are people of color.  Multi-cultural buying power is driving our economy, but our failure to engage this key millennial group will cut that buying power in half.  We must respond at scale with employer led solutions and community buy-in to create a more inclusive and competitive economy.  But how? About Jeffery As President of LeadersUp, Jeffery T.D. Wallace is responsible for establishing the strategic framework for creating employer-led solutions that address youth disconnection and yield large scale successful [Read further...]
Programs are seriously behind the curve when it comes to reaching youth through technology.  Through an innovative text program called TXT4Help, The Bridge for Youth will be able to go from 500 calls to 15,000 texts a year, target key words to respond quickly (such as moving any message with the word “suicide” to the head of the queue) and respond to youth needs in the moment.  The Bridge for Youth and a local network of youth programs (Youth Services Network) has also created a shelter platform, in which youth and other community members have access to the full range [Read further...]
The reality of the job market and workforce development has changed.  And career development programs must also change if they are to going to help youth, particularly those with barriers, develop the specialized and targeted skills sought by employers. About Cynthia Cynthia is believes everyone deserves a second chance, particularly those who never got a first chance. She thinks being able to demonstrate impact with numbers is important.   Cynthia is currently the Senior Project Manager at Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB), where she connects diverse stakeholders to ensure that low skill, low income workers (including youth and young adults) [Read further...]
About the Talk Transform your relationship with money to reflect your values and priorities – build authentic relationships with donors that can become extraordinary collaborations between public and private partners. About Reverend Childers The Reverend Clayton Childers is currently the Director of Advocacy at the Imagine No Malaria Campaign, an extraordinary collaboration between public and private partners raising $67 million to end deaths and suffering from malaria.  Before assuming his current role, Rev. Childers served as a pastor of local congregations in Virginia and South Carolina for 14 years.  His experience, combined with his visionary leadership, has built working relationships [Read further...]