The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is a curated space where bloggers from around the world contribute content on a continual basis about a variety of topics relevant to in and out-of-school time. The BOOST Breakfast Club blog is at the heart of an ongoing dialogue where expanded learning and education professionals share their personal thoughts and stories from the in and out-of-school time field. They also tell us what they ate for breakfast!

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Author: Annemarie M. Grassi, Ph.D.

Taking Time over the Holidays to Reset

This blog was originally posted in 2018, the content is so relevant we wanted to repost. Self-care over the holidays is a magical way to enter the New Year!  _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Many of us have the opportunity to take some time away from work over the end of the year holiday season. While this time usually ...

When The Earthquake Hits…Navigating Personal Trauma

As professionals in the field of education and youth development, we are often faced monthly, weekly, and even daily, with helping support and manage other people’s trauma. We hear the horrible stories, watch in live-action the day to day responses and behaviors of kids who have been traumatized, and often spend our days and nights urging others to seek out guidance and help for managing these alm...

9 Necessary Tips For Managing Stress In An Uncertain World

Seventeen years ago, at the age of 22 years, I walked out of a store in Philadelphia with a small black rectangular electronic device with a built-in antenna and 12 numerical buttons that gave me immediate access to the world at my fingertips. I remember calling my parents in Cleveland as I walked down Walnut street, proudly announcing my first step into the world of accessibility thanks to techno...

The Flawed Leader… Follow Up 6 Months Later

Social Power is defined as the degree of influence that an individual or organization has among their peers and within their society as a whole. 6 months ago, I shared in this blog my challenges with my own leadership and that of the organization I started and grew over the past 15 years. I poured out on the table the comments my staff made in relation to my leadership flaws, and the ways I needed...

The Flawed Leader

For the past 15 years, I have developed and grown an afterschool program model from its infancy serving 20 kids in a church to serving over 600 kids across three cities, demonstrating incredible success rates. By all means I have been deemed as a visionary, strong, competent leader.  Each year as we get larger and stronger, the pressure mounts as the praise continues, and the expectations build.  ...

The Fragility of Freedom

It is the eve of November 8th, Election Day, a critical and contentious moment in our nation’s history. I am currently sitting on a bus sandwiched between three teenage boys, all three who are much bigger than me, and who after several hours of driving are starting to produce a scent I like to call “teen spirit”. We are enroute back to Cleveland from a two-day college tour, among...

The Challenge of the Selfie and the Great Social Experiment

As I write this blog entry, I am driving back on a large charter bus with 50 high school students, after spending the last 3 days exploring the many adventures that the great city of Chicago has to offer. A high-energy experience filled with museums, college tours, tilting over the John Hancock Observatory, deep dish pizza, and even an evening swim. Throughout the last three days of this fun-fille...

Can You Alter Unconscious Bias? Changing the Conversation.

On Saturday morning… the City of Cleveland and its surrounding suburbs anxiously awaited the verdict reading of the Michael Brelo case, a white American police officer who stood on the hood of a car and shot fifteen rounds into the bodies of two black Americans who sat in the front seat of the car. There is nothing right about this situation and there is nothing right about the verdict, whic...

My Why: Understanding Education as a Pathway to Freedom

My belief for why I do what I do is quite simple. I firmly believe that every child should be afforded the right to a healthy childhood, a fair and equal education, and a strong network of support that navigates and guides that child’s future. Education is the sole key to our freedom and to our ability to advance humanity forward. Unfortunately, as a society we have failed to fully realize t...

Hugs are Free Today but Tomorrow they’re a Dollar

Over the last few years, I have become known as “the lady who loves hugs.” When I visit any of our campuses, the kids come running ready for a hug, while others sit back and wait for me to approach them. Regardless if they run or wait, almost every single kid extends out their arms awaiting the embrace. For 13 years, I have wholeheartedly embraced the belief that we must hug our kids. ...