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Meet the BOOST Leadership Team / On-Site Staff / Partnerships and Building Relationships / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management / Updates from BOOST

The BOOST Conference: By The Field, For The Field

This year the BOOST Conference was beyond measurable and loaded with learning opportunities, networking receptions, film festivals, Town Halls, Pop-Up Dinners, Inspiration Stations, and so much more.

Our small but mighty team of dedicated volunteers, the BOOST Leadership Team (BLT), worked for a year to welcome all the BOOSTers to sunny Palm Springs! In this blog, we want to provide you with a quick glimpse of the magic that goes into building this wonderful and inspiring conference.


What is the BOOST Leadership Team?

What is this magical BOOST Leadership Team you may ask, well the best answer comes from Tia Quinn, our fearless founder, and leader of the BOOST Collaborative:

“The BOOST Leadership Team is the true heart of the BOOST experience. The dedication to making the #boostconference a special, high-quality, engaging, and FUN learning experience is why our 3,000 global attendees, speakers, and exhibitors leave inspired and equipped with the latest trends and resources- and why they keep coming back.

The BOOST Leadership Team, otherwise known as the BLT, meets in-person once per month in So

uthern California to strategize, ideate, and execute an innovative conference program that benefits all levels of educators and more than anything, make learning stimulating.

Individually the BLT is a smart, dedicated, passionate team of educators that are connected to the field. Together, we are family, powerful, and change agents redefining leadership in out-of-school time.”

So what does the BLT do all year? What do you do at the conference?

The Leadership Team consists of about 15-20 members each year that start planning in late July/early Au

gust for the next BOOST Conference and commit to monthly meetings through our debrief meeting in May. In January another handful of Implementation Team members join in and then finally on site, starting the Monday of conference week, our group of volunteers quickly doubles in size.

During our monthly meetings in gorgeous sunny Southern California, we focus on having an experience that is relevant, innovative, and engaging for all BOOST participants.

BLT members help coordinate and provide support on site for many of the aspects of the conference including (but definitely not limited to):

  • Workshop selection including specialized workshops such as Panels and Town Halls
  • College Credits & CEUs
  • Film Festival
  • Meet the Authors
  • Youth Leadership Opportunities
  • Room Hosting
  • Pop-Up Dinners
  • Networking Receptions
  • Homecoming
  • Morning Recess
  • Tour de BOOST
  • Duck Races

The months, weeks, and days leading up to BOOST are concentrated on ensuring that our conference attendees and exhibitors have a life-changing experience. On-site at the conference the BLT is busy behind-the-scenes taking care of every detail like a well-oiled machine. We love creating this experience and community year after year.

As longtime BLT’er Becky Shultz puts it, “No other group works or plays so hard to make sure that each year’s conference is the best that there is in the field. Together we BOOST our students and our communities!”

Who is part of the BLT?

One of the most amazing things about being part of the BOOST Leadership Team is the diversity of the group. BOOST is not just a conference but a community built on the shoulders of actual educators and out-of-school time providers. This conference and community are truly by the field, for the field.

What do representation and voice look like? Well let’s hear from a couple of our leaders:

BLT Member Referees Duck Races

“Representation is important at the BOOST Conference. As a member of the BLT, I am part of a family that represents the beautiful diversity of our field. I have served in out-of-school time for over 18 years in many capacities which include: youth development, community development, and family engagement. Presently, I am a Common Good Consultant that focuses on innovative solutions at the intersection of education reform, racial equity, and gender disparities. I am also a first-generation Latina immigrant, college graduate, gay female, and most importantly a parent with a child in our public education system in Los Angeles. Being part of the BLT allows my voice to represent the thousands of children, youth, and families that are in need of quality out-

of-school time support and experiences throughout our nation. I’m honored to be part of this team and proud that we are bringing inspiration, validation, and celebration to youth advocates around the world.” –Carola Secada

“As a licensed program provider, I am a part of the BOOST Leadership Team to continue to promote quality among Licensed afterschool providers. Fee-based programs sometimes get lost within the after school field with all of the state and federal programs and through my participation and attendance, these programs will have a voice in the after-school space.” -Kristen Gonzalez

“As an advocate of Youth Development programs, my 15+ years of experience working as line staff, a site coordinator, and in a leadership role, gives me an authentic perspective on what is really needed in the field. As a member of the BLT, I have the great opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of leaders in the field to plan and prepare a

 global convening of leaders in youth development. Together as a team and a family, we make the commitment to inspire youth, inspire learning, and inspire change in the work we do daily and to inspire future leaders of the world.” -Melissa Perez

BLT members happily work together at volunteer check-in“As a BLT member, I get to build relationships with OST leaders from across the state. Because I represent Healthier Generation, I bring a lens of health and wellness and particularly enjoy the chance to brainstorm and have real-life discussions about the joys and challenges that face OST program leads and administrators on a daily basis. I love that we look outside the program hours and include social workers, juvenile justice, child welfare system professionals, and more because passionate people dedicated to youth development and children’s health are all around us.” -Amira Resnick

“I love seeing my BOOST family every month; there is something special about passionate leaders who care about young people and youth workers. I am part of the team so I can be a voice for young people of color, for youth workers of color, but most of all because this work is so important! I am honored to be part of this team and conference.” -Frances Vasquez

Are there other benefits to being part of the BLT?

Well if that wasn’t enough for you, there are lots of other reasons to be a part of this awesome BOOST family. And who better to tell you than some more of the team:

“What a wonderful way to collaborate with like minds than being part of the BOOST Leadership Team. Meeting once a month in a warm and sunny location to brainstorm the best workshop options, activities, keynote speakers, and opportunities for individuals in the education fields. How awesome it is to be a part of a team that consistently provides opportunities for the people that are molding the minds and lives of our young people.” – Jeanaah Sampson

“Being a member of the BLT for the past 5 years has been a great way to build leadership skills, network across our field, and provide a high-quality learning experience for our attendees. The BLT is a family connected by their passion and love of our work and our field.” – Suzanne Hill

“Being part of the BOOST Leadership Team is a fantastic way to network with colleagues in many different facets of the expand

ed learning field. Each month we meet in various locations throughout sunny Southern California including Palm Springs. Attending the conference allows our staff to learn about cutting edge programming. Our staff members always return to work inspired and ready to take on new initiatives.” -Darlene Mosher

“Being a member of the BOOST Leadership Team has given me an opportunity to network beyond my agency, for my agency.  Meeting monthly has provided accountability, support, and guidance beyond planning for the BOOST Conference – I have built networks with colleagues who care about kids. The conference comes together by the very hands of those who would attend otherwise – those who live day in and out in the trenches of “Afterschool Work”!” -Meredith White

“After 34 years in education, serving on the BOOST Leadership Team is a wonderful opportunity to stay connected with the out-of-school time field.” -James Stephens

Want to join us?

BLT Members Welcoming Attendees to BOOST

Learn more about the BOOST Conference at

Interested in joining the 2023-2024 BLT and creating a high-quality experience for educators? CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR INTEREST TODAY.

See you at BOOST 2024 on April 30 – May 3. 

Author: @boost-collaborative

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BOOST Collaborative is a unique, purpose-driven organization committed to supporting those serving youth in the out-of-school time hours by providing quality professional development, opportunities for networking & partnerships, and leadership training. Together, we make a difference.

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