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On-Site Staff / Partnerships and Building Relationships / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

Ode to the Expanded Learning Technical Assistance Provider

 Editor’s Note: Inspired by the original Ode to the Site Coordinator tribute by @diegoarancibia, today’s blog from Breakfast Club blogger @brunomarchesi is dedicated to the Technical Assistance (TA) Provider.

With much respect & appreciation for the Ode to the Site Coordinator from my brother, Diego Arancibia, that served as an inspiration for these words…

The one who’s workshop begins days, if not weeks, prior to the date of the presentation, preparing the content for the workshop.

The one who spends countless hours and days on the road away from their family.

The one who sleeps more nights in a hotel room rather than their own bed.

The one who is the first to arrive and the last one to leave for every conference.

The one who has thought of all of the small details and can rival any professional wedding planner when it comes to hosting large events.

The one who understands that ALL Roads lead to Ukiah in Region 1.

The one who has missed countless anniversaries and their kids’ birthdays for the love of the field.

The one who continues to think and develop innovative ways to make data relevant and fun for others.

The one who has so much dope content to only get deflated when the workshop evaluation says that the participant wished there was more coffee or more opportunities for networking.

The one who continues to push the envelope when it comes to innovation for our field.

The one who has at least once started a conversation with “please keep this between us” when passing a piece of technical assistance “intel”.

The one who counts how long they have been in the field by the consecutive years they have attended BOOST.

The one who keeps fighting for the past 10 years to make facilitation part of the strategies for technical assistance along with coaching, mentoring, training, brokering, and consulting.

The one who has donated countless hours to be part of local and statewide collaboratives for the good of the entire field.

The one who knows everyone in the field yet often feels so alone at the end of the day.

The one who keeps telling themselves that they are going to leave the field, but the field keeps pulling them back in.

The one who looks forward to the meeting being hosted in Sacramento only because there may be beer bread for lunch.

The one who keeps attending meetings with the same people, but each meeting is for a different topic area.

The one who understands that in Expanded Learning we keep building the plane while flying it and that this is the biggest game of telephone we have ever played.

The one who has the skill and expertise to be the life of the party and can lead a quick attention grabber or icebreaker activity at all of their family gatherings.

The one who understands that leading a group of technical assistance providers is like herding cats.

The one whose life revolves around yet another Doodle survey or that they are one Doodle survey away from giving up in life.

The one who is genuinely happy when they hear about the success of a colleague or another TA provider.

The one who understands the value of not asking anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.

The one who understands that no matter what new flashy words they use to describe it these days, it has always been youth development.

The one who, if given a choice, would choose to do it all over again.

The one who gets satisfaction from knowing that they moved others forward.

The one who provides inspiration on a daily basis and not just on Sundays.

The one who understands that this field has always been, continues to be, and will always be about the people…

To you, I say Thank you!


For breakfast, I had a protein shake and a banana.

Author: @brunomarchesi

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