Breakfast Club Blog

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!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company. Enjoy the brain food.

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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My Why: Making a Meaningful Impact

I wasn’t one of those people that knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up. You know, the kid that knew since the age of five. For me, this was a question I grappled with throughout my life, until I directed my path towards happiness. After college, a variety of empty jobs and many years of volunteer work, I realized that my primary goal was simple: to make a meaningful impact. I wanted to inspire others to do the same, and use my experiences to pay it forward. For me this cou...Read More

My Why: Curly’s Law – A Bearer of Hope

I love the scene in the movie City Slickers where Billy Crystal’s character, Mitch, is riding alone with Curly, played by Jack Palance. Curly gives Mitch some advice about life. Curly: You know what the secret of life is? Mitch: No. What? Curly: [holds up one finger] This. Mitch: Your finger? Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean s**t. Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing? Curly: That’s what you gotta figure out....Read More

My Why: It’s Personal

”This work is so rewarding.” “It’s important work.” “It’s needed.” “I found what I am good at.” “I am inspired every day.” “I am kind of person that has to enjoy my work”. “It’s service and service is important to me.” “I am passionate about kids”. While all of these are true, these reasons are not nearly the reason why I really want to change the life of a child. So, let’s get...Read More

My Why: Kickball

This is probably the most important question that I continue to ask myself…it’s a question that has to be asked with a series of “Why’s.” Each one peeling back a layer of a deeper meaning. It’s a question that I toiled with for months. It wasn’t until a few days ago, when I sat discussing character development and social and emotional learning, that a colleague of mine, Mary Jo Ginty, made a poignant statement. She said, “Kickball isn’t just ...Read More

My Why: Closing the Opportunity Gap

I am driven by creating opportunities for young people, for closing the opportunity gap. I look at what elite private schools offer their young learners and then create, adjust, finagle, and hustle to try and ensure that students from less affluent public schools get the same chances to try new things. If a $25,000/year private school takes their Juniors snorkeling and kayaking, we need to offer the same to a kid from South LA. They may be our next Jacques Cousteau. If the best schools in wealth...Read More

My Why: Different Is OK

I grew up in a small town in Ohio in the 1960s and 70s, at a time and place where everyone strove to be the same. Everyone (and I mean everyone) had 2 parents, owned a modest home and went to church. But I was different. My father died after I was born, my Mom had a different last name from remarriage, and my two aunts (one of whom wasn’t actually related) helped raise me. I experienced great love as a child but there was an underlying sense that being different was somehow “bad.R...Read More

My Why: Purpose

It’s really hard to pinpoint one purpose, cause, or belief that inspires me to do what I do. After thinking about this question, I realized that I have a different approach and reason for working on each project I am involved in, both professionally and personally. But, if I had to sum it up in one word, I would say the reason why I do what I do is “impact.” Professionally, as a researcher, this is particularly important to me because I spend most of my days on my computer anal...Read More

My Why: Pleasurable and Meaningful Work

There are those in my family who still don’t “get” what I do and wonder, sometimes audibly, if I will ever get a real job. They ask, “Why form a non-profit organization. Do you want to be poor all your life?” I am someone who didn’t plan to work in this profession. When I was in college, studying biology and chemistry, I knew working with kids would someday make me a better Dad, so I took a part-time work-study job in an afterschool program. Then I got hooked ...Read More

My Why: Darwin and Opportunity

Don’t worry, this isn’t about natural selection. It’s about a boy…named Darwin. But first, let me digress. As I wrote in a previous BOOST blog, my first teaching experience was in Cameroon. I was 21, no training, no textbooks, incomprehensible American accent. Not surprisingly (but not elegantly), I ended up yelling “I can’t take this &$(@” and stomping out of a room filled with 70 third graders. When I got back to NY, I was sure that teaching was no...Read More

My Why: When I Grow Up, I Want to Be “Them”

When I was in middle school, I told my mom that when I grew up I wanted to be “them.” You know…when people say, “Well, they say that you should drink eight glasses of water a day.” “They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Who exactly are they? I didn’t know. But I wanted in! In my current role as a Senior Technical Assistance Consultant at American Institutes for Research, I present at conferences, conduct site visits in afterschool pr...Read More

My Why: Finding Purpose through Core Values

I have been serving the field of after school for the past 18 years. During the past few years I have been doing a lot of work around Core Values and finding purpose. Through that work I have had the privilege to work and be surrounded by incredible individuals whom I call friends and colleagues. Through my work around Core Values, I have found that my 3 Core Values are Humility, Integrity and Service. I call it HIS work. Humility is about my faith. Integrity is about my hope around the person w...Read More

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 that education is a fundamental human right that should not be dependent on where we are born or rais...Read More