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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It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on June 9, 2017. His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – ...Read More

Power of the Break – Reflections on the pandemic

Last winter I flew across the country to attend a health equity training with colleagues and, as I sometimes do when I travel, I carried a stone in my pocket that symbolizes for me balance, regulation, and interconnection – a reminder of seeking to join my head and heart space. The stone fit perfectly in the palm of my hand and felt smooth and solid there. After two full days of intense learning, reflecting, storytelling, and connecting, I debriefed and discussed with colleagues over dinne...Read More

3 Ways To Living A Purpose Driven Life

I did not understand how in-depth it was to “living a purpose driven” life, or even what it meant. I remember reading books that talked about living a “purpose driven life,” but I did not think it pertained to me. I’m not a religious person. But I know now, later in my life, that being connected with my spiritual self keeps me in line with my purpose in life. I remember going to a retreat the first time I heard this. Micheal Bernard Beck, from the movie The Secret, ...Read More

Tailwinds vs. Headwinds

Runners and cyclists are especially familiar with this phenomenon. When running or cycling into the wind, we are aware of the hardship every second. When we get the wind at our back, we are grateful … for about a minute. Then we forget about our good fortune until the going gets tough again. Why is it so easy for people to feel put upon? Why are we hyper-aware when we feel the deck is stacked against us? Studies have shown that this phenomenon happens in many aspects of our lives. With siblings,...Read More

Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part Two

Welcome back to this two-part blog series as we unpack what creative placemaking looks like in community development and how we can use it as a tool to empower youth in being key players in their local public spaces. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part One, published February 20, 2018 right here on the BOOST Cafe Breakfast Club Blog.  Using Creative Placemaking in Youth Program: Examples It may feel daunt...Read More

What is a Recovering Principal?

Car in park, deep breath, let the day begin… Greeted by my custodian with an update of the daily damage caused by outsiders accessing a vulnerable campus, graffiti on the walls, drug paraphernalia on the playground, no sub coverage due to the shortage, deep breath, IEP meeting starting at 7:45 a.m., check the security cameras, contact the police department to come and investigate, deep breath, parent urgently needing to meet, and a big smile wishing students a wonderful day during morning ...Read More

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 to be better for my team. Since then I have openly spoken in three different states in front of lar...Read More

Part 2: The Great ASES Augmentation of 2017 – A Children’s Story

In 2015, Sir Mark Leno from the village of San Francisco introduced a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. By now, the full resources of CA3 were focused on the issue, but that still amounted to very little in comparison to the magnitude of the quest. The Partnership for Children and Youth, a longtime member of CA3 led by Lady Jennifer of Peck, was called upon to lead the campaign and she assigned her most renowned policy warrior to the task, Jessica Gunderson the Tenacious. The gr...Read More

Part 1: The Great ASES Augmentation of 2017 – A Children’s Story

Gather around, children, and I’ll tell you a story. What kind of story, you ask? Is it a scary story? Is it a funny story? A magical story? No. It’s better than that. It’s the best kind of story there is. It’s a story about policy change. ASES to be exact. Our story begins way back in the year 2006. Do any of you remember that year? Some of you may have been quite young. A traveling minstrel named Justin Timberlake performed a song called SexyBack. Children were introduced to a delightful talkin...Read More

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.  However, what most people on the outside looking in don’t see is with all the ambition, the drive fo...Read More

Risk + Fear + Courage = Change

Based on personal experience and observation, I want to discuss risk-taking and transitions and the ability to recognize that this process is part of being creative and uncomfortable. This isn’t just for artists, it is for the creative youth worker, entrepreneur and/or leader. What we do with and for youth each day requires creativity and innovative thinking: we are card-carrying problem solvers! I want to discuss reinventing yourself. Sometimes this process is otherwise known as F E A R. ...Read More

What is After-School?

What is after-school you ask? It’s an answer 14 years in the making, although the recipe was already baking long before I came on the scene! After-school is a THING! Not a time in the day where you play, Bring out some board games And close out the day. After-school is a thing to be seen. Something to look back on and say, “Remember when…,” With a tear in your soul. Not a timesheet to track, Or a paycheck to hold! After-school is a thing that happens to you, Transforming ...Read More