Last Thursday, on September 19th, we held our first of five sport based youth development forum panel discussions here at Northeastern University. This series of panel discussions form a platform to connect research and various tools for collaboration, and encourage inter-organizational learning and support in a developing field. This past forum, Building a Positive Culture in Sport-Based Youth Development Organizations, focused on answering questions about maintaining a positive culture and creating an overall healthy and fun work environment. We had four outstanding panelists from different organizations across the greater Boston area: Amanda Smidt, the National Manager of Alumni and Center Services at City Year, Becky Nyce, the Program Director at Squashbusters, Max Fripp, the Executive Director of Playworks Massachusetts, and finally, Tracey Britton, the Director of Business Development at Edgework Consulting.
Overall, this forum was very successful. We had 20 representatives from organizations such as, Totz Soccer, YES, Sole Train, Courageous Sailing, America Scores, COB Parks Department, CSW/Wheelock College, and Edgework Counseling. The attendees were interested, engaged and asked many questions about improving the culture in their organizations. Everyone enjoyed networking with each other and getting to know what different organizations are about and what they have to offer. In our evaluations, one attendee said that the panelists really could “walk the walk” and that “the panel had a wide range of experience.” To read more about how it went, Ryan Butler, a Northeastern student with The Boston Globe, wrote an amazing article about how the event went.
Everyone here at Sport in Society worked really hard to make sure that it was so successful, mostly because we had a lot on the line: Senior Associate Director, Deb Jencunas, told us all that if it was a success, she would buy us all cake and party hats. Lo and behold, at our staff meeting on Monday, she walked in with Transformer party hats and a chocolate Oreo cake. It was the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten! I’m very happy with the way it turned out, and can’t wait for our next forum on November 21st