Page 1

2008 Annual Report to the Community

Putting youth at the center of everything we do


Message From the 2008 Board President

DIRECTORS Camille Benvenuti Marty Cavanaugh Susan Frazier Vincene Jones Sotiris Kolokotronis Suzanne Mayes-Linville

By Marty Cavanaugh—President 2008 Youth Development Network Board of Directors The Youth Development Network Board achieved a great deal during the 2008-09 year. In my role as president, I assisted the Board with the development of policies and protocols for all actionable procedures and worked with the staff to establish a forward-thinking budget in order to assure long term funding and sustainability. In addition, the Board engaged in thoughtful discussions around branding of YDN’s functions and relationships with other youth-oriented schools and agencies. One of the highlights of the year was the establishment of service learning as a key venue for the engagement and development of our community’s most important resource—its young people. We look forward to working with all our community partners and having a productive future.

Brent McClure Dorothy Meehan Kim Mohler Renee Mungas Barbara O’Connor Maryann O’Sullivan Lily Rankins Sandra Vargas Christine Welsch

Message From the Co-Executive Director’s Desk Dear Friends: I remember as a child playing in the sandbox with friends and building castles made of sand. As time went on, my friends and I moved on to bigger plans in the shape of a tree house. Believe it or not, we planned everything out to the smallest detail. When the tree house was built we were in awe of what we had accomplished. All of us brought our distinct talents and skills to the project and a shared passion for having the first tree house on the block. I share this with you the reader not because I want you to visit my memory lane but because the feeling that I had then building something as a child is exactly the same feeling that I have been having here at the Youth Development Network. The YDN is being built by groups of committed, passionate individuals who want to create a better tomorrow for the youth of the Sacramento Region. Our region is rich with individuals, organizations, and the emerging presence of foundations and businesses that see the successful transition of youth into adulthood as a top priority. Bina and I continue to be in awe of the amazing opportunities that lie before us to partner and forge deep relationships with those who see youth development as a personal cause in their life. In closing, I want to emphasize that the heart of YDN’s work is built upon its core values of social justice, relationships, change and fun. Like so many others who have become members of the YDN, we ask that if our core values and mission resonate with you personally, that you become our official partner. The process is easy and enjoyable. For more details, visit us online at Whether it is financially or otherwise, we are convinced that YDN and our partners will rise to the occasion and continue to advocate for the experiences that young people need to thrive and succeed.

Adrian Adrian Ruiz Co-Executive Director Youth Development Network



YDN is dedicated to creating learning communities Over 600 individuals from all parts of the Sacramento region (from El Dorado to Esparto to Galt) received training and coaching from YDN, covering new and customized experiences. Health Professions High School and Sierra Health Foundation’s REACH initiatives experienced the 4-day Youth Development Institute (YDI). The impact of these trainings was powerful.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY The REACH coalitions have been hard at work creating community change while simultaneously practicing high-end youth and

adult partnerships. YDN has played a pivotal role in helping the leadership of each coalition engage youth in their community change processes as well as training new staff from each coalition in the youth development approach.



FUN “YDN has helped me to gain direction and validation and because of that, I am who I am today and feel confident in my ability to change the world.”


Chris Chu Family Youth Connection

Some of the trainings provided by YDN this year included the following topics: Resiliency, Conflict Resolution, Group Facilitation, Service Learning, Youth Engagement and Youth-Adult Partnerships. In addition, we took further steps in our relationship with YPQA/High Scope, developing our trainers’ abilities to provide observational assessment of programs using the YPQA tool.

One of our favorite stories to tell continues to be what is happening in Georgetown, where the Black Oak Mine Unified School District has taken on youth development in a big way. With YDN support, Black Oak Mine staff facilitated their own YDI trainings for other staff. And this is helping BOMUSD to achieve their goal of having the entire district trained in the youth development approach. Youth development has truly become a community-wide effort up in Georgetown. This year, BOMUSD was awarded America’s Promise as one of the “Top 100 Best Communities for Young People”.

“Sometimes it is necessary to have a mediator and sometimes an outside perspective is absolutely necessary. YDN has done this well!” Carolyn Barla Black Oak Mine School District Youth Advocate

A major highlight for the YDN in 2008 was the deep relationship established with HPHS in Sacramento. The YDN training team created and delivered a four day camp for incoming freshmen and a two day camp for the sophomore class. Over 85% of the HPHS staff attended the four day YDI. Feedback from HPHS on this camp has been amazing!

YDN, in partnership with the Georgetown Divide Ready by 21 Coalition, is increasing community awareness of the need to invest in program quality for youth programs. Through the Quality Counts Initiative in 2008, YDN provided training and technical support for use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment tool to 18 organizations.

YDN is committed to being a voice for youth 2008 Policy Work

An interview with Bina Lefkovitz YDN Co-Director

Why is YDN involved in policy change? YDN’s policy focus emerges from recognition that our organization’s training and networking efforts can only move the youth development agenda so far. Changes in policies at the community and systems levels are needed to sustain youth development over the long term in our community. In 2008, YDN’s policy strategy included: 1. Serving as an expert in the community around youth development research and practice 2. Building community awareness about youth issues and youth development 3. Building the capacity of others to engage in policy work 4. Advocacy around several critical area that advance youth development What are some of the key issues and accomplishments? The key issues YDN is leading advocacy efforts around are: 1. Strengthening the human services workforce and increasing investment in the infrastructure needed to support quality youth programming in the region. 2. Service learning and civic engagement as key strategies across all sectors that work with youth 3. Educational success through getting school districts to focus on student engagement and positive school climate In 2008, YDN was instrumental in getting the Workforce Investment Board to adopt the human services workforce as a critical industry. YDN has been promoting Service Learning as a key strategy to ensure youth voice and civic engagement in our community. Through one-on-one conversations with leaders in school districts, YDN has been raising awareness and getting schools interested in applying for the state funding for service learning that is expected in 2009. YDN began work on two policy briefs which will help support advocacy efforts around youth development: “Why Invest in Youth Development?” and “Civic Engagement and Service Learning” REGIONAL COMPACT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH In 2008, YDN, along with the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County Office of Education, Sacramento County Children’s Coalition, and other members of the EMERGE coalition (formerly the Capitol Region Ready By 21 Coalition), created a regional compact for children and youth. The compact articulates six commitments for policy makers to support in order to make Sacramento a “youth-friendly” community. For a copy of the compact, go to

 “ I have been involved in YDN since I was 12--I am now 19. Because of YDN I am more involved in the community. I like how YDN is very inclusive and wants all students to be successful… Being on YDN’s Board has been eye opening. It is really being on the inside of an organization. I have been impressed with how dedicated all the board members are. Everything about YDN has been life changing. From the stuff we did that went well to the stuff we did that did not go so well. All of these experiences have helped me grow up. Lily Rankins 2008 YDN Board Member

 2008 YDN Youth Interns Kham Vue, 17 Grant High School Brittany Jones, 17 Hiram Johnson West Keenen Smith, 17 Grant High School Noah Schenirer, 15 McClatchy High School

YOUTH LEADERSHIP YDN “walks the talk,” believing that youth who are given the support and opportunity from the community will enhance their chances of thriving and succeeding in life. Camps: One of the highlights of YDN’s Youth leadership activities is the YDN’s camp programs held at Grizzly Creek Ranch, where YDN takes the lead in planning and conducting. In 2008, the first camp program served 90 campers with diverse backgrounds attending from seven of the REACH coalitions (a program of Sierra Health Foundation). This camp took place over a five-day period. This memorable camp experience provided REACH youth with a positive experience in which leadership skills were strengthened and friendships were formed that went well beyond the campground. The second camp, led by YDN, is called the Sacramento Youth Leadership Program (SYLP), and was originally started by Class VI of the American Leadership Forum (ALF). For the 28 campers that participated--what they experienced was life-changing! In a very short time, this group of youth, with totally different perspectives and backgrounds, came together as one united team of young people committed to changing their communities. 2008 YDN YOUTH INTERNS: We are proud to announce that the YDN was able to continue its internship program through the 2008 year. Four new youth interns were hired and trained in providing information and skills through presentations, workshops, trainings and coaching. Notable Projects: 1. Coaching and Training the Luther Burbank Youth Action Team in the following areas:  Team and Relationship Building  Creating and Disseminating Surveys  Facilitating Focus Groups  Presentation Skills  Process Evaluations

2. Facilitating a city wide forum for youth and adults on creating more supports and opportunities for young people.  City of Galt  City of Citrus Heights 3. Presentations on the Youth Development Framework and principles to numerous organizations and groups. 4. Facilitating a team building day for the Grant High School GEO program. 5. Presenting a workshop at the Changing the View Youth Leadership Conference at the Pannell Community Center.

YDN is a bridge builder for Youth Development throughout the Sacramento region. NETWORKING ** ALUMNI CONVENINGS ** EVENTS In 2008, the Co-Executive Directors of YDN hosted several Program Committee meetings to engage several systems and services in the “When we met with the YDN team design of our “network.” The feedback we found a true partner to assist us and energy given by the community in creating a path for our teens to towards establishing a formal network grow…and with the guidance of has been impressive. It is exciting to YDN, we have teens who now feel a see the want and need from the greater sense of mastery, have community as it relates to connecting improved their decision-making and working with one another on skills, have increased their selfbehalf of Sacramento’s youth. In esteem and feel better connected to 2009, YDN will formalize the network both their adult mentor and the by establishing its purpose and organization”. benefits as well as hosting a “Network of Networks” convening. This convening Cassie Alaniz will attempt to bring all known microExecutive Director, Wonder Inc. networks together in hopes of establishing a long-term region- wide macro-network.

YDN expands your investment through FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. YDN continues to diversify their funding streams in order to maximize their impact on youth development.


P.O. Box 269003 Sacramento, CA 95826-9003 December 2009

Profile for Youth Development Network



Profile for vickiydn