New Jersey Represents Well at the National Afterschool Association Convention – NAA22 Highlights

What a week it was! The NAA team has been reflecting on some of our favorite moments and takeaways from NAA22 Convention and we wanted to share them with you all.

NJSACC’s Ebony Grace and Tyneisha K. Gibbs were among a stellar group of New Jersey afterschool professionals who participated in the National Afterschool Association’s 2022 Convention in Las Vegas. Ebony is serving her three-year term as a proud NAA Board of Directors member. “I am absolutely humbled to have been elected to serve on the NAA Board of Directors,” says Ebony, adding that it’s the greatest compliment on her experience and knowledge to be seen as valuable to the national community of afterschool professionals.

Tyneisha presented “Truths and Realities of the BIPOC Pipeline in OST,” answering the question: How does your organization support the BIPOC Pipeline in the field of Afterschool? In that salon session, participants explored and discussed what practices of the nonprofit industrial complex show up in the OST space and how those practices disproportionately impact BIPOC and historically excluded people.

NJSACC thanks you both for your participation and representation!

Check out some of the quotes below from these NAA22 participants:

“First, it was so great to be back together – in person! I loved the energy and enthusiasm that everyone brought to NAA22 – there was pure joy running through the workshop rooms, the Learning Expo, and spilling out into the halls! If I had to pick *just one* part that was my favorite, it would be the plenary presentations from our members. They were moving, inspiring, so honest – I truly appreciate those members who honored us by sharing their stories! A very close second was the live Causnetic podcast – not only do Keith and Rodrigua know their stuff when it comes to afterschool, they are also hilarious!!! I was equally informed and entertained!” – Gina Warner, CEO

“Being at NAA22 Convention in the embrace of our community confirmed how important our work and connecting (or reconnecting) in community can be. I do this work because I am on a mission to bring the passionate people of the world together to build our shared prosperity and a positive future for our kids. I’ve always loved convention as a chance to connect with others and now after two years of deep learning I have a new appreciation for what being together in community means. My heart, head, and hands (I’m writing this from the airport) are full, thanks to all of you!” – Heidi Ham, COO

“I had the privilege of welcoming and prepping the 2022 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders for Convention, and it was amazing to see how passionate they are about our field. Each of them has accomplished so much and wants to continue growing in this profession, and it was heartwarming to see them share their stories, connect, and truly light up the stage.” – Angelica Portillo, Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives

“One of my roles throughout NAA22 Convention was to document the event and share out with the folks that couldn’t join this year. This allowed me to observe and really see the impact of being together in unity, with community, and for opportunity. This was the theme for NAA22 and it was prevalent all over. I watched folks celebrate the joys and mourn the sorrows of the past few years. I saw folks reinvigorated for the work we do. I watched as folks built new connections and relationships with colleagues from across the country. What I saw at NAA22 Convention reminds me why we are all in this work and I am so honored I was able to witness and participate with you all. I can’t wait to build on what we accomplished and learned last week.” Thank you for the incredible work you do every day and for allowing us to be part of your community.” – Jessica Hay, Director of Communications and Member Engagement

This is just the beginning of the work we will do together! Over the next few weeks, we will continue to share highlights from NAA22.

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