by Monica LaBadia, Associate Director of Communications & Engagement
Last week Change For Kids hosted our first ever virtual meeting of the minds: the Reimagine Youth Development Conference.
As with many other organizations, we had to shift our mode of program delivery as a result of COVID-19, as well as rethink the imminent needs of the young people we work with. We recognize that youth development organizations, education institutions, and others are in similar situations of reimagining best practices for delivery and policy – both in a pandemic world and with the recent social uprising.
As such, our virtual summit carried the goal of bringing together a diverse group of thought leaders, practitioners, educators, policy makers, and funders for an open and engaging dialogue on the ever changing needs of our young people and the systems and programs that serve them.
The conference was structured by panel, with two live streams happening simultaneously on YouTube. Viewers could choose which panel they wanted to watch, or even toggle between them. We had over 200 registrants join us for thrilling, engaging, and inspiring conversations that will stay with us for quite some time.
Some of our favorite take aways from the conference:
- No matter how many times you practice, this virtual world will keep you on your toes! We had a few kinks with our first panel, but our audience and panelists were patient and we got the broadcast working!
- The Youth Development space has some of the most brilliant, passionate, and gifted minds. The future may be uncertain, but with these experts leading the way, there indeed is optimism.
- Our young people are not only our leaders of tomorrow, but our leaders TODAY. The “What WE Need” panel gave us all the feels. We talked about the pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and how kids are adapting to learn remotely.
- It’s never too late to reimagine possibilities. A group of five individuals, working remotely during a pandemic, put this conference together and operated all of the technology. We can’t teach our young people to dream big and bold unless we are willing to do it ourselves.