In addition to the work the Extension Center for Youth Development does in Minnesota, we are also regularly contacted by organizations, both from across the country and even internationally, seeking our expertise to help them improve and grow their youth development programs and resources. Because we don’t have the capacity to fulfill every request, we select which best align with our mission, strategic goals, and opportunities for scholarship and growth.
YouthREX is part of Ontario, Canada’s Youth Action Plan to mobilize research about youth, increase understanding of positive youth development and invest in continuous quality improvement in Ontario’s youth programming. The organization recently contacted us to explore how we could advise and mentor them in their efforts. Our first steps include Jennifer Skuza and Sherry Boyce delivering a webinar on intentional program design on Feb. 24, and Kate Walker delivering a webinar training on social and emotional learning to 157 participants from across Ontario.
The USAID-Funded Farmer to Farmer program and the Bangladesh Department of Youth Development (DYD) are working to develop youth entrepreneurship in agriculture, and trying to make services more efficient, effective, sustainable, and accessible to the youth population. One-third of the total population in Bangladesh is youth. Since 1981, DYD has been working to help unemployed youth gain skills to be a productive workforce and prepare them for employment in different sectors including agriculture. DYD provides skill development trainings and micro-credit support. As part of their effort, they have enlisted Molly Frendo and Josh Rice to conduct an assessment of its existing services, and identify gaps and recommendations to improve. Molly and Josh will spend three weeks in Bangladesh in March, working with the group, delivering train-the-trainer workshops on youth development facilitation in the agriculture sector for DYD trainers, and conducting an evaluation and needs assessment.
We’re very excited about these important opportunities to contribute to the growth and improvement of international positive youth development programs, and help to make a difference in the lives of youth around the world.