Written by Nicole Tarsia, Professional Development Scholarship and Incentives Specialist , Prime Time Palm Beach County
After 12 years of working at Prime Time, my passion for professionalizing the out-of-school time (OST) field grows. Each year, my greatest reward is seeing afterschool practitioners advance as professionals and continue their education in the youth development field. Children and youth benefit when staff are better educated about the stages of youth development and developmentally appropriate practices for different age groups and abilities. Training and education helps OST practitioners grow as individuals, advance their careers and provide the best quality care to the youth in their program.
As soon as I start my workday, I make phone calls, respond to emails, review Scholarship and ACHIEVE Out-of-School Time (OST) applications and consider new and innovative ideas to make the application process for our OST practitioners seamless and easy. Through countless application reviews, I successfully granted 700 college scholarships and 400 ACHIEVE OST Incentives to OST professionals in 2017-2018. My colleague Elisa Moro and I were hired by Prime Time so that practitioners have access to someone every single day to help with career advising and guidance. Each day we strive to provide more opportunities so practitioners can reach their goals and be the best version of themselves.
As the scholarship and incentives specialist at Prime Time, I am continuously seeking professional development resources for practitioners. I highly encourage practitioners to take advantage of the trainings offered on the Prime Time Training Calendar, which have been developed specifically for our Palm Beach County OST staff. I also created the Youth Development Training and Education Resource Guide so practitioners can quickly view local and online trainings offered at low cost or free of charge (making them convenient to complete).
Our ACHIEVE OST Incentive Award Program requires youth development training hours, which you can learn more about here. The Youth Development Training and Education Resource Guide can help you quickly access trainings applicable to the program’s financial requirements. In addition, applicants can potentially complete the annual continuing education requirement and/or qualify for a higher award amount.
These trainings also can assist you with obtaining the in-service hours required each year by your afterschool program.
I hope the resources in the Youth Development Training and Education Resource Guide helps to get you one step closer to your career and professional development goals. Do not wait to take advantage of these training opportunities!