Professional development is vital to the success of afterschool programs. Effective professional development enhances afterschool program quality by facilitating staff performance and knowledge; in addition, professional development is vital for improving student learning outcomes (Bouffard & Little, 2004; Hall & Surr, 2005; Joyce & Showers, 2002).
Afterschool director at For the Children Teen Center Latoya Taylor has worked in the out-of-school time field for four years. She enjoys working in out-of-school time field because it allows her “to be a mentor and role model to youth and she gets to see them grow and become successful.”
“Through coaching and professional development training, Latoya has modeled effective leadership for her staff, youth and the community. As a quality advisor at Prime Time, we hope to give each practitioner the opportunity to grow and to ultimately provide all the support and knowledge needed so they can offer their program with afterschool youth.”– Andrea Hurtado, Quality Advisor, Prime Time Palm Beach County
Motivated to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, Latoya feels this is the next step in her journey in life. Prime Time’s scholarship program jump started Latoya’s educational journey when she began the non-credit pathway that allowed her to complete the 40-Hour School-Age Certification, School-Age Professional Certificate and Director Credential. After completing these certifications, she moved to the credit pathway where she obtained the Youth Development College Credit Certificate and most recently, graduated with her Associate Degree in Human Services-Youth Development.
“Pursuing a higher education gives me the freedom to choose my career path, which allows me to enjoy my job with better benefits and advancement opportunities.”– Latoya Taylor, Afterschool Director, For the Children
Completing these classes opened several windows of opportunity, including promotion from group leader to her current position as a director. She was able to qualify for Prime Time’s ACHIEVE Out-of-School Time Incentive Award program, which was “life changing” as it assisted her with basic needs and allowed her to obtain a new computer, which she needed for school.
Congratulations Latoya for all that you have accomplished! We are proud of the hard work and dedication that you have put toward your education and the out-of-school time field. Prime Time is excited to continue on this journey with you as you work toward completing your bachelor’s degree!
Bouffard, S., & Little, P. M. D. (2004). Promoting quality through professional development: A framework for evaluation (Issues and Opportunities in Out-of-School Time Evaluation Brief No. 8). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.
Hall, G., & Surr, W. (2005). Achieve Boston: The story of a planning process for building a professional development system for the out-of-school time workforce. Wellesley, MA: National Institute on Out-of-School Time.
Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (2002). Student achievement through staff development (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.