BOOST Leadership
Team Accolades

Our BOOST Leadership Team Shares Their Experience

Being part of the BOOST Leadership Team has been a pinnacle in my career as an expanded learning professional. It's not just about giving back to the field; it's about connecting with genuinely compassionate leaders who prioritize children's well-being and staff development. This experience has been transformative, fostering both personal and professional growth. I highly encourage anyone seeking a transformative leadership journey to consider it.

Alyson Bryant, Program Director, YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

BOOST is a one-of-a-kind experience. It is more than a conference and more like the Grammy's of Child & Youth Development! BOOST is a magical experience full of community, networking, capacity-building and leadership development opportunities braided with layers of fun and connection. I'm honored to serve on the BOOST Leadership Team and "GET TO" work alongside an awesome team of humans, passionately cultivating a rich experience for humans to simply do better for young people. By serving on this team, I get to help make a global impact and that truly makes my youth-development heart happy.

Melissa Perez, Manager, Policy & Outreach, California AfterSchool Network, Santa Ana, CA

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being on the BOOST Leadership Team fills my bucket every year! This group amazing me with their love, kindness and generosity not only to the other team members but to those who attend the BOOST Conference. This is truly a special team of individuals. 

Kristen Gonzalez, Program Manager, Harmonium, Inc., San Diego, CA

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Participating in the Leadership Team is like living the BOOST for an entire year. The same excitement, passion and connectivity you feel at the conference is alive in all of the BOOST BLT meetings/planning sessions, both in-person and virtual. It is a great experience to learn about the multitude of conference offerings and how to balance your schedule to absorb all the knowledge and fun that comes with the conference week. Plus, there are some sneak peaks, you'll have a chance to meet some of the vendors and speakers before the conference.

Ana Danielson, Program Coordinator, Mono County Office of Education, Mammoth Lakes, CA  

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being part of the leadership committee has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It's more than just a role; it's a journey of growth, collaboration, and making a tangible impact. Working alongside passionate individuals dedicated to a common goal has been inspiring.

Veronica Granados, Senior Manager of Learning and Development, Woodcraft Rangers, Los Angeles, CA

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

BOOST is an AMAZING ORGANIZATION and I am honored to serve! I will participate with this COLLABORATIVE as long as I am able, it serves children and the humans that lead the profession! It is an HONOR to be part of the team and work with everyone here!

Nicole Baitx Kennedy, Early Learning and Expanded Learning Specialist, Orange, CA

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being a part of the BOOST Leadership Team allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. I felt welcomed, heard, and inspired. It was a pleasure to work with such an amazing team.
Virginia "Ginny" Mebane, Teacher Specialist, TLC Expanded Learning Program - Pomona USD, Pomona, CA 

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being on the BOOST Leadership Team (BLT) has helped me build my confidence and solidify my passion for creating a space for children and educators to grow and learn! I have been so blessed to be a part of this team and I’m so grateful to have been chosen for this experience and I am looking forward to helping in any way I can in the future!  
Shanyce Blossom, Site Director, Rainbow Rising, Irvine, CA 

2024 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being a part of the BOOST Leadership Team has been one of the greatest experiences of my career in after school. Words can't really describe how impactful it truly is! It's absolutely amazing when like-minded people who are driven and passionate about education come together.

Alyson Bryant, Program Director, YMCA of Greater Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

2023 BOOST Leadership Team Member

What an experience! Like minded yet unique individuals coming together as a community to support such an amazing and fun conference! I enjoyed my leadership team role, the impact our team brought, the problem solving, the creative and fun solutions, and seeing the results of our efforts enjoyed by 2500+ attendees! It's truly a rewarding experience. 

Erica Cardoso, Program Development Technician, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

2023 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Participating on the BOOST Leadership Team was an opportunity that I have desired for a long time. I am so honored to have had the opportunity this year. There was a lot of learning and a lot of fun. I have truly enjoyed meeting new people that have the same value that I have in creating really amazing opportunities for students and for the adults that serve the students. BOOST is amazing! 

Knisha Nash, Knisha (Knash) Nash, Learning & Development Manager, Think Together, Riverside, CA

2023 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being part of the BLT team was an opportunity to learn and collaborate with other leaders in the field. I was also able to see the work that is done behind the scenes to put together such an amazing conference. 

Veronica Granados, Director of Learning and Development, Woodcraft Rangers, Los Angeles, CA

2023 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” And that sums up what being on the BOOST Leadership Team is like. The team strives for excellence each meeting, and in April all of the planning is executed flawlessly. It is such an honor to be part of this amazing team. 

Kristen Gonzalez, Program Manager, Harmonium, San Diego, CA

2023 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being a member of the BOOST Leadership Team has been one of the greatest opportunities of my career as an expanded learning professional. Not only do I have an opportunity to give back to the field, but I have also met some of the most authentic and generous leaders who really care about kids. Through this opportunity, I have grown both personally and professionally and would recommend it to any individual who is looking for a leadership growth experience of a lifetime. 

Meredith White, Supervisor, Expanded Learning Programs, Brea Olinda Unified School District – Child Development Services, Brea, CA

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

What can I say about being part of the BOOST Leadership Team? The first thing that comes to mind is love, the love this group has for the work we do in our respected organizations, the love we have for making sure that everyone that comes to BOOST is met with Radical Hospitality but most of all the love we have in supporting each other whether it be at work, to graduating, to life's ups and downs to just being present with one another saying nothing. Or maybe this quote sums it up "By doing what you love, you'll inspire and awaken the hearts of others" Satsuki Shibuya 

Kristen Gonzalez, Program Manager, Harmonium inc., San Diego, CA

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

There is something about seeing synergy at work, this group of BOOST Leadership Team members support each other in all aspects of the BOOST Conference but we are also there to support each other outside of planning the conference. Being around like-minded people feeds my soul for the work I do for the youth and staff I supervise. 

It is an honor to be a part of the BOOST Family! Being a member of the BOOST Leadership Team has allowed me to grow and learn in a way that no other experience has. As a Leadership Team member you are surrounded by the very best in the Industry. We are privileged to be part of a team of inspirational leaders that work hard to improve the quality of out-of-school time every day. 

Becky Shultz, Director of Expanded Learning, Whittier School District – Reach for the Stars, Whittier, CA

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being a part of the 2022 team was invigorating, working with passionate leaders that inspire me to work harder to bring the in-person experience back to BOOST and our field was the highlight of the year. Thank you to all of the BLT team that came together, problem solved, kept it positive, and demonstrated teamwork. I love the BLT family. 

Jeanette Cruz, Director of Organizational Development, Think Together, Santa Ana, CA

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

The BOOST Conference has always felt like a family reunion! The ability to come together, in person, and spend time with my expanded learning family was something that my soul needed. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity for connection. I also appreciated the professionals who took their time to create meaningful learning experiences for each session; especially in the Inspiration Stations and the Workshop sessions! 

Suzanne Hill, Project Liaison, Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa, CA

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being on the BLT this past year has been a rewarding experience. The team is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people and youth workers. I remain amazed and humbled by the commitment and expertise of the members of the BLT in planning and delivering an amazing conference. 

Elle Essenmacher, Strategic Accounts Advisor, National Partnerships, Harmony SEL, National University, Windsor, CO

2022 BOOST Leadership Team Member

Being on the BLT this past year was an incredible experience. I met new people whose passion for young people and youth workers was evident in all of the meetings. You are not just part of the team but part of a family. I learned a lot about myself and helped contribute to an amazing conference.

Frances Vasquez, Coach, Anaheim, CA

I remember my first BOOST Conference vividly. Dedicated to youth programming, I walked away feeling motivated to inspire youth, inspire learning and inspire change, ready to 'do more' in order to make a profound, lasting impact. But where to start? As I sat in the closing session, I watched as another group of professionals one-by-one introduced themselves - the BOOST Leadership Team - and I thought to myself, "I want to do that!" A few years down the road, and with kind encouragement from my professional peers, I submitted my application, unsure that I was even equivalent to the caliber of those with whom I would be working. Upon receiving my acceptance, I didn't realize that this group of professionals would become so much more to me than a planning committee. BOOST became my balance, and over the course of the year, I met monthly with Expanded Learning and Out of School Time professionals who were committed to the same thing: creating an atmosphere that allowed people to come together, be renewed and refreshed, and continue doing what they do best - building positive environments for our children to thrive. To be amongst this group is truly a privilege. My only regret? Not applying sooner.

Meredith White, Program Coordinator, Department of Child Development Services, Brea Olinda Unified School District, Brea, CA

There's something magical that happens when cause-driven, caring humans self-select to be part of a group that creates a space where emerging leaders can gather, connect, learn, and validate each other and their work. At the beginning of the conference year, the team gets to know each other along with the strengths and value we each bring to the team. This builds community and holds its own unique energy. This energy grows and gets stronger as we go through the year planning, creating, innovating, debating, and giving birth to that year's conference, making it unique, innovative, and relevant each year. I've had the honor of being part of the BOOST Leadership Team (BLT) for 10 years. Not only do we created wondrous BOOST Conferences year after year, but we continue to build a community, a family. A family where all are welcomed and celebrated. Also, a family that continues to reach out and gather throughout the year, creating strong professional partnerships as well as beautiful friendships. The BLT has not only witnessed my professional growth, but also my personal growth and loss, including the welcoming of my two children and the loss of loved ones. In high times and in low times, they have held space for me, without judgment or expectations. They have let me be me; feel and think ME. I am forever grateful to be part of this tribe and I hope to continue to make the BOOST Conference a space for all to connect, learn, heal, and love.

Carola Secada, Independent Consultant, Youth Development, Los Angeles, CA

Being a part of the BOOST Leadership Team has made me a better leader. The BOOST Leadership Team (BLT) is comprised of dedicated professionals and inspiring leaders who serve our families every day. The BLT allows me to be surrounded by out of school time movers and shakers who understand that we can change the world one conference at a time.

Becky Shultz, Director of Expanded Learning, WCSD - Reach For The Stars Program, Whittier, CA

Serving on the BOOST Leadership Team for the last 4 years has been a truly amazing experience. It has allowed me to build incredibly meaningful relationships with many throughout our field, to expand my horizons, and challenge me to think deeper about how we support the amazing people in this field. It helps energize me and continuously remind and connect me to this very important work and I enjoy finding ways to help others do the same. We're not just a team, we are a family.

Heather Williams, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, California Department of Education, Sacramento, CA

This was my second year as part of the BOOST Leadership team and I continue to be blown away by the passion, intelligence, skill, and creativity of each member of the team. Not only do I learn from them about important issues facing the young people and youth development professionals today, but I get to experience firsthand how the well-oiled machine that is BOOST continues to stretch and challenge itself to stay vital and curious in our ever-changing and challenging world. I have huge admiration for our leader and CEO - we are all planets to the sun that is Tia Quinn - her energy and dedication are a bright light in our field.

Amira Resnick, Healthy Communities / Strategic Partnerships Manager, California, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Los Angeles, CA

I have had the privilege of being part of the BLT for the past four years. This is an amazing group of people to work with, they are unbelievably dedicated change makers who truly love to work together. This group has become a family and it's an honor to work alongside each one of them. In my own personal professional development, I have strengthened my own skill sets in attention to detail, brand development and logistics! I hope to remain a part of the BOOST Family for as long as possible.

Suzanne Hill, Project Assistant, Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa, CA

I look forward to the BOOST Conference every year and have loved being on the BLT & Implementation Teams. In a world where cynicism and negativity dominate the headlines, it is so refreshing to work with such an amazing group of people that have a positive impact on people's lives. The rush of energy that I feel when I am with this dedicated team is infectious and inspirational. Thank you BOOST!

Sherri Brooke, Executive Operations Manager, Financial Fitness Group, San Diego, CA

How can I describe my experience on the BLT . . . AMAZING! I've worked in after school for 16 plus years and can say I haven't felt this fulfilled in my work in a while. Being given the opportunity to add value through ideas and suggests to such a meaningful conference, helps reinforce how important my work in after school is. I am so grateful for the chance to build up the next after school professional and look forward to many more years on the BLT.

Jeanaah Sampson, Regional Manager, EduCare Foundation, Van Nuys, CA

My experience being on the BOOST Leadership team totally exceeded my expectations! To have the opportunity to collaborate for such a huge and SUCCESSFUL event with driven people who share a passion for doing what is best for kids is a most satisfying thing! The BOOST Leadership team is a sincere community of leaders in the field and the spirit of genuine collaboration and support is very moving!

Stefanie Lawson, Director of Early Education, Early Education for CVUSD, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Thousand Oaks, CA

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