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ERIC Number: EJ1068490
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Growing Our Own: Former Participants as Staff in Afterschool Youth Development Programs
Matloff-Nieves, Susan
Afterschool Matters, n6 p15-24 Spr 2007
This article grew out of a participatory research project conducted with support of the Robert Bowne Foundation from January 2003 through January 2004. Six young people who had been participants in Forest Hills Community House (FHCH) programs for eight years or longer agreed to be interviewed in depth about experiences that had affected their development. Initially the author simply asked them to tell their stories about how they came to the community house and about what it was like to make the transition to a staff role. The author also shared some of her own memories of them as younger people. As she spoke with these young people, they suggested questions that the author subsequently incorporated into all interviews. The data was supplemented from these interviews with program observations. The author also drew on her own memories, as well as those of colleagues, and spoke to the young people's supervisors. All of the collective memories of and reflections on this shared history, together with our observations of each other over time, have been rich sources of data. The practice of hiring former participants as staff in youth programs is a salient feature of the youth development field. Originally an expedient and cost-effective way of staffing programs with thin budgets, it is beginning to be recognized as a youth development strategy that is effective in providing older youth with a pathway to adult roles. The benefits to the sponsoring agency include a strong sense of mission among staff members as well as continuity of relationships in the program.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A