Dear youth workers,

The BEST Initiative is excited to announce our partial year training calendar! Read on for offerings through 2020, filled with both returning and brand new trainings! We will post our 2021 trainings at a later date, please visit our website for the most up-to-date info.
Due to COVID-19, we have decided to make all of our trainings online offerings until it is safe to be together in-person. Additionally, we are only releasing a partial calendar, since we will be monitoring the state of the pandemic to determine how to move forward with our 2021 trainings. We will announce our training dates and locations for our Winter/Spring lineup in late December or early January 2021, so stay tuned!

We would also like to note that we are deeply saddened not to offer our Fall staple, the Youth Worker Certificate (YWC) Training, this year. Since the YWC training is a multi-week commitment with lots of content and in-person dynamic activities, we have decided not to try to force the training into online constraints. In its stead, we are offering two Youth Development 101 trainings to provide programs with an option to train up their staff in some foundational Youth Development content. Additionally, we do plan to offer an iteration of the Youth Work Supervisor training in the new year, and will share more information once it becomes available.
That said, we are here for you! If you need support in any way or have questions about shifting your youth work online, we want to hear from you. Please email us at with any questions or comments.
We hope you are all staying safe and healthy, and we hope to see you at one of our trainings this year! To view a PDF of our 2020 offerings, you can click here


-The BEST Initiative

For better or worse, COVID-19 has necessitated a shift to working remotely. This new reality poses a unique challenge for youth programs: how can we continue to engage young people when we can’t physically be together? This online training will explore tips, tricks, and tools for engaging youth virtually, including a discussion on how to maintain healthy boundaries with young people when we are (virtually) meeting in their homes. The trainers will use personal examples, interactive tools, and fun activities to demonstrate a variety of creative solutions for working with youth in an online world. Check back here for registration updates!

DATE: September 16th, 2020
LOCATION: Online Training

In this three-hour online training, participants will be able to explore virtual community building activities that enable youth to build relationships and feel more connected to each other, their youth workers and their programs. Participants will practice different types of virtual community building activities and assess how to and when to use them in programs. Through discussion and practice, participants will also be able to identify activities that are age-appropriate, and allow for youth voice, choice, and reflection. Click here for more info!

DATE: September 22nd, 2020
LOCATION: Online Training

For many people, adapting to a virtual working world meant shifting to various online platforms in order to continue their work. From Zoom to Google Classroom to virtual field trips, people have turned to several creative online tools since the pandemic began. This training will take participants through the basics of a few of those online platforms (Zoom, Google Classroom, Class Dojo, and others) and offer up other resources that youth workers can use to enhance their programs. Participants are encouraged to share any successes they’ve had transitioning to online work, and any challenges as well. This will be an interactive online session, so come prepared to share and participate! Click here to learn more!

DATE: October 8th, 2020
LOCATION: Online Training

A core value of our work at the BEST Initiative is Positive Youth Development. We believe in the voices and power of young people, and train youth workers to support their youth in all areas of their growth. With that in mind, we are offering two sessions of Youth Development 101, a two-day, six-hour exploration of youth development principles and practices. Participants will learn an appropriate common language for discussing youth development, and will explore information about positive youth outcomes, developmental outcomes, and resiliency. If you miss the first session, we will offer it again later in the Fall. You can check back here to learn more about the October session, or here for November.

We also intend to offer more Youth Development 101 sessions in the Winter and Spring and will post the latest updates on our website .

DATES: October 27th-28th and repeated again on November 17th-18th, 2020
LOCATION: Online Training
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