Working to ensure all youth served by its network of partners have access to high-quality services, in August 2016, YouthBuild Newark (YBN) convened its 5th and largest Summer Institute, a professional development gathering that precedes each school year. 67 education professionals, including principals, executive administrators, and frontline staff, attended the weeklong event.

Newark Public Schools Central Office, Newark Leadership Academy, UPLIFT Academy, and Newark Street Academy staffers gathered at YBN’s office in Newark’s West Ward for several days of interactive learning and knowledge exchange. Representatives of Opportunity Youth Network (OYN) community-based organizations – La Casa de Don Pedro, Leaders for Life, New Community Corporation, Rutgers University T.E.E.M. Gateway, and the Urban League of Essex County – were also present. Attendees delved into strategic planning, their role within the YBN model and student success, developing a strength-based school climate and culture, and fine-tuned strategies for engaging students. The Summer Institute sets the tone for the collaborative trainings that are held throughout the school year.