Growing Together, Learning Together (St. Paul, MN)

Growing Together, Learning Together (St. Paul, MN)
Growing Together, Learning Together (St. Paul, MN)


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) and Youthprise, with support from the Wallace Foundation, teamed up to host a half-day event in St. Paul, learn more about building and sustaining strong afterschool systems. The event explored what different cities are doing to boost afterschool program quality, collect and understand data, expand access to high-quality programs, and sustain their efforts.

Using the recent Wallace Foundation report, Growing Together, Learning Together as the framework for the convening, this event enabled participants to share lessons learned, interact with national experts in afterschool coordination, and to generate ideas for local action. Saint Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman served as the event’s keynote speaker.


Eyenga Bokamba, Executive Director, Sprockets @SprocketsStPaul

As Executive Director, Eyenga leads the vision and strategic direction of Sprockets, St. Paul’s out of school time coordinating intermediary. In this role, she builds and maintains relationships with system and institutional partners and manages the organization’s fundraising and financial administration. She also leads the policy work for Sprockets by developing long-term policy goals and strategies. Prior to her work with Sprockets, Eyenga was the Youth Programs Manager at Pillsbury House, an arts-integrated social service agency, where she was responsible for out of school time programming for K–8 youth. Eyenga is also a certified Language Arts teacher who has received recognition for excellence in teaching.

Fatima Muhammad, Afterschool Project Director, YCB Minneapolis Afterschool Network

Fatima Muhammad oversees the development of Minneapolis’ first citywide out-of-school time system. Fatima comes to the Youth Coordinating Board with 20 years of experience in youth development, program and project management, and community outreach and engagement. Prior to her position at the YCB, Fatima managed college-readiness and independent living youth programs within the Twin Cities, and has also served as a trainer and consultant for a number of youth-serving organizations.

Bela Shah Spooner Program Manager – Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, National League of Cities @belashahspooner @leagueofcities

Bela Shah Spooner is the Program Manager for Afterschool Initiatives in the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at the National League of Cities (NLC). For over a decade at NLC, she has worked to educate municipal officials about the importance of afterschool learning opportunities and supported 50+ cities’ efforts to create citywide afterschool systems. Bela has authored various publications on municipal leadership for afterschool, convened three National City Afterschool Summits, and has helped 19 statewide afterschool networks host mayoral summits on afterschool and expanded learning. She previously worked for the Coalition for Community Schools.

Wokie Weah, President, Youthprise @wokieweah @youthprise

As President of Youthprise, Wokie Weah provides executive leadership and vision, works in partnership with the board of directors and brokers relationships to accelerate leadership, innovation and systems in learning beyond the classroom. Wokie previously worked for 18 years at the National Youth Leadership Council, serving as Senior Vice President, where she helped shape the organization’s strategic direction, cultivate partnerships, grow the funding base and managed NYLC’s youth and schools programs, professional development, annual conference, and special events. She also worked for UNICEF as an Education Project Officer in Liberia, where she coordinated the Support to War-Affected Youth Project, the Juvenile Justice Initiative, African Girl Education Initiative, and Child Friendly Spaces for internally displaced children.


Growing Together, Learning Together Slideshow Presentation

Chapin Hall Overview

Chapin Hall Study Description

Every Hour Counts Overview

Event Feedback Form

Event Participant List

“Better Together” Afterschool Resource Directory

What’s Up 612!


Event Agenda

“Growing Together, Learning Together” Report

Presenter Biographies


The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, provides learning opportunities for policy leaders, practitioners, and researchers working on youth and education issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF events and publications are made possible by contributions from philanthropic foundations. For a complete list, click here.