The Greater Rochester Afterschool Leadership Summit brings together education, afterschool, business, philanthropy, community-based, elected, and municipal leaders from the greater Rochester community. This event provided an opportunity for leaders in the community to learn and discuss the value of an afterschool system as part of an interconnected system of services for youth that supports social and emotional learning, academic success, and the development of 21st century skills to promote readiness for college, career, and life. The summit featured presentations and interactive sessions with national experts and afterschool champions from other leading cities, along with key voices from the local community, to collectively inform the region’s strategic priorities for youth moving forward.
Krista Drescher-Burke’s primary role is to serve as a strategic thought partner with the local philanthropic community and provide evaluation support to programs who receive funds from local donors. She works with donors to determine appropriate data to collect from programs they support, which serve JCPS students both during school and out of school, in order to support program delivery and assess impact of private monetary support. She is the single point of contact inside JCPS for the local foundation community in regards to data-related inquiries, and she works on community-wide initiatives that focus on education by providing data and input on strategy. Finally, she provides data—and discussion of data—internally in order to inform the public and encourage community involvement in equity initiatives.
Jennifer Brown Lerner joined American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) in 2005. She currently manages the organization’s work on a wide range of issues that ensure all students graduate ready to succeed in college, careers, and life, including out-of-school time initiatives. She co-authored a compendium on best practices in secondary-postsecondary learning options entitled The College Ladder: Linking Secondary and Postsecondary Education for Success for All. Jennifer previously worked as a classroom teacher and communications officer for a number of schools in the Boston area. She was also active in the creation of a Summerbridge (now Breakthrough Collaborative) site in Atlanta, Georgia.
For the past thirteen years, Erik Stold has been deeply involved in bringing learning experiences for children and youth beyond the classroom. This set the stage well for his current role as Director of Sprockets, Saint Paul’s Out of School Time Network. In this role, he works with schools, city governments, parks, libraries and many community-based organizations to increase access to and improve the quality of youth programs so that young people are supported as they strive to recognize and achieve their greatest potential. Erik holds a master’s degree in youth development leadership from the University of Minnesota, is the co-chairperson of Ignite Afterschool’s Policy Committee, and was a White Riley Peterson Policy Fellow in 2016.
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.
As Executive Director, Kelly Malone Sturgis oversees the daily operations of the Network for Youth Success, New York’s statewide afterschool network. Prior to joining the Network for Youth Success, Kelly was employed by the Capital District YMCA for over ten years. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Russell Sage College, and an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hudson Valley Community College. Kelly also went through the School-age Childcare (SAC) Credential Program and later became an accreditation coach and endorser for the Network for Youth Success.