Youth Solutions has adopted the purpose statement - to inspire and connect youth to achieve a future beyond imagination. This purpose statement articulates the “why” behind our work and was the theme of this year’s Summer Summit, our annual statewide professional development conference. This week-long event sets the tone and approach for the upcoming year, allowing Youth Solutions to highlight priorities, provide training and resources, and celebrate the accomplishments of our network.
This year’s Summit is the first since Youth Solutions’ five-year strategic plan was finalized, and we were excited to offer additional professional development opportunities for our Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) Specialists and Managers aligned to the strategic plan. In addition to our typical content, we also included sessions dedicated to leadership development, Project-Based Learning (PBL) training, and Trauma-Informed Care training. In our strategic plan, we aim to not only deepen our youth services, but also expand our reach, and so also in attendance were several Union High School (Grand Rapids Public Schools) staff members who are launching one of Youth Solutions’ pilot programs, Youth Solutions Select.
Each year, the Summer Summit allows us to get together with our partners and colleagues all across the state, building trust and a sense of community, while sharing information needed to better serve youth in Michigan. While it’s not the same virtually as it is in person, we made connections with old friends and new ones, learned new tips, tricks, and best practices, and shared some good laughs. For us at Youth Solutions, Summer Summit is one of our favorite weeks of the year, and we’re so thankful for all the individuals we have the privilege of working alongside to connect youth to a future beyond imagination.