Youth Development

Youth Development
Youth worker training seminar
HRiA is widely known for its youth development approach, which recognizes and builds on young people's assets and strengths. We build healthy communities by increasing the capacity of youth and the adults who work with them through training, consultation, program and curriculum development, and coaching and mentoring support. HRiA takes great pride in engaging youth leaders and committed adults by partnering with organizations, networks, schools, and coalitions. We believe by expanding the skills and strengths of young people, adults, and youth serving programs, young people will develop positive youth outcomes and, with their adult partners, be engaged in creating positive change in their communities.

Some of HRiA's areas of expertise include:
  • Training - HRiA offers a broad array of training for adults, youth, agencies, and coalitions. Based on Paolo Friere's philosophy that we are all teachers and learners, our training style is facilitative and interactive. Trainings explore knowledge and attitudes, best practices, enhance skills, and incorporate sharing of resources and networking opportunities. We customize training to deliver the desired outcomes based on the clients' needs. Topics include youth development approach, youth engagement, youth-adult collaboration, youth advocacy, leadership development, and social marketing. Programs may be built around critical areas such as violence, substance abuse, tobacco prevention, physical health and nutrition, and healthy sexuality. Training for youth is based on the peer leadership model with a special emphasis on advocacy, organizing, social networking, and legislative campaigns.
  • Program Development - HRiA works with youth programs, agencies, and coalitions to integrate the youth development approach into broader prevention programs. We frequently help these organizations to develop and measure specific youth-related outcomes within the context of larger programs.
  • Curriculum Development - HRiA is a recognized leader in creating peer leadership and other youth development curricula for youth leaders and adults who work with youth.
  • Coaching and Mentoring - HRiA provides one-to-one individual support to youth workers, adult advisors, and coalition leaders who are interested in engaging youth in meaningful ways. We also coordinate and facilitate meetings, networking sessions, and conferences to provide attendees with a venue to share best practices and engage in mentoring opportunities.
Laurie Jo Wallace Laurie Jo Wallace, MA
Director of Training and Capacity Building
617.279.2240 ext. 223

Laurie Jo Wallace For over 20 years, Laurie Jo Wallace has been a major force at HRiA in promoting healthy communities and healthy youth. With an advanced degree in Critical and Creative Thinking, Ms. Wallace brings special expertise and energy to HRiA’s youth development and training programs. Her work with communities, coalitions, and youth has served agencies in the Boston area, throughout New England, and nationally.

Her passion for youth development and public health promotion grew out of her 10-year career as a high school educator. She has subsequently contributed to and written youth development and peer leadership curricula and facilitated strategic planning and organizational development initiatives for a variety of youth and other community groups. She brings expertise in peer leadership program development, youth/adult collaboration, conflict resolution, and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention.

Ms. Wallace serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Peer Professionals, and is a member of the board of Mission Safe, a youth agency. She has presented at many national conferences, including the American Public Health Association, the National Network for Youth, and the National Peer Helpers’ Association.

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