MAA Leadership Symposium 2017
Keynote: Engaging Youth as Agents of Change
The success of the future leaders of the world greatly depends on the efforts made today. All over the world, nations and communities are preparing for an uncertain future. In this very challenging time it is critical to develop the next generation of leaders and activists to combat poverty, violence, and global issues that will shape their lives. This effort requires radical approaches to analyzing and developing solutions. So, how do we, as out-of-school time leaders and practitioners, influence tomorrow’s leaders? We must begin by meaningfully engaging young people as partners, empower them as change agents, and inspire our future leaders to make a lasting difference. As adult leaders and decision makers, we must be prepared to adapt our strategies, challenge our biases, and shift the attitudes of our society to value youth input and invest in their success.
Fausto A. López, is a bilingual, Spanish speaking, afterschool and expanded learning specialist at American Institutes for Research. López is a youth development advocate and he provides comprehensive technical assistance, training, and professional development to diverse audiences in the education and out-of-school time sectors. López works with new and emerging afterschool and education systems to design resources and tools that support programs in the development, implementation, and evaluation of quality youth programs. López specializes in U.S. Department of Education, Every Student Succeeds Act (21st Century Community Learning Centers [21st CCLC], Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programming [Gear Up], and Upward Bound).
López is native to Chicago where he has led and organized youth programs for 15 years, engaging youth in art based service projects, community organizing, and civic leadership. Most recently, he led the development of an expanded learning guide and training model for afterschool programs in Latin America (Mexico and Argentina) and contributed to the Beyond the Bell Toolkit-4th edition. He is a nationally recognized presenter on education and afterschool topics (e.g., youth development, social and emotional learning, college and career readiness) and facilitates national, regional, and statewide educational workshops that connect research and practice. His areas of expertise include: Educational Psychology, Youth Participatory Action Research, Structured Youth Sports, Participatory Planning, and Youth Organizing/Civic Engagement. López holds a master’s degree in education psychology and youth development from the University of Illinois at Chicago.