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Welcome to the event landing page for the 51st Annual Youth Development Leadership Training Conference. If you have any questions or need assistance, please visit the conference registration desk!

Included below is the full schedule for this event including session descriptions, room locations, available handouts and powerpoint presentations. Please note: handouts and powerpoints are added as we receive them.

Full Conference Agenda

Thursday, November 2, 2023


10:00am – 11:30am

Early Bird Sessions

1. Battling Burnout
Room: Hemlock

Jimsak Daoreuang, Education and Training Program Manager, ICAN


How to care for ourselves so we can care for others.


2. Adolescent Drug Trends

Room: Cayuga

Megan Walradth, Training Specialist Farnham Family Services
Jessica Wakefield, Sr. Prevention Education Specialist, Farnham Family Services

Are you curious about the current drug trends being used by adolescents?  Do you know the signs and symptoms to look for and which drugs are more popular among our youth?  This presentation aims to educate those in attendance on the commonly used drugs by adolescents while also including the most recent national findings among drug use in youth.  This presentation will also look at some risk factors associated with youth substances use and present some interventions and strategies that might help combat youth substance use.

11:30am – 1:15pm

Lunch & Keynote Speaker: Inspiring America's Future
Room: Otisco/Skaneateles

Wayne Winsley, Founder & CEO, Brave Enough to Fail, Inc.


Wayne Winsley is the founder and CEO of Brave Enough To Fail, a nonprofit that provides

motivational programming, educational resources, and scholarships to help students succeed

in school and beyond. Their mission in inspiring students nationwide to achieve their dreams.

He is a proud U.S. Navy veteran who served two tours of duty aboard the carrier

U.S.S. Enterprise. 


For over 20 years he was a Radio broadcaster, News Anchor and Talk Show Host. Wayne is also

an Author his novel, an FBI thriller, “The Leprechaun Deception” was published in 2005. 

Wayne Winsley is also an overcomer who has survived cancer, overcome poverty, adversity, a broken home, and the social welfare
system to achieve his dreams.

Now he inspires others with the courage and motivation to do the same.


1:30pm – 2:45pm

Concurrent Sessions

3. Using Your Voice to Promote Youth Development

Room: Otisco/Skaneateles

Brittany Vogel, Hinman Straub

Join us for a presentation and discussion on how to leverage your stakeholder’s voice to advance youth development in NYS. Learn about the state budget processes, grassroots public education and stakeholder engagement. Your voice will make a difference!

4. Sports Programming for All-Abilities

Room: Owasco        

Greg Jaloszynski, President, 12th Rock Sports

WE AFFECT CHANGE in the lives of ALL ATHLETES including those with cognitive and developmental diagnosis. Our fitness program pushes athletes both physically and mentally. By mastering tasks and overcoming obstacles, our athletes develop the confidence they need to succeed in the sports and in life.

5. The ART of Afterschool

Room: Hemlock

Michelle Durante, Director of Art, New York Edge

Suzie Masser, Visual Arts Program Manager, New York Edge

In this workshop we will explore how the arts play a leading role in afterschool programming and youth development. We will understand how the arts allow our youth to creatively express and use their vision and voices to foster ideas, make change and exhibit feelings in others. Our art leaders and teachers will be able to envision programming that fosters a healthy community and how to model and build effective leaders through the arts. We will explore how to create a safe space for artists to pioneer their way through their work and gain a deeper understanding of how social emotional learning can be utilized in the after-school setting within the arts. Activities we engage in will help establish guiding principles necessary for effective art learning and how art builds positive change in communities.


6. A.I. and The Community Change Framework for Student, Parent & Community Engagement

Room: Seneca

Sandra Johnson-Fields, Director of Professional Development, Career Visions

Explore the power of A.I. in fostering community change in this workshop.  The Community Change Framework is a proven method for project-based, interest-based, student, parent, and community engagement.  Professor A.I.'s Teacher Pai is a cutting-edge platform that uses Artificial Intelligence. Experience firsthand how Professor A.I.’s Teacher Pai seamlessly merges Artificial Intelligence with the Community Change Framework, creating a unique platform for boosting student, parent and community engagement.  Don’t miss out!!!

7. Elevate, Empower, Excel: Revolutionizing Youth Services with Technology

Room: Cayuga

Lea Bogle, President & CEO, Premier Wireless Business Technology Solutions, Inc.

We invite you to a compelling talk that explores the dynamic intersection of technology and youth empowerment. In a rapidly evolving world, where digital tools play an ever-increasing role, we'll delve into how technology is revolutionizing support systems for youth development, addressing the challenges faced by homeless and runaway youth, and reshaping juvenile justice.


At the core of our discussion lies the profound impact technology can have on the lives of young people. As we navigate the complexities of youth development, it becomes evident that technology is not merely enhancing but fundamentally transforming our efforts. Innovative applications of technology are fostering self-esteem, equipping young individuals with essential life skills, and accelerating their personal and professional growth.


We'll shed light on groundbreaking digital tools and platforms that provide essential support, resources, and outreach to homeless and runaway youth. These technologies are instrumental in helping disconnected youth reintegrate into society, offering them stability and hope for the future.


Discover how tech-driven approaches prioritize rehabilitation over punitive measures, implement diversion programs, and strive for better outcomes for youth involved in the justice system.


We'll explore case studies that demonstrate the real-world impact of tech-enhanced interventions and their potential for scalability and sustainability.


In a world where technology shapes the way we live, communicate, and learn, its role in the lives of young people cannot be underestimated. This talk is your opportunity to engage in a thought-provoking discussion about how technology can be harnessed as a powerful force for positive change in the lives of our youth. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for the next generation, empowering them to overcome challenges and build brighter futures. Don't miss this chance to be part of a movement that is redefining youth support and justice through technology. Join us for a deep dive into the digital frontier of youth empowerment and justice reform.

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Concurrent Sessions

8. We Are Family: How to Effectively Integrate Family Participation and Engagement into the After-School Model

Room: Cayuga

Kevin Richtback, Multi-Site Program Supervisor, NIA Community Services Network 

Jay Harris PS 247 Assistant Program Director, NIA Community Services Network 
Christian Lantigua PS 143 Program Director, NIA Community Services Network 
Shanelle Jenkins PS 95 Program Director, NIA Community Services Network 
Stephanie Sanchez IS 281 Program Director, NIA Community Services Network 
Thomas Zaki Multi-Site Program Supervisor, NIA Community Services Network 


In this workshop, after-school professionals will examine different strategies to incorporate parents and guardians into the after-school model.


9. Accomplishing Big Things with Volunteers

Room: Owasco  

Greg Jaloszynski, President, 12th Rock Sports

How to utilize a volunteer force to run quality programming year-round.  Learn to establish ways to recruit quality volunteers that understand that their work ties to the mission, and vision of the organization.  Learn a few techniques to train your volunteers quickly and then empower them to be creative with their role.  Look at some effective means of communicating with your volunteers, so that they stay well informed and continue to be part of your organization.

10. MINDfulness & Self-care:  Fostering Resilience with your Youth

Room: Hemlock

Ralph Labianca, Director of Sports & Wellness, New York Edge  

Michelle Durante, Director of Art, New York Edge  

Suzie Masser, Visual Arts Program Manager, New York Edge  

Teaching & learning = HARD WORK!  Self-care is a simple (or not so simple) task of taking time and space to attend to your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.  Breathing and moving mindfully are just a few of the MANY ways we as individuals, and as a community, can relax and refill our stores of energy and creativity.  Let’s take time to investigate these methods and incorporate them in to your lessons to support your student’s well-being.  Together we will explore how sports and arts activity can aid in Physical and Emotional Health:  Stress Management for Youth.  Exercise is the most important part of a plan to manage stress as is expression through creativity.


11. Youth’s Hidden Addiction?  The Increasing Infusion of Gambling in Gaming

Room: Seneca

Stelianos Canallatos, Prevention Manager, New York Council on Problem Gambling 

Gambling in video games, on mobile devices and using credit or cryptocurrency, is increasing gambling access and providing youth with nearly infinite, easily accessible opportunities to gamble. The earlier onset of gambling, and its associated comorbidities of tobacco use, alcohol and other drug abuse needs to be addressed. We need to get ahead of the curve before this increased access leads to a crisis.  This training will provide necessary background information and a minimum of 3 actionable steps; some of which can be easily applied to our current workload and personal responsibilities.  This presentation will cover:  The infusion of gambling in gaming.  Gambling onset and comorbidities.  Gambling and brain development.  Tech advancements and access.  Hidden but emerging digital gambling trends.  Media, norms, and cultural shift supporting youth gambling.  Consequences of youth gambling.  Preventative measures that can be taken.

4:30pm - 5:00pm

Annual Meeting of the Association

Room: Hemlock

Dinner on Your Own

Friday, November 3, 2023


9:00am - 10:00am

General Session


Youth Voice in Youth Development

Room: Canandaigua               
Kristin N. Rivera (She/They), Central Regional Youth Partner, Families Together in New York State      


10:15am - 11:30am

Concurrent Sessions


12. High-Achieving Schools Connote Risks for Adolescents: Evidence-based Directions for Intervention Supplemented by My Mental Health Journey    

Room: Conesus             
Rick Yang, Youth Mental Health Advocate, Scarsdale High School      

In my journey with mental health at a high-achieving school, deemed "at-risk" by the National Academies of Sciences, I faced large pressure to succeed. Students like me, silently struggling, are overlooked due to stigma. Thus, I advocate for four evidence-based interventions: social-emotional learning, community psychoeducation, universal mental health screenings, and wellness centers, forming a support system that addresses the overlooked needs of students in high-pressure environments.

13. RP Circles - a community relationship building tool

Room: Owasco                                     
Gregg Scheiner, Restorative Practices Trainer/Outreach Coordinator, LIDRC-EAC Network

Circles are a versatile Restorative Practice communication process that develops communication and problem-solving skills. The Circle process allows all participants to have a voice and to be heard (Pranis 2008) as they collaboratively develop deeper understanding and create a solution to an issue being presented. You will participate in an abbreviated circle and will be provided with a handout on the stages of circles and being a circle keeper.


14. Grandpas United

Room: Seneca
Dr. Jim Isenberg, Co-Founder Grandpas United, White Plains Youth Bureau

Grandpas United is a nationally recognized intergenerational mentoring program in its fifth year of operation under the auspices of the White Plains Youth Bureau. The program provides services in White Plains, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Peekskill and Ossining. The program provides a range of services and opportunities to youth including mentoring, college and career readiness, vocational and employment training opportunities, recreation, fatherhood workshops, leadership development, academic assistance, civic engagement and youth diversion activities. The mission of Grandpas United is to utilize the talents, skills and experiences of grandpas to improve the community; provide boys and young men with mentoring and intergenerational activities that support their positive development in school and in the community through one-on-one and group relationships.

15. Exploring the Interconnectedness of Youth Advocacy and Development

Room: Hemlock
Angel Gray, Westchester Children’s Association

This presentation will delve into the interconnectedness of youth advocacy and youth development, providing participants with a toolkit for addressing social issues, understanding diverse perspectives, and crafting persuasive arguments rooted in critical thinking. These skills empower effective communication, enable resilience in the face of opposition, aid in strategic planning, and instill a sense of empowerment and agency in youth. Moreover, they foster lifelong learning and engaged citizenship. Ultimately, advocacy skills, supported by critical thinking, serve as foundational components of civic advocacy and engagement, preparing young advocates to effect substantial change and mold them into knowledgeable and socially conscious leaders of tomorrow.

16. From Chaos to Calm:  Unleash the Stress-Relieving Power of STOP & FLOW!

Room: Canandaigua
Kristin Onderdonk, Owner, Creator of STOP & FLOW, Enjoy Chi

Join Kristin Onderdonk, owner of Enjoy Chi and Creator of STOP & FLOW, for an interactive journey that will leave you feeling calm, hopeful, and recharged. Experience a holistic process that addresses trauma, reduces stress, and fosters personal growth. Feel the transformative power of STOP & FLOW for yourself. Discover how STOP & FLOW's innovative techniques, including energy healing, moving meditation, emotional acupuncture, vagal nerve breathing, and positive visualization, are changing lives across all stages of addiction recovery. Learn about Enjoy Chi's mission to enhance individual and collective well-being and the progress made at Crouse Health, a leading addiction treatment center in Upstate NY. Find out about the opportunities available for schools, families, and youth development organizations to join us in tackling the challenges of isolation and chronic stress in our communities today. As a special bonus, Kristin will be giving away signed copies of her book, "STOP & FLOW: 8 Steps to Recharge Your Life," to select participants. Join us for a firsthand experience of calm and empowerment in action, and after the presentation, Kristin looks forward to engaging in an enriching conversation with peers who are actively contributing to the shift from striving to thriving in our world.

11:45am - 1:00pm

Concurrent Sessions

17. Nothing About Us Without Us:  Youth-Input Driven Systems of Care

Room: Conesus                       
Rick Yang, Youth Mental Health Advocate, Scarsdale High School

As a youth leader and advocate for mental health, I discuss the importance of youth-driven councils and policies in schools and communities. Drawing from research and personal experiences, I highlight successful youth-led initiatives, emphasizing the need for co-creation and collaboration between students and stakeholders. The goal is to foster systems of care that truly resonate with youth needs, making them not just beneficiaries but facilitators of change in conversations that affect them.

18. Modeling self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship to inspire youth

Room: Canandaigua              
Carl Jack, Program Director, Merakey-Center for Hope


Carl Jack is the program director of the Center for Hope - a youth drop-in center in Newburgh, NY. Carl's philosophy in engaging and motivating youth is to model self-sufficiency and demonstrate that youth can carve out exceptional futures for themselves by thinking outside the box and pursuing unorthodox career choices such as gardening/agriculture, furniture restoration/carpentry, and soap making. College track careers are strongly encouraged and supported but, at the same time, Carl focuses on career paths that youth can take that do not involve going to college which can lead to equally satisfying life choices and careers. A good number of the youth of Center for Hope have gone on to attend highly regarded universities such as Howard University and RPI. Some have started their own businesses while others have built solid, peaceful lives for themselves by becoming gainfully employed and enjoying stability for the first time in their lives in some cases. Newburgh is a violent, poverty-stricken city and the youth that attend the Center come from difficult backgrounds. Center for Hope provides an otherwise tranquil, beautiful setting where kids can enjoy workshops, go on field trips and receive the nurturance and guidance that they are so in need of.

19. Jumpstart for Dads: A New Virtual Skills & Support Program for New & Expectant Fathers

Room: Seneca 
Vito Sessa, MD, Volunteer - Grandpas United, Evan Caesar, Volunteer - Grandpas United


Using Grandpas United volunteers from the White Plains Youth Bureau and partnering with referring local health care providers and other community agencies, JumpStart for Dads is a virtual, preventive program designed to capture new and expectant fathers right when they are most physiologically ready to learn how to best help their children succeed. Besides describing our JumpStart for Dads program and curriculum, our presentation will review the importance of fathers and fathering to their children. It will also review the recent physiologic evidence for why a program aimed at new and expectant fathers should be successful.

20. Living in Virtual Reality

Room: Hemlock

Jeremy Butler, Chief Administrative Officer, ICAN & Event Specialist, Grand Dynamics International (GDI)

Join this interactive presentation to learn more about the impact of social media on youth and families mental health.



Wayne Winsley Headshot (1).jpg

Sponsors & Exhibitors

Thank you to the following Sponsors for your support of this event!


For 30 years, Premier Wireless’ mission has been to provide innovation, communication, safety, and transformation through technology. Two of Premier’s flagship solutions are ConnectED Bus and its CPR3 program. ConnectED Bus is a comprehensive solution for schools that provides bus Wi-Fi for students, real-time camera access for safety, GPS, and student tracking. “Connecting People to Resources,” the CPR3 program, focuses on homeless students and the homeless, veterans, refugees, college students, recently incarcerated individuals, and others by providing a device, unlimited connectivity, and the critical resources they need the most such as food, shelter, healthcare, education, workforce development, crisis hotlines, and transportation.

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