YPCC Report to Annual Session 2015

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Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) & Coordinator (YPC)
Pacific Yearly Meeting – Annual Session 2015
7 July 2015

Summary Report

This Summary Report gives an overview of what the PYM Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) and the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) have accomplished in 2014-2015, some plans for next year, and what we have found engaging, exciting or challenging. Friends are invited to read our more detailed Extended Report, appended to this Summary.

Simply put, our work falls into two main categories: 1) committee work with support from the coordinator and 2) coordinator work with support from the committee. This work is organized around a Goals and Objectives document and subcommittee structure that the committee approved in June 2014 and which is posted on the PYM website at: http://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ypcc_GoalsObjectives_2014_06_AnnualReport.pdf .

Work of the Committee

Youth Programs Fund
During the past year, the YPCC has put the new Youth Programs Fund (interest from the Bob Vogel Endowment) to work, both by awarding grants for projects proposed by others and by sponsoring activities of our own initiative. We wrote guidelines for the application process in alignment with our goals and objectives, devised a calendar for the receipt and consideration of applications, and created a process for making awards. So far, we have made minor revisions to our procedures after each application cycle, and we intend eventually to have an online application form to make it easier to fill out and submit. The Committee has received 16 applications and has funded 12 of them, as well as co-sponsoring and partially funding the Spring 2015 Youth Service Learning Camp with Quaker Oaks Farm and the Wukchumni Tribe. (Particulars of the awards and the events they supported may be found in the Extended Report and Appendices.)

The committee is currently considering our fourth round of applications. Both the process and the applications are getting better each time as committee members work with applicants to refine their ideas and within the committee to smooth the process. Many thanks to the Treasurer and Finance Committee for their work to manage the endowment’s investment and accounting, and especially the Treasurer for handling our requests to write and send checks.

Interest Groups and Activities at Annual Session 2015

  • We are scheduled to report to plenary during the first business meeting, Tuesday, July 14 between 3:15 and 4:30 PM.
  • Members of the YPCC and the YPC will be available to chat during the Committee Fair on Tuesday, July 14 at 4:45 PM.
  • Our first of two interest groups is “Growing Intercultural and Intergenerational Relationships on the Land: Friends, the Wukchumni People, and Quaker Oaks Farm,” with Melissa Lovett-Adair, Wukchumni elders and youth, Jim Summers, Alyssa Nelson, and teen camp participants from PYM. It will be held on Wednesday, July 15 at 1:30 PM. An article about this collaboration was published in the most recent issue of Western Friend (July/Aug 2015).
  • We are hosting a joint discussion on “Membership” with teens, young adults and Discipline Committee on Thursday, July 16th at 8:30 PM.
  • Friends with a particular interest the YPCC Youth Programs Fund are invited to attend our interest group on that topic on Friday, July 17 at 1:30 PM.

Developing Adult Allies to Youth
The committee continues to sponsor “Adult Allies to Youth” workshops, as described in the Work of the Coordinator section below. In response to multiple requests from members of the wider PYM community for the YPCC or YPC to find or recommend “Friendly Responsible Adult Presences” or other youth-workers, the committee has labored and found unity as expressed in the following guidelines:

Minute of the YPCC regarding requests for lists of youth-workers (July 2015): The Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) and Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) continue to be available to consult with groups in PYM on developing safe, reliable, well-known and well-prepared adults to work with youth (“youth-workers”) whose interests and abilities match the specific program needs. The Committee believes that, due to the broad geographic span of PYM, widely differing program needs, and the necessity for frequent updates, any lists of potential youth-workers should be developed and maintained by those groups or programs at their own local levels. The YPC and YPCC will not provide a general or central list of youth-workers, nor certify the qualifications of potential youth-workers. While the YPC will continue keeping a working list of numerous individuals in PYM who play roles in youth programs, that list is an internal resource for the work of the YPC and YPCC, not for circulation.

Caveats and Rationale:

  • Pacific Yearly Meeting spans three countries and three US states. The YPC Committee’s objective is to assist local communities to draw on local resources rather than to produce a generic, sometimes outdated central list.
  • The Committee will continue to administer criminal background checks at the request of a PYM program and with the permission of the person being checked.
  • The Committee will also continue to verify participation in its “Adult Allies to Youth” workshops with the caveat that participation in this workshop does not necessarily mean the person is qualified or recommended.
  • Information provided by the Committee on potential youth-workers should not be a substitute for personal knowledge, reference checks and other forms of discernment or outreach in the Good Order of Friends. We strongly recommend that selection of youth-workers for PYM activities be in compliance with any pertinent current policies, such as the PYM Abuse Prevention Policy.
  • Upon request, the YPC and YPCC members may serve as references for individual applicants –in their own private capacities and at their own discretion– but are not expected to do so as part of their duties.
  • Reference Material: PYM Abuse Prevention Policy (June 2015 revision of May 2010 document, to be presented by M&O to Annual Session 2015)

Background materials and further detail concerning this minute are included as an appendix to our Extended Report.

Work of The Youth Programs Coordinator

It has been a busy year for the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC), Alyssa Nelson, as well. She has now visited 34 of PYM’s 44 Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in California and Nevada since she began her position four years ago and has been regularly attending most of both Quarterly Meetings’ gatherings, where she has been a resource for the planning committees and teen programs. She and the YPCC are still working out how best to serve the five Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in Hawaii, as well as the two meetings in Mexico City and Guatemala.

Alyssa has supported, helped plan, and attended several Young Adult Friends (YAF) events over the course of the year. The annual YAF Retreat, co-organized by Alyssa and YPCC member / YAF Co-Clerk Kylin Navarro, will be held the weekend just before annual session this year (as it has been for the past two years), this time at the Berkeley meetinghouse. The retreat is predicted to again attract around 30 Friends, including some elders. Two of PYM’s invited guests, Paula Palmer and Lloyd Lee Wilson, will attend, and Paula will be giving her workshop, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.”

Alyssa has again led, with the assistance of committee members, “Becoming Adult Allies to Youth” workshops in both Northern and Southern California; since 2011, a total of 65 Friends have taken the workshop. Meetings willing to host an Adult Allies workshop this coming year should contact Alyssa.

Alyssa supports Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM, the PYM teen program) in its planning process by email and phone and at the JYM planning meeting at Representative Committee Meeting. She has also helped design and facilitate the JYM leadership orientation for the FRAPs, teen clerks, teen M&O, and adult committee members, held on the first afternoon of annual session. She is continuing to redevelop and co-facilitate JYM’s “Respectful Relationships” sexuality education workshop with YAFs. One of her main roles continues to be in helping JYM and YAFs to understand, coordinate with, and navigate within the PYM and annual session structures; and helping other PYM entities understand and connect with JYM and YAFs. She has also provided some such assistance to PYM’s Children’s Program, on a much more limited basis thus far.

Alyssa and her Administrative Supervisor from the YPCC participated in rewriting PYM’s Abuse Prevention Policy. M&O has now asked the YPC to take over the function of ordering the criminal background checks for FRAPs, Children’s Program teachers, and committee members of JYM and Children’s Program, as well as any other youth-workers at PYM-sponsored events. (These are ordered online through a professional company.) Alyssa has provided this service for this year’s annual session, with help and oversight from an M&O liaison and the YPCC Administrative Supervisor.

Alyssa continues to report to PYM throughout the year through occasional epistles, a calendar and youth program pages on the PYM website, and Facebook pages. Throughout the year and especially leading up to annual session, she receives many requests for information, help and referrals; she spends a lot of time online and on the phone, punctuated by opportunities to be with Friends in person.

Word gets around! Alyssa has been contacted by her relatively new counterpart in Australia Yearly Meeting (AYM) with a request from AYM to learn from PYM’s youth programs work, including an invitation to attend AYM’s annual gathering in July 2016 and to sojourn among other local and regional Friends meetings there. Travel costs will be paid by AYM. As well as sharing what she has learned as PYM’s Youth Programs Coordinator, Alyssa looks forward to learning from Australian Friends about their relationships with Native Peoples and their work on restorative justice.

 

In closing, the YPCC anticipates that the year ahead will be joyfully filled with receiving, refining, and funding grant applications; continuing to support teens, young adults, and adult allies to youth; and further co-sponsorship of activities with Quaker Oaks Farm and the Wukchumni People. Our vision PYM as a whole, intergenerational, interactive community with a vibrant youth component continues to guide our work together.

Submitted on behalf of the YPCC,
Mary Klein and Jim Summers, Co-Clerks, Youth Programs Coordinating Committee
Alyssa Nelson, Youth Programs Coordinator

[Please see link above to download the full report with appendices.]