What you are will show in what you do.

-Thomas Edison

STRENGTHS

TALENT n. A naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied.

STRENGTH n. The ability to consistently produce a positive outcome through near-perfect performance in a specific task. To finish with strength, start with talent.

In everything we do, we believe that one of the best ways to help people grow and become the best they can be is to discover their natural talent and help grow them into strengths.

We help people identify their talents and appreciate the power and opportunities those talents give them. We also invest in people to help them cultivate their talents to accomplish goals and better respond to situations they face everyday. Here are a few of the ways we do this:

  • We partner with the Youth Development Network to provide the Strengths Based Institute to groups who are interested in growing their talents into strengths. In this workshop, participants learn how to "Name, Claim and Aim" their strengths as individuals and also as teams.

  • Our own Julie Sesser is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and has been immersed in training to invest in individuals and teams to stimulate, motivate, and facilitate their development. In addition, she is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), grounded in a transformational coaching approach.

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EXPANDED LEARNING DIVISION

ASAPconnect prioritizes its services to support the Strategic Plan of the Expanded Learning Division (ExLD) of the California Department of Education. We provide support to the System of Support for Expanded Learning (SSEL) to build a sense of community, foster sharing of resources and best practices, and develop intentional strategies to effectively work together in small groups and teams.

Our support takes many forms including strategic planning, meeting design, meeting facilitation, coaching, consulting as thought partners, brokering of resources, tool/resource development, and custom-tailored support.


CALIFORNIA'S EXPANDED LEARNING SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP & FACILITATION

We have developed a year-long leadership cohort to develop the skills of exemplar California site level leaders who work in expanded learning programs. These Technical Assistance (TA) Fellows are tasked with facilitating dialogue that inspires action to integrate the California Quality Standards for Expanded Learning at their expanded learning sites and organizations to continuously improve the quality of their programs.

In the beginning of the project, TA Fellows are brought together to build community and are given intensive training in three separate facilitation methods: one to engage people in reflection and discussion, another to brainstorm, and third to action plan. They are given time and opportunity to practice these methods in low stakes environments.

In the mid-phase of the project, TA Fellows work to identify one or more sites to provide facilitation TA around quality programs. Their goal is to build relationships with site leaders and provide 4 hours of TA per month using a variety of facilitation methods. They develop project management skills including tracking their project goals, tracking their outreach, and requesting feedback on their TA for their own continuous quality improvement.

In the final phase of the project, TA Fellows begin to reach out to additional sites, and many receive requests from their SSEL Regional or County teams, to facilitate small group conversations with other program staff.

TA Fellows provide 4 hours of facilitation TA per month, for a minimum of two sites over the year, and receive ongoing support from a Growth Coach and whole cohort virtual convenings to share best practices and ideas to overcome challenges.

Participants who choose to continue in a second year of the project have an opportunity to add coaching skills to support their leadership development and become TA Coaches.

"After attending countless hours of professional development, over the past twenty years of my career, I can say that my experience with the ASAP team has, by far, had the greatest impact on my career and me personally."

TA Fellow, Class of 2019-2020

"I just want to say that I am so happy to be part of this family. I say family because if I need to reach out to any one of you, I know I will get the support needed. I am always looking forward to the Zoom meetings. Being able to take a moment to reflect is amazing. Being able to hear and ask questions in case we need the support is just AMAZING. Thank you everyone. You are all AWESOME."

TA Fellow, Class of 2019-2020

"Thank you very much for having this program. It has changed my life for the better personally and professionally. I believe in expanded learning more now because of this. Thank you!"

TA Fellow, Class of 2018-2019