About: Youth Engagement Trainings are brief, topic-specific workshops that are grounded in Trekkers’ Youth Programming Principles with a focus on addressing a specific issue facing individuals and organizations that desire to strengthen their support and engagement of youth. These 3-hour workshops will focus on small, manageable practices that make big impacts.

Format: TTI uses an experiential learning model that is grounded in relationship building. Each training will include community building activities and ice breakers as well as an exploration of a particular positive youth development practice. TTI uses various teaching modalities including lecture/presentation, readings, journaling, group discussion, peer learning and hands-on activities. Participants should expect to actively engage and contribute to a learning community.


The Mentor Series is geared towards any individual who considers themselves a mentor to youth, formally or informally, directly or indirectly. These trainings will veer away from organizational practices that increase youth engagement and instead focus on building personal practices that support positive outcomes for youth.

  • Mentor Series: Why Relationships Matter 

You may hear often about the importance relationships play in adolescent development, but for many of us it can be much harder to make sure that the relationship is prioritized over program activities. Together we will explore some of the latest research on why relationships are important, draw wisdom from our own experiences with role models from our own lives, explore the specific types of relationships young people need the most, and discuss how to begin building and implementing these types of relationships with young people. Be prepared to share your experiences and build caring relationships with your fellow participants!

  • Mentor Series: Earning the Right to Be Heard with Teens

Building relationships with teenagers requires empathy, effort and commitment on the part of the caring adults in their lives. And for youth that have their walls up and/or have experienced trauma and other adverse childhood experiences, relationship building is even more important and requires even more diligence. Together we will explore what it takes to earn trust with students and focus on the highly effective relationship building techniques Trekkers utilizes to build a lasting bond with a young person.

  • Mentor Series: Embracing a Strengths-Based Approach

As caring adults, we are drawn to a mentoring role because we can see the very real challenges facing teens today. It can take practice and discipline, even for the most seasoned mentor, to avoid seeing young people through a deficit-based perspective. Learn how Trekkers leverages a strengths-based approach to relationship building and programming and explore strategies that you can imbed in your own relationship-building practices with youth. We’ll also introduce you to The PEAR Institute’s Clover Framework that provides an additional lens to view youth’s (and your own) challenges from a strengths-based perspective.

  • Mentor Series: Vulnerability & Shared Experiences 
  • Mentor Series: Behavior Management & Boundary Setting 

The Practitioner Series is geared towards practitioners, seasoned and emerging, in the field of youth development who wish to build or strengthen their organization’s youth engagement practices through formal programming.

  • Going Beyond One and Done Programming

Adolescence is a period of rapid growth and change for young people. Interests and curiosities wax and wane throughout these years because adolescence is dynamic, fluid and different for each young person at each developmental stage. Our ability to meet young people where they are in this process requires the time to get to know them and the ability to design programming that supports them as they progress through adolescence. This workshop will explore what it means to move away from a one size fits all approach to youth development and highlight the developmentally supportive, long-term program model that Trekkers uses to support its students. Be prepared to come and learn more about some of the key Youth Program Principles that have come to define the power behind the Trekkers model.

  • Engaging Youth Through the Middle School to High School Transition

On top of the rapid growth and changes teenagers are facing during adolescence, a recent Gallup Poll indicates that as grade level increases from middle school to high school, youth engagement in extracurricular activities decreases. As a result of this disengagement, students become less hopeful. Together we will explore the research that points to the importance of supporting students through this important transition and share strategies on how to do this thoughtfully so that students experience success in high school and beyond.

  • Not Going It Alone: Mapping Community Resources

Organizations that are interested in making a long-term investment in young people should anticipate that their youth will need different things at different times as they progress through adolescence. While one organization alone can only do so much, leveraging volunteers, community providers and resources can provide a web of supports to help young people navigate the changes, challenges, successes and ongoing developmental upheaval throughout their adolescence. We will share how Trekkers leverages a community web of supports on behalf of the young people we serve and help you begin mapping your own resources so that you can be ready to deploy them when the youth you serve need them.

  • Modeling Self-Awareness and Self-Care for Youth 

Fee: We are currently able to offer these trainings at no cost thanks to generous support from the Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation.

Enrollment: Enrollment is limited to 15 participants on a first come, first served basis. Stay tuned for upcoming training dates.

Dates: To Be Announced – Please sign up for our newsletter and receive advance notice of upcoming trainings.

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