Youth-Adult Partnership Spotlight-Fall 2022

Back to Basics

When I drive to work in the morning, I eye the lane changes that continue to change in the construction zone.  For too many months, this route was blocked entirely.  It was frustrating.  My alternate route had many more obstacles, stoplights, and in general felt too slow.  I was grateful my preferred route was open again.  I repeatedly celebrated it.

“Is it all done?”  My dad answered my celebration with a question.

“I don’t know,” I responded the first time he asked.  I didn’t know.  I hadn’t paid attention. To what was still in construction.   “Don’t think so,” I replied after a long pause.

“Probably the on and off ramps.”

“Hmm.”  I told myself I would pay attention the next time, knowing that I had only paid attention to if I could get through or not.  The rest hadn’t mattered.

Summer is over.  Covid isn’t but we’re back in a way that feels more like being back.  But is that accurate?

During the pandemic, I attended an educational panel that featured Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings.  “Don’t waste a good crisis,” she had said.  

Had I?  Was I still, by not noticing the pieces still out of place?  What did we learn?  What did we unlearn?

To the left of my computer hangs a bulletin board.  I enjoy looking at it now more than I used to because it is full of notes and stories.  However, hanging at the bottom, I notice one of the first ‘fillers’ I tacked to the wall.  It is a list of questions.  Its origin was likely for classroom activities, and yet, it’s more relevant now than ever.  Which questions were we asking?  Which questions weren’t we asking?  And why?

I needed to ask about:

  • Ways of talking to each other.  
  • Ways of being together.  

By doing so, I am back on the slow route with too many stoplights.  This time I won’t resent it, because slowing down is not an impediment.  It is an opportunity.


The resources provided speak to the kinds of questions and conversations I plan to center in community work this fall.  

When I began my position, I asked many organizations, adults and youth about what kinds of youth-adult partnership experiences they had and what they wanted to see.  It is worthwhile to revisit this gathered information as part of my back to basics.

Positive Youth Development Community Conversation Adult

Positive Youth Development Community Conversation Youth

If you’re short on time and resources, the questions below continue to be used to build out youth programming in Rock County.  Most recently as part of NIA program development.  You can read more about NIA in the Rock County Programming Tab:

NIA questions moving forward

  • Tell me about where you are now, where you want to go and how or who or what motivates you.  
  • Follow up:  What are the opportunities for youth?  Or programming?  What does your community look like?    Why did you choose to participate?  What makes you want to come back?  Does who you are affect your relationships or access to resources?

The following articles help us direct our questions so that we are building vocabulary between youth and adults.  This vocabulary is important to describe the types of ways youth can participate and/or lead.  More information can be found on the Youth Leadership Tab.

Juntos in North Carolina is celebrating 15 years, and they’re still asking questions.

  • “How has Juntos impacted [you, your family, or your work]? What vision do you have for the Juntos Program in the next 15 years?”
  • “¿Cómo ha impactado Juntos [a usted, su familia o su trabajo]? ¿Qué visión tiene para el Programa Juntos en los próximos 15 años?”

Learn more about questions we’re asking about what success looks like in Juntos around the state of WI by subscribing to our JUNTOS newsletter.