Neighborhood Center’s AJ Frigillana Honored by National AfterSchool Association

Jan 10, 2019

We’re proud to announce that our very own Multicultural and Identity Based Programs Manager, AJ Frigillana, has been named one of the National AfterSchool Association’s 2019 Next Generation of AfterSchool Leaders! Announced in the winter edition of AfterSchool Today, Frigillana joins a select group of 24 after school professionals from across the country “with a proven passion for professional development, influence beyond their program in an effort to elevate the field, and persistence in their work to grow as a leader.”

Here’s what she had to say in her profile:

“I am most proud of the growth that our identity-based programs have gone through in the past three years. My team and I create, manage, and facilitate these programs at two middle school sites and two high school sites in the Richmond District, both after school and during the school day. Our team has brought in 10 high school programs, five middle school programs and one summer program—all dedicated to equity, social justice and youth advocacy.

I believe that the immediate impact that our programming has had is based in youth leadership and advocacy. Our participants are developing skills and collecting tools to view their communities consciously and through a critical lens. For two summers, we’ve held the Leaders of Color in Training (LOCIT) program, where our young people identify an issue in their community and use the Youth Participatory Action Research model to better understand how they can create change. We have had two cohorts, with 27 participants in total. Many of our past LOCIT participants have not only successfully completed the program but have also gone on to take leadership roles in other programs that we provide.

The ideal long-term result would be that our programs would expand even further throughout the school sites we serve and reach an even larger part of the population. I also hope to see our team’s values of equity, critical consciousness, and cultural competence to continue to be at the forefront of all we do in service of our young people and their families.”

Congratulations to AJ on her well-deserved recognition!