The Second Annual NH Afterschool Professionals Celebration took place in June at the NH Audubon McLane Center in Concord, NH. Over 100 people joined together to recognize and celebrate the contributions of afterschool.
Gail Casey, from the 21st Century Extended Day Program of Nashua, began the event by welcoming afterschool professionals and stakeholders to the celebration. After opening remarks from Kimberly Meyer, the Interim NHAN Project Director, Andrea Knowles and Jane Cutter, from Marcom 4, unveiled NHAN's new logo design and discussed upcoming updates to NHAN's communication tools to improve connections with stakeholders and partners. Staff members attended from the offices of Senator Shaheen, Senator Hassan, Rep. Custer, and Rep Pappas to support afterschool in NH, delivering letters from Congress members.
The Keynote Session included passionate speakers. Dr. Will Arvelo from the NH Division of Economic Development spoke about the contribution afterschool makes to NH's workforce and the importance of making the afterschool voice heard in NH. Jacqui Guillette, retired superintendent and Capstone Consulting representative, poignantly shared how critical afterschool is for NH youth to build hope for their future. Finally, the Laconia Middle School Student Panel offered a student perspective on how afterschool programming positively impacts them.
Susan Gimilaro of ACROSS NH and Jamie Calcagni of DHHS presented thirteen individuals with Afterschool Credentials in four categories: Afterschool Direct Service, Afterschool Administrator, Workshop Trainer, and Afterschool Master Professional.
Laconia Superintendent Brendan Minnihan and Nashua Assistant Superintendent Garth McKenney were recognized as Afterschool Champions. Lastly, the Thad Mandsager Award was presented to outstanding afterschool professional Pablo Hernandez of Nashua 21 CCLC by Conrad Mandsager.
Thank you to everyone who attended and helped with the Second Annual NH Afterschool Professionals Celebration, especially Big Brothers, Big Sisters of NH, Nashua Prevention Coalition, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Marcom4, NH DOE, NH DHHS, NH BEA, Southern District YMCA, and Eastside Learning Center. This event was sponsored by NH Interlocal Trust and FB Environmental LLC.