We connect individuals to networking, training and professional development as well as to various resources including grants and funding opportunities, other youth development professionals, research, curriculum and more.


To do this, in 2018, we established the Center for Youth Development Professionals.

CYDP Mission: To meet the professional development needs of adults in Philadelphia who work with or on behalf of youth ages 4-24 through networking, training, workshops and professional learning communities (PLC)

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The Center for Youth Development Professionals (CYDP) exists to offer high-quality professional development experiences for adults that work with youth in Philadelphia. We believe that learning should be relevant, engaging, and empowering.

The reality is over the years, high-quality, engaging and meaningful professional development opportunities have been harder and harder to come by, yet staff is asked to do more and more to support, mentor, educate, empower and care for young people.

Offerings are aligned with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Core Competencies for Youth Workers and Supervisors of Youth Workers because research shows well trained, prepared and supported staff have an impact on program quality.

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the Center for Youth Development Professionals

"not your same old same old professional development"

Between 2013 and 2020 we provided nearly 70 FREE networking and professional development offerings for youth development professional in Philadelphia through a monthly event we called the Sandbox. Not including our special activities like movie screenings and special topic gatherings, that comes to just about 100 hours of networking, training and professional development.  We decided to sunset the monthly events in the fall of 2020 in order to focus on The Center for Youth Development Professionals.

The goals of those initial Sandbox meetings were to bring youth development consultants together to increase collaboration and reduce competition, and to share resources. The group grew and the focus shifted to also include other youth development practitioners, educators, teaching artists, community members, and advocates.

Over the seven years, attendees have: secured contracts, developed arts projects, collaborated to create new projects, tested new workshop content, facilitated (a) Sandbox meeting(s) and more.

"Sandbox gatherings help me to connect with other like-minded youth development professionals."

"There's always fresh ideas to bring back to my program."