UYWI Welcomes Jeremy Del Rio to the Team

Urban Youth Workers Institute is proud to announce Jeremy Del Rio’s hire as part of the UYWI Team. Specifically, beginning in October 2009, Jeremy has designed and launched UYWI’s Northeast Regional Office. Here’s an update from Jeremy’s personal blog where he describes his work with UYWI and other strategic partners in the region.

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So what do you do exactly?

Even my friends and family are fond of asking, so if you’ve wondered what I actually do for a living these days, no worries. Hopefully this brings both clarity to that question and an update about the future.

The short answer is: for almost four years I have worked as a strategist advising non-profits on organizational leadership issues, and designing youth and community development initiatives for clients such as Latino Pastoral Action Center, World Vision, Student Venture, Christ Tabernacle, and others.  Some call this being a “hired gun.” I call it fun and suited to an entrepreneurial preference for designing and re/building new things rather than managing what’s already been. I also write and speak and teach as often as possible.

The more nuanced answer relates to my current assignments, four initiatives that together empower me to connect, train, mentor, and collaborate with city youth workers with the goal of benefiting two million New York City young people and five million in Metro NYC. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, and somewhat overwhelming to type, but taken collectively create possible synergies. Here’s an overview of each assignment:

  • 20/20 Vision for Schools (New York, NY). After architecting the 20/20 Vision for Schools education reform initiative as a consultant beginning in 2007, and coaching its leaders through its 2008 launch and first year of operations, the 20/20 Vision partners (The New York City Leadership Center and the Coalition of Urban Youth Workers) asked me to lead 20/20 beginning in January 2010 as its (part-time) executive director.
  • Urban Youth Workers Institute (Santa Ana, CA). Urban Youth Workers Institute has been training youth workers throughout the country since 1997. My association with UYWI began as a trainer and speaker in 2004, and expanded to include serving as a National Advisory Board member since 2006 and curriculum writer since 2007. Beginning in October 2009, I have designed and launched a Northeast regional presence for UYWI’s training and mentoring resources.
  • DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (Grand Rapids, MI). Equal parts graduate school, boot camp, and retreat, DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative is a best of class training experience for urban youth ministry practitioners in six cities a year. Since September 2009, I serve as the City Coordinator for the 2010 New York cohort.

Making each of those initiatives possible are local networks of youth workers convened and facilitated primarily through:

  • The Coalition of Urban Youth Workers (New York, NY). Since 2003, the Coalition of Urban Youth Workers has been the primary connector and collaborator for scores of metro New York youth leaders. After serving the Coalition in a supportive role as a consultant for almost three years, I was honored when they asked me to return to leadership as their Chairman beginning January 2010.

I also adjunct teach for the Fuller Youth Institute at Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, CA) and serve on the Boards of several non-profits. Together, my work feels like a convergence of my passions for youth, leadership, cities, and justice.

It’s an unconventional way to make a living, I guess, but I’m loving what I do.  Thanks for your continued friendship and support, and special thanks to the strategic partners in my life who empower such possibilities.

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