Building Resilient Youth: Responding to Trauma, Substance Use and Mental Health Challenges in Out-of-School Time Programs


Local park and recreation agencies are one of the largest providers of out-of-school time (OST) programming across the country. With new public health threats and concerns emerging each day, including youth exposed to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma, rising rates of depression and substance misuse, what is the role of the OST field in responding to these challenges? How can park and recreation agencies build additional protective factors into their programs that foster positive physical, social and mental health outcomes? 

Session Length: 1.25 Hours

Credit: 0.1

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Cassie Pais

Development Manager, NRPA

Cassie Pais is NRPA's Development Manager, with a focus on Health and Wellness and Social Equity. She helps facilitate NRPA's national and cross-sector partnerships and provides strategic direction in equipping NRPA to address emerging public health challenges and trends. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from Humboldt State University and Master of Public Administration (MPA) from George Mason University.

Daniel Hatcher

Director of Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Daniel W. Hatcher serves as Director of Community Partnerships for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. At the Alliance, Daniel is responsible for managing and delivering technical assistance services and resources for out-of-school time sites as they work to achieve National Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards. Daniel has a BA in International Relations and a Masters of Public Health, both from Western Kentucky University. Daniel regularly blogs on topics relevant to healthy afterschool at

Heather Hegarty

Executive Assistant, Afterschool Alliance

Erin Hegarty joined the Afterschool Alliance team in August 2018. She serves as Executive Associate, working closely with Executive Director Jodi Grant. She also works with the policy and research teams in the area of juvenile justice and afterschool. Erin currently serves as a liaison to the 50 Statewide Afterschool Network Professional Learning Community on Substance Misuse. Erin graduated from the College of William & Mary in May 2018 with a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in History. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered with an afterschool tutoring and mentorship program in a local subsidized housing community.

Aaron Philip Dworkin

CEO, National Summer Learning Association

Aaron Philip Dworkin joined the National Summer Learning Association as Chief Executive Officer on June 3, 2019 having most recently served as President of the After-School All-Stars National Network – a non-profit organization providing free afterschool and summer programs to 90,000 low income students in more than 450 Title I schools in 20 major cities across the United States. Over the last 12 years, Aaron led the organization through tremendous growth, significantly increasing the number of students served, doubling the After-School All-Stars national footprint and annual revenue, while opening a national office in Washington, D.C. to expand its advocacy efforts. Aaron also oversaw the creation and implementation of the After-School All-Stars’ four signature national initiatives, each with their own summer learning program, designed to combat childhood obesity (Sports as a Hook), promote high school and college graduation (We Are Ready), prepare students for careers (CEO: Career Exploration Opportunities) and inspire youth leadership and community service (Life Service Action). Prior to After-School All-Stars, Aaron founded and directed Hoops & Leaders, an acclaimed summer youth leadership and mentoring program in New York City. He also helped support the creation of Up2Us Sports, a national coalition of sports based youth development programs. Aaron is a frequent presenter at national education conferences, a graduate of Tufts University, a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and holds master’s degrees from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He is a member of the 2019 Class of Leadership Greater Washington and serves on the National Board of Directors of the American Camp Association.

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