Built for More

The Role of Out-of-School Time in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work

Edited by:
Byron Sanders, Big Thought
Shannon Epner, Big Thought

A volume in the series: Current Issues in Out-of-School Time. Editor(s): Helen Janc Malone, Institute for Educational Leadership.

In Press 2024

Built for More, The Role of OST in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work will highlight OST research and illustrative practices and bring forward multi-disciplinary perspectives about future trends, innovations, and the impact of OST on the future workforce. The focus is on OST programs as well as related activities that contribute to employability, such as summer work, internships, apprenticeships, disability inclusion, career-focused mentoring, and more. The book will also lift up voices traditionally left out of the OST conversation, including BIPOC, rural, and other marginalized communities.

Given that the world of work is rapidly evolving, what are the most important ways we should be framing education and youth development work? Define forces and illuminate the trends reshaping the necessary skills that youth will need to thrive professionally, personally, and to positively impact their communities. What are the skills that employers are saying are most valuable due to transformation from automation, machine learning, and the 4th industrial age we are experiencing globally? What are key demographic shifts that add urgency to the imperative for change in our human development ecosystems?


"Built for More: The Role of Out-of-School Time in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work is a compelling, insightful must read about the current and future trends on out-of-school time. This book is loaded with fascinating detail and interdisciplinary perspectives that highlight the impact of OST on teaching and learning, workforce development, and creating global citizens for a diverse society. This book makes a persuasive argument that is difficult to refute and should be required reading for anyone interested in the future of young people in the United States." — Joshua Childs, University of Texas at Austin

"As a youth empowerment leader committed to breaking systemic barriers and fostering transformative change, Built for More: The Role of OST in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work is an important resource. This book highlights the key institutional shifts needed to cultivate youth agency within our rapidly evolving educational, professional and technological landscape. Its focus on the impact of out-of-school time (OST) programs and critical pathways such as internships, apprenticeships, and career focused mentoring offers important insights to bridge the gap between education and employment. Its emphasis on elevating BIPOC and rural voices sets it apart, offering a truly inclusive approach to reducing barriers and shaping innovative interventions that authentically resonate with and empower our youth." — Hollie Neal Morgan, Fossil Foundation

"The coming decades will be some of the most challenging in history, while also being the most opportunity-rich. Questions of intelligence, belonging and humanity ripple through everyday dialog and innovation and adaptable learner-centered programs are rising to the occasion to meet our young people with voice, agency and relationship. Built for More: The Role of Out-of-School Time in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work is a critical compilation of OST stories paints a portrait of nimble, learner-centered environments that prioritize agency and relationships. These stories spotlight crucial programs and education ecosystems from respected voices." — Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart


Foreword, Chike Aguh. Acknowledgments. Introduction, Byron Sanders. SECTION I: THE FUTURE OF WORK. Transforming Education through Learner-Centered Ecosystems: Empowering All Children for a Thriving Future, Bobbi R. Macdonald. The Impact of AI Technology on Future Generations in the Workforce and the Role of Out-of-School Time Providers, Shannon Epner and ChatGPT-4. Tomorrow’s Workforce in Afterschool Programs Today: STEM-focused Afterschool Programs and Systems, Terri Ferinde, Teresa Drew, Nicole Evans, and Sheronda Witter. SECTION II: IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH WORKERS IN PREPARING YOUTH FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK. Importance of Youth Workers in Preparing Youth for the Future of Work, Carlos Santini. Post-Traumatic Growth in OST: Creating Nurturing Conditions for Growth and Transformation in the Youth Development Workforce, Melea Meyer. Higher Education and Youth Work: Opportunities for Expanding the Field, Nancy L. Deutsch and Melissa Levy. Supporting the Youth Fields Workforce: Lessons Learned From the Power of Us Workforce Survey and the Field, Jill Young and Rebecca Goldberg. SECTION III: ROLE OF OST IN SPARKING CAREER PATHWAYS. Creating Authentic Spaces for Youth: A Conversation About the Role of Youth Agency & Its Future, Monique Miles, Angelica Portillo, and Byron Sanders. Non-Artificial Authentic Intelligence: Creating Ecosystems of Development for Young People Outside of School and in the World of Work, Gabrielle Kurlander and Christopher Street. Leveraging the Community as a Civic Classroom, Fernande Raine and Emily Wegner. Pathways to College and Career Readiness in South Los Angeles: A Case Study of the Al Wooten Jr. Youth Center, Naomi McSwain. Creating Creators: How an Out-of-School Time Ecosystem is Redefining Creativity and Building Learning Pathways to Future Success, Armando Banchs, Evan Cleveland, and Greg MacPherson. A Conversation with Ania Hodges: A Youth Changemaker’s Story and Call to Action, Ania Hodges and Byron Sanders. Conclusion. Author Biographies.