Rebekah Stone, NCS Therapeutic Recreation Branch Manager, is being honored by the National AfterSchool Association as one of NAA’s 2023 Next Generation of AfterSchool Leaders.
In selecting its 2023 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders, the NAA is highlighting 17 emerging young leaders who are active in the broader afterschool community, demonstrate contributions that have started to influence beyond individual programs to entire organizations and communities, are actively engaged in efforts to elevate the afterschool field, have a proven passion for development of themselves and others, and demonstrate persistence in their work to grow as leaders.
Next Generation Awardees are young professionals who are strong believers in the power of afterschool and are vested in advocacy, professional development, creative program design, the power of youth voice, data and evaluation, and racial justice, says the NAA.
During her tenure with Fairfax County, Rebekah has been an integral part in promoting out-of-school time best practices and quality standards, not just for the entire agency, but to the various organizations that make up the Fairfax Out-of-School Time Network, says Jonathan Melendez, NCS Prevention Coordination Specialist.
According to Melendez, “Rebekah has ensured that staff and service providers understand the importance of their role in creating positive relationships and to take advantage of every interaction with youth, families, and their communities. Rebekah is usually the first to volunteer to research, design, and facilitate professional development opportunities for her colleagues, as was evident in her role in the agency’s Youth Programming all-day retreat. Her understanding that it takes a team to achieve desired outcomes is what pushes her to ensure that those around her have the tools and knowledge needed to deliver services in an equitable and inclusive manner, with a focus on creating welcoming environments.”
Rebekah’s inclusion on the 2023 list marks the first time a Fairfax County NCS employee has received the prestigious recognition. “We're really honored and proud to have one of our own staff members recognized by NAA for this award,” said NCS Deputy Director Keisha Dotson. “Bekah is passionate, dedicated, hardworking and always eager to engage in opportunities to support all youth in the broader out-of-school time system. To be one of only seventeen professionals recognized across the country is quite a tremendous accomplishment."
Said Rebekah: “It truly is an honor to have been nominated for Virginia’s representative for this award,” Rebekah said. “It is a pleasure to work for the County and with the Out-of-School-Time Network, I am deeply touched and encouraged by this nomination. I love the work that I get to be a part of, and I feel charged and encouraged to continue in out-of-school-time programming.”
Honorees will be profiled in the Spring 2023 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine. The complete list of honorees is available at 2023 NAA Next Generation Honorees.