64 Ways

At UP for Learning, one of our foundational beliefs is that every youth has the capacity to innovate, collaborate and lead, to become an agent of change and contribute to the life of our communities now and in the future.  Recently we finalized a document we shared with many stakeholders prior to the pandemic striking […]

The Promise of Spring

“Spring is the promise that everything can begin again, letting go and embracing something new.” Spring is traditionally a time for us to grow and change as we transition into a new season. With the state of our world today, the idea of letting go, embracing something new, and beginning again could not be more […]

International Adolescent Health Week

In honor of International Adolescent Health Week Reflecting on the International Adolescent Health Week goal to “celebrate young people and with the ultimate goal of working collectively towards improving the health and well-being of … adolescents across the globe,” I was drawn to images of the Vermont youth I’ve had the privilege to work with […]

Helen’s Reflections

I find the holiday season a mix of joy and nostalgia, but this one is particularly poignant as I contemplate my upcoming retirement as UP for Learning’s founder and Executive Director. I am flooded with memories of our first Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together 3-day retreat at Lyndon State College twelve years ago. A […]

November Blog-YAC

“There is something fundamentally amiss about building and rebuilding an entire system without consulting at any point those it is designed to serve.” -Alison Cook Sather, 2009 I have thought continuously about Sather’s quote since the first time I read it, reflecting on what happens in schools, the ripples of change that come from consulting […]

GTY and YPAR for Jan 2019

Reading the Department of Health brief on “Adolescents Who Feel They Matter” recently led me to reflect on how grateful I am to have been involved in Getting to ‘Y’  (GTY) over the past decade, first as an advisor to a local GTY group and now as the coordinator for the initiative at UP for […]

Looking Back….Looking Forward

This new year provides and opportunity to both look back at our last decade of growth and look forward to the next 10 years. Like many nonprofits, we have been so busy working with schools, that we rarely back away to see the organization as a whole. The recent task of constructing an “Impact Statement” […]

Four Feet on the Ground: The Youth-Adult Partnership “Teeter-totter Effect”

The personalization of learning requires the relationship of students and teachers to shift to partnership and shared responsibility. Educational change in Vermont has also opened the door to unprecedented opportunities for young people to be central to change, rather than passive recipients. However, there are few roadmaps for shifting our mental models and practices to […]

A Fresh Look at “Claiming an Education”

The latest raging debates about women’s place in our society feel disorienting and dangerous to a lot of people.  To some of us who came of age a half-century ago, when we stepped into the women’s movement at the same time we entered womanhood itself, there’s now a sense of having come adrift.  Things we […]