NorthStar Youth Worker Fellowship

The purpose of the NorthStar Youth Worker Fellowship is to engage a cohort of experienced youth work practitioners in exploration, reflection, and study to generate more wisdom, language, and leadership in the field of youth work in Minnesota.

The Fellowship is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education, the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development, and Youthprise.

The goals of this Practitioner Fellowship are to:

  • Unearth and legitimize practice-based perspectives on emergent issues and tensions to broaden current conversations about youth work.
  • Support a core group of practitioners in the community who will develop and demonstrate their leadership abilities, increased confidence to speak up, and capacity to represent the field on issues of importance.
  • Create a space to incubate practiced theory that influences the field.
  • Demonstrate our commitment to explicit education, training, and professional development for youth workers as essential to high quality practice.


Moving Youth Work Practice Forward: Looking Back to Move Forward

Individual Papers:

On Being Disrupted: Youth Work & Black Lives Matter by Angela Bonfiglio

Walking the Walk: Incorporating Social Justice into Daily Youth Work Practice by Megan Hartman

Youth Input in Grant-Making by Steve Palmer

Advancing Equity in Youth Development by Kathryn Sharpe

Fostering Social-Emotional Learning for Youth and Staff in Out-of-School Time by Brandon Tice


2014 – 2015 NorthStar Fellowship Papers

“’By nature of being human, we do not have to qualify, request, or in any other way seek out human rights- they are inherent and universal.’  This is the explanation that Rebecca Edmunds provides in her North Star fellowship paper.  This year, six North Star Fellows used the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as the framework from which to explore the aims of youth work.  How does a “human rights” lens impact our approach, our assumptions, our policy work as youth workers?” – Kari Denissen Cunnien

Moving Youth Work Practice Forward: Examining Rights-Based Approaches to Youth Work

Individual papers:

Building Consistent and Authentic Student Voice Into School Policies in Minneapolis Public High Schools by Nou Vang

A Call to Action for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Youth Work by Julie Richards

Media Consent Forms: Towards a Rights-Based Approached by Ellie Kunkel

Social Justice Youth Work: An Actualization of Youth Rights by Monica McDaniel

A Youth Rights-Based Approach to Accountability in Youth Programs by Rebecca Edmunds

Youth’s Right to Fail by Rachel Katkar


Past NorthStar Fellowship Papers

2013 – 2014 NorthStar Fellowship Papers: Moving Youth Work Practice Forward: Reflections on Autonomy and Authority

2012 – 2013 NorthStar Fellowship Papers (Previously Minnesota Walkabout Fellowship): Moving Youth Work Forward: Reflections on Youth-Centered Practice in Minnesota