By, Alana Hollander, Program Associate at the Jewish Teen Funders Network
Thirteen years ago at Stanford University Steve Jobs was the keynote speaker at commencement. There in front of a few thousand bright-eyed idealistic graduates, Jobs took to the stage in his sandals and said,
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.”
In many ways our program concludes each year with a ceremony that could be likened to a graduation. We celebrate our accomplishments by sharing with family, friends and the wider community and continue to look forward at the possibilities that lay before us. As this year comes to a close, it is important to consider how to craft an exceptional celebration event and how to make sure that we’ve learned from our experiences.
Celebration and Sharing
Check out these hints for presenting a meaningful check ceremony for your program. From food to guest lists, use this guide to create an event that participants and parents won’t forget!
Looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to social media they are pretty important! Use this fun and helpful guide to think about how you are going to showcase your awesome end of year event.
Evaluations are an essential part of the learning process for both you and for your teens. It is yet another opportunity for teens to have a sense of autonomy and leadership, knowing that their opinion is being counted as you look ahead. Soliciting feedback from multiple sources year to year will help to “connect the dots”. In addition to teen evaluations, asking parents and staff to participant as well as conducting your own self-reflection can be very helpful. Other items to consider include:
- When will you distribute your teen evaluation? Is it better to conduct a survey during a meeting or share online?
- How often do you ask for feedback? Are you asking every meeting or only at the end of the year? Are your teens experiencing evaluation burnout?
- Would it be beneficial to schedule a one-on-one check with teens on your board?
- Would it be beneficial to do the same with parents and have one-on-ones with them?