The National Building Exemplary Systems for Training Youth Workers (BEST) Initiative was created to pilot a delivery strategy for the AYD curriculum. This initiative provides technical assistance, training and networking to community-based systems, i.e., BEST Sites, as they work to strengthen their capacity to train youth workers in the concepts of youth development.
The three main goals of the National BEST Initiative are to:
- Strengthen and develop local infrastructures for delivering youth worker training grounded in youth development principles;
- Develop and support a national network of local community-based youth worker training efforts so that they share resources, identify strategies, and build capacities of youth workers; and
- Identify local communities with a demonstrated interest in developing a system to train youth workers not yet part of this initiative and to support them as they develop plans to build infrastructures to train youth workers.
The National BEST Initiative has received support from the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, The Ford Foundation, and The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
- BEST Strengthens Youth Worker Practice - An Evaluation of Building Exemplary System for Training Youth Workers (BEST)
This summary report presents the findings of a two-year evaluation of the influence of NTI's BEST initiative on youth workers, youth-serving organizations, and the National BEST Network.
- The Intermediary Role in Youth Worker Professional Development: Success & Challenges (pdf)
This journal article describes the groundbreaking work of the National BEST Network. This network of local and regional intermediaries coordinates and implements youth worker professional development programs in over 25 communities.