Alberto Barajas, Think Together’s quality service coach and trainer based in San Bernardino County, was recently honored by the National Afterschool Association (NAA) as one of this year’s “Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders.”
The NAA committee honors young professionals who are active in their community’s afterschool care and who implement new programs to better the lives of the youth they serve. The NAA selected 30 outstanding individuals from a field of 100, Barajas was one of two young leaders in California to earn this award.
“I love the role I get to play in changing the trajectory of the lives of so many kids that really need us,” said Alberto Barajas. “My goal is to support our staff members as they bring to life Think Together’s vision of ensuring that all kids receive a great education and are prepared for college and careers.”
Barajas, a Fontana resident, has worked for the statewide nonprofit organization that partners with schools to provide early learning afterschool and support programs for six years. In his role as a Quality Service Coach and Trainer, Barajas oversees 10 afterschool programs in the Rialto Unified School District and supports staff with professional development.
He works closely with the site coordinators to ensure program quality and expectations are fully met to ensure educational excellence for students. During his start in afterschool care, Barajas was unsure of his path but felt immediate assurance when he began connecting and developing relationships with the students, school staff and community. During his time with Think Together, he has had the opportunity to tackle various job roles, which has allowed him to better understand the needs of the students.
In the future, Barajas hopes to continue bridging the gap between school districts and expanded learning programs to help prepare students to achieve district-specific benchmarks.
“We’re so proud of Alberto on his national recognition for helping shape the leaders of tomorrow,” said Randy Barth, founder and CEO of Think Together. “His contributions to our afterschool programs make a long-term impact on providing educational equity and excellence for all kids.”
To learn more about the work Think Together is doing throughout California, please visit www.thinktogether.org.