National AfterSchool Association Honors Cassir Bastien, Project Director of Saint Peter’s 21st Century Program, Among Its 2020 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders

Jersey City, N.J. – April 2, 2020 – The National AfterSchool Association (NAA), the voice of the afterschool profession and lead organization for the advancement of afterschool professionals/ leaders, has selected Cassir Bastien, project director of the Saint Peter’s University 21st Century Program, as one of NAA’s 2020 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders. Bastien was honored virtually at the 2020 National AfterSchool Association Conference on Monday, March 16, which was originally scheduled to be held in Washington D.C.

In selecting its Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders for 2020, the National AfterSchool Association sought to highlight emerging young leaders who are active in the afterschool community with a proven passion for professional development, efforts to elevate the field and persistence in their work to grow as leaders. Bastien was recommended for this prestigious honor by the New Jersey Department of Education State Coordinator for 21st Century After School Programs. Bastien is responsible for the Saint Peter’s University 21st Century Program being evaluated as a national exemplary model.

“I am very proud of Cassir,” said Elnardo Webster, Ed.D. ’69, project director of Saint Peter’s 21st Century CCLC Institute of Excellence. “His contribution to our 21st Century Program has been immeasurable and his leadership skills are exemplary.”

In 2019 Saint Peter’s University was awarded with a $2.5 million 21st Century Grant from the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Student Support Services. The grant is being implemented by the Saint Peter’s Center for After School and Expanded Learning (C.A.S.E.L.) and has enabled the University to partner with Jersey City public and charter schools to create learning centers in each school. The program not only benefits the local community, but also the approximately 40 Saint Peter’s University students who serve as interns in the program and gain hands-on experience as after school practitioners.

“The National AfterSchool Association knows that strong afterschool leaders develop the skilled professionals and teams that run strong organizations and quality programs that result in positive youth outcomes said Gina Warner, President and CEO of NAA. “These emerging leaders will help shape the next generation of the afterschool field.”

An estimated 10.2 million young people participate in afterschool programs each year and the industry employs an estimated 850,000 employees. The National AfterSchool Association is the professional membership association that fosters positive youth outcomes by supporting, developing, and advocating for afterschool professionals and leaders.

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