The California School-Age Consortium is proud to highlight Christopher Ibarra from CalSAC's Leadership Development Institute 360°/365 fellowship. Christopher is a leader who has demonstrated unrivaled commitment to the field and drive for advanced leadership in the out-of-school time and early learning field.
As a young man growing up in East Los Angeles, Christopher learned very early on the importance of education, as well as supportive, caring teachers, in students’ lives. From tutoring peers in elementary school to working in his church’s youth group and catechism classes, he developed the love of supporting others, and the understanding of the importance of open-minded, thoughtful support for young learners. In acquiring his B.A. in History from CSU East Bay, Christopher sought to become a high school History teacher. As he was finishing up his degree, he ended finding a different path to aiding youth in their education in school and life: after-school programming.
As a Reading/Math Tutor, Recreation Leader and Comic Book Leader at Laurel Elementary in Oakland, Christopher was charmed by the boundless exuberance, inherent curiousity, and thirst for knowledge of elementary students. He also learned of wonderful youth development skills and concepts, such as having a growth mindset and encouraging youth voice to help direct their learning. He also found that his creativity, dedication to growth, and gregarious nature proved vital assets in creating an intentional yet engaging activities for youth.
After 3 years with Learning For Life at Laurel, Christopher discovered Girls Inc. of Alameda County, which transformed his outlook on after school programming and what can be accomplished there. In 5+ years as a program leader and Site Coordinator, Christopher has utilized the ethos of supporting young women to be “strong, smart and bold” to develop programming that not only grows the literacy ability of our elementary students, but also supports youth to be empathetic, helpful, and compassionate community members. He strives to improve equity of voice and advocates for practices and curriculum that also aids our young men to be allies to young women and understanding of the obstacles they face.
Now a Fellow in Leadership Development Institute through CalSAC, he continues his journey to be an advocate for youth and socio-emotional learning while developing the passion and skills of tomorrow’s youth developers.