Erin Brennan wins the 2017 After School Champion Award from the PSAYDN Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network.
Erin’s hard work and creative approach has been recognized statewide. Please see the profile below.
The Rankin Christian Center (RCC) Youth Program serves over 100 youth annually through its After School, Youth of the Nation, and Summer Camp programs in the underserved areas of Rankin, Swissvale, and Braddock.
Lancaster native, Erin Brennan came to RCC in 2014 serving the youth as an AmeriCorps Member, while attending University of Pittsburgh Library Information Science graduate program. During that time she began her Love Your Library ongoing service project, using online crowd sourcing to begin to revitalize the library at RCC into an updated usable space for the youth. Realizing her potential and upon completing her commitment to AmeriCorps, Erin was hired as Youth Program Director in 2015. During her 1st year of employment with RCC she was selected Employee of the Year.
Erin continued the process of increasing quality, leading the program through the APOST Quality Self Assessment process to be accepted as a Quality Campaign member in February 2016. Therefore committing to contribute to the healthy, successful development of young people. The Statement of Quality requires the following elements: Structure and Management, Positive Connections, Safety and Health, and Activities. The RCC APOST Action Plan includes increasing staff professional development including CPR class, increasing parent engagement with meetings, parent packets and using the Remind App to communicate with parents.
Erin has worked to build a current list of 28 and growing, meaningful Community Partners who provide quality components and opportunities to the youth in the areas of STEAM, literacy health & wellness, physical activity as well as social and emotional aspects. A partial list include: KEYS AmeriCorps, APOST, Tickets for Kids, Toys for Tots, FitUnited, Healthy Out of School Time (HOST), Mentoring Partnerships, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Center for Victims, Black Women for Positive Change and Good Will YouthWorks.
Erin has an engergetic and youthful character with a heart to serve others, as she has completed many service projects (over 1500 hours) with RCC youth, and many more in her personal life. She has awesome personal interests which enhance her professional interaction and promote the ideals of mindfulness and understanding, such as singing, playing piano and ukulele, painting, crochet, writing, reading, kickboxing and yoga.
The motto of this program, “you are the best, and we expect the best”, is born from Erin and is used to encourage children and youth to act as leaders within their communities.