Alumni Training held at the UO

In preparation for the Serbu book club project, five Inside-Out alumni at the University of Oregon participated in a mini facilitation training hosted by Melissa Crabbe, Inside-Out Assistant National Director.

Over the course of two meetings, we learned basics of group fascilitation and discussed many of the techniques, questions, and potential problems that arise when conducting Inside-Out-style programs. We brainstormed issues that might arise through working with youth instead of adults on the inside, and worked together to troubleshoot our classroom practices. Melissa led us in a discussion about diversity and the difficult conversations that could arise.

In addition to the practical and much-needed information we gained from our six-hour training, we also had a chance to bond as a group of leaders. Inside-Out has an incredible model of self-leadership for trainings, so that we spend most of the training session imagining potential questions or issues, and then brainstorming solutions. Melissa was the facilitator of our collective learning process, which also provided a model for our own class meetings.

As our group grows over the coming year, we hope to hold future trainings for the outside alumni to be trained in leadershp techniques and program ideology and practices. We also hope that someday in the future these trainings might be led by alumni themselves, and that the students in the trainings might eventually include the incarcerated youth who participate in our book club.

All future plans and dreams aside, we entered our first class as leaders with some practical and exciting new skills and group unity. We are so lucky that Melissa is willing and available to help us! I look forward to sharing stories of future training programs in the future.