Engaging Youth, Families, and Community Partners Virtually

Wednesday, January 27th

10:45 - 11:45 AM EST

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About This Session

This session will allow attendees a chance to hear directly from various educators currently in the field that have maintained and continued building youth, family, and community connections while existing in a virtual space. Learn from their strategies and challenges of setting up virtual spaces, encouraging participation, and continuing community engagement.


This session aligns with the Core Knowledge and Competency content area Family, School, and Community Relations.

Presenter Information

DeJanae Douglas


Wayne State University - C2 Pipeline

DeJanae Douglas is a proud product of Detroit Public Schools (K-12). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Michigan State University and a Master of Educational Leadership from Wayne State University. DeJanae is certified through the State of Michigan Board of Education as an Administrator for grades K -12. She is also certified through the American Red Cross as a CPR-First Aid-AED instructor. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Wayne State University. DeJanae has eight years of experience working in education, youth development, and community outreach. She works for Wayne State University’s C2 Pipeline and is going into her sixth year as a Site Coordinator. She has a plethora of experience educating youth, facilitating workshops, and trainings, that both engage and motivate the audience to grow personally and professionally.

William Springer

Lead World Language Instructor

Michigan Virtual

William is passionate about engaging students and equipping teachers, both of which he regularly practices in his lead World Language instructor role. He was named Michigan Online Teacher of the Year in 2016. William has enjoyed learning and teaching in many varied settings, including touring with a French-Canadian musical ensemble, living with a French family, graduating from Central Michigan University, and video teaching students across the U.S. Enjoying faith, family and playing music is where you’ll find him when not teaching online.

Abigail VanBuhler is a site coordinator with EMU Bright Futures 21st CCLC in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She is passionate about bringing content and experiences to youth that affirm their identities while promoting her pedagogy that only through feeling connected and valued can youth learn. She has served kindergarten-first grade youth in this role at Ford Early Learning Center. In 2020 she was nominated by her local PBS station, Detroit Public TV, to be a member of the national PBS Digital Innovator All Star program. She worked with a team to produce Molly of Denali educational content for educators to utilize alongside the content found within the second PBS teacher planning kit. She is currently pursuing her masters in reading from Eastern Michigan University.

Abigail VanBuhler

Site Coordinator

EMU Bright Futures 21st CCLC

Tiffany Young 

Education Consultant- 21st CCLC

Michigan Department of Education

Tiffany Young is an Education Consultant for the Michigan Department of Education who supports and monitors Michigan's 21st CCLC sub-grantees across the state. Tiffany has worked in the field of afterschool and public education for the past 14 years in both Michigan and Tennessee. She started her professional career teaching 3rd grade in a highly rich English as a second language environment in Nashville, TN. She received her Master of Education in the Spring of 2013 from Middle Tennessee State University. Tiffany returned home to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2014 continuing her passion for out-of-school time and family connections by working for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids LOOP programs.

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