Discussion Question 2

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    • #29178 Reply
      Describe how the decision tree can help you make better integration decisions.
      • How does the decision tree align with integration practices at your YouthBuild? How does it challenge integration challenges at your program?
    • #29240 Reply

      the tree gives a guide to not only see where you are at but also gives you a standard to strive for.

      The tree makes you look at your program and find ways you should be integrating.

      • #29397 Reply

        I completely agree, Brandon.  It gives you goals to hit and makes you go back and say…hey..  we should do this so that ‘this’ can happen..

        • #29492 Reply
          Maria Cortez

          I agree, Brandon. This training has served to put things into perspective as far as how we are teaching our young folks the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be successful as they leave our program.

      • #29431 Reply
        Z. Stone

        I appreciate that most about these types of refresher courses…the ability to recalibrate against the standards you want for your program.

      • #29496 Reply
        Candace Copenhaver

        The tree gives guidance as to a starting point.

        We are in the early stages of integration, so it gives us a starting point and guidance to the easiest ways to begin the integration process.

        • #29497 Reply
          Candace Copenhaver


          Do you have any advice for someone who is brand new at integration?


        • #29500 Reply
          Amber Palmeri

          Totally agree here, Z. We move so fast and adapt so much, and it’s important for us to periodically pause and revisit our foundation, our standards. It’s also a good reminder that a lot of the framework for this work has likely already been established in our programs, we just need to review and be more intentional about how we put it all together.

        • #29516 Reply
          Virginia Hamilton

          I agree with Candace, this idea is new to me so any experienced professional advice from everyone who is working on the ground floor would be greatly appreciated! I wish I could see some examples from other YouthBuilds.

      • #29659 Reply
        Brandy Stewart

        The decision tree assists programs to better integrate by providing a simplified “checklist” approach to integration decisions.  It gives programs am excellent starting point when trying to be intentional with a deep integration in all YouthBuild components.

      • #29677 Reply
        Alexandra Blockton

        The Integration Decision Tree is a guide showing in depth knowledge of the integration process within a YouthBuild AmeriCorps program. It shows how a program could succeed within utilizing integration within their program and the multiple levels of why integration is important. As well as, implementing integration into your program.

    • #29396 Reply

      Being that we are rebuilding, the integration tree is perfect for us in that it gives us the blueprint that we need in order to start redesigning our program from the ground up.

      • #29430 Reply
        Z. Stone

        Rebuilding is always a perfect time to make sure the foundation is stronger than it was before. I think we all should be doing a bit of rebuilding as we return from the pandemic conditions.

        • #29498 Reply
          Candace Copenhaver


          I am in the same position, as in we have not integrated much. What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of integration?

          • #29679 Reply
            Alexandra Blockton

            Yes Z,

            I agree with rebuilding after the pandemic is over because there may tend to be many things that will not be the same within each YouthBuild program.

        • #29528 Reply

          Yes Cara. This model is a welcomed trajectory , that should allow us to thrive and grow. It also establishes a  thread of best practices, across regions, both domestic and international, that contributes to the core and sustainability of YouthBuild AmeriCorps National Service.  The opportunity to refresh is needed.

      • #29907 Reply
        Toni Jackson

        Well said.

    • #29429 Reply
      Z. Stone

      I think we can use this to just check up on our program integration & find more space for innovation. We are already pretty integrated in our in-person programming, but COVID has given us a new perspective to make the return even better.

    • #29491 Reply
      Maria Cortez

      <div>The decision tree aligns with integration practices at our program by serving as an assessment tool which can help guide our program in the right direction. The only challenge is that we have multiple sites across Los Angeles that are working on many different projects varying from conservation, recycling and construction so the focus on skills can differ.</div>

      • #29493 Reply
        Maria Cortez

        I agree! With the pandemic, many of our programs had to act quick, becoming even more resourceful than ever. It forced us to think outside the box about the way we serve our participants and how to keep them engaged during such difficult times.

        • #29501 Reply
          Amber Palmeri

          Yes! The pandemic really threw us for a loop. In 2019, when we were planning for 2020, we were planning for integration (without knowing the actual language for it), and then when 2020 started and the pandemic hit, we moved into survival mode and had to adjust our priorities. I’m looking forward to being able to revisit this again in planning for our upcoming 2021 crews.

          • #29521 Reply
            Miranda Valentine

            Amber, totally agree with you. We were 3-4 weeks in when Covid Closed us, and we moved to Remote Learning. It was all on hands deck just trying to make sure the participants had computer/I pad and even internet. So that was difficult trying to get those to the students.

      • #29678 Reply
        Alexandra Blockton

        I would have to say this entire COVID-19 pandemic is a huge process for me in my program because I initially began my position in the middle of COVID-19. Prior to COVID-19 I was not in my current position so it’s as if I can only provide my opinion of my program of how it is going now. I understand COVID-19 came through and changes were made, but I am hoping to see how it is once things get back to normal. As of now, I feel as if my program is good standards especially with the impact of COVID-19.

    • #29494 Reply
      Thomas J Bergeron


      • #29517 Reply
        Virginia Hamilton

        I completely agree Amber, right now I feel like we are in survival mode, trying to keep our members engaged and also recruit new members. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of making the curriculum impactful and integrated. This course gives me motivation that we will hopefully be able to work together as a staff more to make a better curriculum.

    • #29502 Reply
      Amber Palmeri

      The integration tree provides a visual to help keep us on track to meaningful integration. Following the tree can keep us from jumping ahead before we’re ready and can remind us where to place our focus for each level of integration.

      • #29519 Reply
        April Smart

        I agree Amber, the tree is a true guideline that can help our programs stay on the right path to the ultimate goal.

      • #29566 Reply
        Deanna Stewart

        I appreciate this visual aid so much! I agree that with this tree, it will help our program take the proper steps to integration!

    • #29515 Reply
      Virginia Hamilton

      Our program has different curriculums, but they are not connected at all. The decision tree helped me see that our program should focus more on integrating knowledge concepts instead of skills because it will be easier, as our program is just in the entry level stage.

      • #29520 Reply
        April Smart

        Good point Virginia! Knowledge would definitely be something easier to learn first before skills, which I have learned here during this training.

      • #29532 Reply
        Zanda Miller

        I feel the same about our program. We need to integrate more intentionally and all gain a better understanding on how our population learns and retains information in order to be self-sufficient.

      • #29941 Reply

        I get that. We try to do so much individualized program that I think as things become more individualized, they narrow down and begin to lose depth.

    • #29518 Reply
      April Smart

      The tree gives you a more in depth look at what steps you should take and what is more of a standard to what the overall standard is. The tree makes you look at your program and find different ways that we as a program can add more to it. 

    • #29526 Reply
      Zanda Miller

      The integration tree is a model for us to use to assist with identifying/developing our Primary and Secondary goals and forces us to have a concrete plan.

    • #29527 Reply

      The decision tree provides a foundational flow of best practices for integration, through the provision of an accessible model, that is provided to YouthBuild AmeriCorps, in all regions. It ensures that Integration is threaded, or has the opportunity to be modeled throughout.  Ideally, members staff, leadership, partners and the community-at- large, will in some way benefit from this form of strategic planning.


      1.)  Cohesion in honoring  established models such as  the Integration Tree.

      2.) The willingness to acknowledge that in lieu of “professional license” and  “service delivery”, practices such as the Integration Tree are in place to ensure best practices and service delivery.

      • #29565 Reply
        Deanna Stewart

        Yes! Your point about honoring models such as the integration tree is very important. There’s a “method to the madness” and honoring what the model calls for will offer a more successful turn out for integration.

      • #29569 Reply
        Ella Varney

        Completely agree! I really appreciate how you framed the work of integration as strategic planning — I think we are often so focused on doing the work that we dont take the time to step back and reflect on where we want to go and if we are still the right track towards our goals. The integration tree allows for a level of intentionality and reflection every step of the way.

    • #29558 Reply
      Matt Fisher

      As Brandon has eleqountly said at the beginning – “the tree gives a guide to not only see where you are at but also gives you a standard to strive for.  The tree makes you look at your program and find ways you should be integrating.”

      I agree with this 100%.  I also appreciate the conversations in this thread and reading how the integratio0n decision tree applies to everyone’s own programming.  Thank you all for being honest, accessing where your program is at, recongnizing the need to do better and striving to do just that.

      A consistent question that popped up in the discussion thread above was where do we start if we are at the enrty poing of integration?     Which I think is a great question that I hope the experts will respond too.

      From where I sit, I would think that the first basic step is making sure there is staff buy-in among all staff and that there is a collective understanding that integration is necessary to establish a more coehisive and richer program experience for members.  So if staff buy-in is necessary, how do you get that buy-in?  Do teams meet regularly (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) to discuss what learning objectvies are being taught at the program that week across program components? Do team members discuss themes that could be taught across components?   Do staff team’s implement secondary learning objectives for a specific period of time and then debrief how it went to stregthen their strategies for the future?



    • #29564 Reply
      Deanna Stewart

      The decision tree is very helpful when trying to navigate integration. I am a visual learner. So, having this roadmap to reference when reflecting on my program is useful. We have not yet incorporated integration in our overarching curriculum; therefore, the decision tree gives me a solid idea of where we can start. I believe this decision tree challenges our downfalls with integration because it is making sure we take the proper steps to integration for the program as a whole. I believe if we were more united on our standards, we would have a better journey to integration.

      • #29940 Reply

        Well said Deanna!

    • #29606 Reply
      Latonya McGee

      I agree with Deanna!

    • #29906 Reply
      Toni Jackson

      integration tree helps to see where you are and to see where you need to go

    • #29939 Reply

      The tree serves as a reminder of priorities. Or in a way gives us a chance to reset. Sometimes the year starts moving so fast that we just don’t hit all the marks.

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