What is Youth Development at Douglas ESD?

The Youth Development Team works with local school districts, youth-serving organizations and agencies to create partnerships that integrate and connect youth to available community supports to help them in achieving their goals.

Douglas ESD develops programs, partnerships, and resources that provide youth the supports they need to develop an individualized plan for success in life. Working with youth ages 12 to 24, Youth Development helps youth with learning and life through a holistic system of supports.

The Youth Development program is supported with funding from Youth Development Oregon, Oregon Department of Education, Umpqua Health Alliance, and private foundations.

Youth are our future! 

Youth Development services for 2024-25

Youth Development Professional Development

Douglas ESD hosts monthly professional development activities specifically for youth-workers in Douglas County. This includes both in-school and out-of-school professionals that work with youth in any capacity outside (but connected to) academic learning. Working in partnership with OregonASK, the 2024-25 YD/PD will focus on the core components of the field of youth development, strengthen the network of youth development workers and organizations in Douglas County, and increase the quality of supports and program services offered to help youth explore and gain the skills they need to succeed in learning and life. Scheduled YD/PD can be found on the Douglas ESD Professional Learning registration page.

Youth Development Mentors

Youth succeed in life if they have at least one meaningful relationship with a caring adult. Douglas ESD Youth Mentors guide youth to plan meaningful futures and access the tools and supports they need to get there. Refer a youth via a secure online referral form to get individualized support from a mentor. Any educator, administrator, youth-worker, parent, or even the youth themselves can submit a referral. The referred youth will be contacted by an experienced and caring Youth Mentor.

Josh Sullivan, Lead Youth Mentor  josh.sullivan@douglasesd.k12.or.us 

Marcia Webber, Youth Mentor  marcia.webber@douglasesd.k12.or.us

TBD, Middle School Youth Mentor [to be hired this fall]

Transition Network

Douglas ESD partners with the Oregon Department of Education to improve post-educational outcomes for youth with disabilities by providing employment opportunities that benefit individuals, communities and the economy. Transition Network staff works to train and support educators and students throughout Douglas, Coos, and Curry counties.

Les Rogers, Transition Network Facilitator


School-to-Career/Career-Connected Learning

Community leaders, educators and families are realizing now more than ever that there is no one-size-fits-all option for students graduating from high school.

Douglas ESD coordinates the Douglas County Perkins Consortium and offers programs that complement the Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes offered in Douglas County high schools. Programs include a work-based learning specialist to help any Douglas County student connect to a hands-on work experience and Educational Combines to provide students with an intensive experiential learning opportunity focused on future career options. 

Douglas ESD coordinates YouScience for Douglas County districts–a one-stop digital platform that helps students identify interests and develop the experiences and resources needed to succeed after graduation. The platform also helps track CTE data for schools and connect local employers with students interested in job experiences. This resource is currently free to Douglas County districts and students.

Tracy Spelgatti, Regional CTE Coordinator  tracy.spelgatti@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Melody Rogers, Career Connected Learning Facilitator melody.rogers@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Beth Hunter, Work Based Learning Specialist elizabeth.hunter@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Lydia Knight, School to Career Specialist (RHS/Yoncalla) lydia.knight@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Douglas County ESD Youth Groups: Connecting our Youth

Douglas County Students’ of Color Student Union

The Douglas ESD convenes a countywide group for BIPOC students to create peer  connections in fun and safe spaces. Students engage in activities that share theirexperiences and celebrate their cultures.

Kenny Wong, Equity Coach  kenneth.wong@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Douglas County LGBTQIA+ Student Alliance

The Douglas ESD convenes a countywide group for LGBTQIA+ students and allies to create peer connections in fun and safe spaces. Students engage in activities that share their experiences and provide peer support. 

Kristen Yohn, Equity Coach kristen.yohn@douglasesd.k12.or.us

Jeneen Hartley

Director of Education Services & Youth Development