Students’ desks adhere to social distancing requirements in a classroom. Jeenah Moon/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

The Afterschool Alliance said Trinity Ansley, an 11th-grade student at the San Diego Urban League Project Ready afterschool program and at Health Sciences High Middle and College, is serving in its 2023 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors.

Ansley is one of seven students from across the nation selected for the honor. She was chosen based on her video submission in a competition held last year.  

The seven Youth Ambassadors promote the value and impact of after-schoolroom programs by sharing their experiences in these programs and their views about the after-schoolroom programs play in their communities. The Youth Ambassadors will participate in the annual Afterschool Alliance Youth Voice Week as well as connect with members of Congress and their aides as part of the annual Afterschool for All Challenge later this year. They also write for the Afterschool Snack, the Afterschool Alliance blog, about the importance of afterschool programs.  

“We are thrilled that Trinity is in the 2023 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “She has a powerful story to tell about the impact afterschool programs have had in her life, and we are proud to give her a platform to share her experiences and advocate for afterschool. Afterschool programs keep students safe, inspire them to learn, provide peace of mind to working parents, and also help children re-engage and recover during this difficult time. But sadly, too many young people don’t have a program available to them. Trinity will do a terrific job showing us all why we need to expand afterschool programs to reach more of her peers.” 

“I am ready and eager to be a Youth Afterschool Ambassador,” Ansley said. “I am so grateful for the opportunities that the San Diego Urban League, Project Ready afterschool program has provided me, including volunteering in the community and providing opportunities to explore different career options. I especially appreciate that the program provides students with many tools for preparing for college. I am currently serving as Chair of the Youth Council. I would like to help other students feel like they belong and have a community that supports them in achieving their goals as the program has done for me. Afterschool programs provide support and guidance that has a lasting impact on students like me and many others. I am excited to raise awareness of the importance of afterschool as a Youth Afterschool Ambassador.” 

This class’s seven Youth Afterschool Ambassadors come from Alabama, Delaware, California, Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Washington. They are: 

  • Trinity Ansley, from San Diego, California’s Urban League Project Ready, age 17  
  • Jamora Arroyo-Jefferson, from Miami, Florida’s Breakthrough Miami, PAMM Teen Arts Council, Miami Waterkeeper Junior Ambassador Program, and The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade Youth Advisory Committee, age 17  
  • Spencer Harrison, from Pryor, Oklahoma’s Tiger Pride Clubs, age 13  
  • Madelyn Hinkleman, from Summit, South Dakota’s South Dakota Afterschool Network, age 16  
  • Katelyn Miller, from Birmingham, Alabama’s Create 205 Lab, age 17  
  • Avery Reisinger, from Puyallup, Washington’s Kids Rank Afterschool Club, Summer Club, and Youth Advisory Board, age 16  
  • Nekayla Stokes, from New Castle, Delaware’s Black Student Union, Delaware Afterschool Network, and United Way of Delaware, age 16 

Some 24.7 million U.S. children not in an afterschool program would be enrolled, if a program were available to them, according to a survey of 1,500 parents commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance and conducted by Edge Research in May and June of 2022. That is the highest number ever recorded. Unmet demand for afterschool programs is significantly higher among Latino and Black children (at 60% and 54% respectively) than among children (49%). Cost is the top barrier to enrolling, cited by 57% of parents as a reason for not enrolling their child.