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For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop
School of Social Work

Youth Work Learning Lab

The Youth Work Learning Lab co-creates learning and research strategies that advance new models for practice and organizational changes that untangle complex and critical issues in youth work.

Current issues being explored: Improving Program Quality, Alternative Models of Evaluation for Youth Programs, Youth Work in Community – Foundational Series, and a variety of Critical Youth Work Practices.

undergraduate students in class


Deborah Moore, Youth Work Lab director

Ross VeLure Roholt, associate professor, director of the Youth Development Leadership program

We Can Bring Our Classes to You

We are available to teach any of our topics at your site through contracted services. For information, email Deborah Moore at

New Series!
Youth Work in Community

The Youth Work Learning Lab is launching a new core training series called "Youth Work in Community." The series is designed for youth workers and other related practitioners who want to explore the knowledge, theory and practices that set youth work in community apart from other disciplines. See this page for details.

Currrent Classes

How Youth Work and Improv Play Together

Friday April 13, 2018
9 a.m.–noon
University of Minnesota St. Paul campus

Class Fee: $50

Facilitator: Abigail (Abs) McLaren, Youth Worker, U of MN YDL Master Alumni and Improv Actor

Class Description:
Every youth worker has experienced a day with a group of young people that is not working. Part of challenge is to find ways to adapt and be flexible in the moment and at the same time inspire young people to find meaning in the work we hope to do each day. The work of theater and improv has a set of practices that are highly effective in creating space that is open, creative and adaptive. Work with others to explore some of the practices that can translate easily into your daily work with young people. Don't worry - we will not hold an open mic session at the end of class.

What You Will Walk Away With: