Minnesota Walkabout Fellowship

Walkabout fellows

This submission was contributed by Extension Center for Youth Development and is reprinted with permission. For this and more information on the Walkabout Fellowship visit MN Walkabout Fellowship

(Clockwise from lower left: Shaun Kelley Walsh, Lindsay Walz, Kari Denissen Cunnien, Deena McKinney, Jenny Wright Collins, Shaina Abraham, Cheryl Meld, Angel Peluso, Emily Schloesser.)

The 2011-12 Minnesota Walkabout fellowship was a year-long effort to bring experienced youth workers together to generate more wisdom, language and leadership around youth worker preparation and practice in Minnesota. At both the state and national levels, a growing collection of standards, competencies, credentials and career pathways are being established to guide and standardize youth work preparation and practice. There are potential benefits, drawbacks and concerns to these systems. Read more about the Walkabout fellowship in our Youth Development Insight blog.

Initially presented with three questions, the fellows settled on two important issues for focus:

  • What would happen to youth work in Minnesota if we adopted a broadly shared understanding of youth work values, principles and ethics?
  • What would it look like if Minnesota had a creative system of expectations and accountability for youth workers?

The nine working papers produced by the fellows are organized around three themes—values, accountability and networks. They represent a truly Minnesotan view of these issues, grounded in practitioner wisdom.

Download the entire collection:

Moving Youth Work Forward: Reflections on Youth-Centered Practice in Minnesota (1.3 MB PDF)

Download individual papers:




The Walkabout fellowship was co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. The effort was led by Extension Center for Youth Development faculty Joyce Walker, Cece Gran and Kate Walker, Carol Thomas and Sheila Oehrlein of the department of education, and youth development consultant Janet Madzey Akale.