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A youth development training community

The Toolbox at MFYC



About The Toolbox

The Toolbox is a comprehensive approach to professional development for youth-serving organizations and responds to a growing need for high quality, unique and diverse youth development workshops. We bring together content experts and best practices in positive youth development to offer a yearly calendar of training opportunities. This training community is not designed to replace current efforts, but rather to streamline local and in-house efforts where overlap exists, and provide logistical support to organizations that desire to deepen impact. 

When youth development professionals build relationships with youth, they are thoughtful, creative, and use every “tool” available to meet young people’s needs. When staff enhance their skills, they ultimately provide an environment in which youth can thrive.

About our trainings

Trainings bring together practitioners from across the region, providing opportunity to build community through shared learning.

Open to all, our trainings are designed to teach youth development professionals how to work with children and youth, build program management skills and develop social and emotional learning skills.

Who should attend trainings?

  • Supervisors, directors and coordinators of programs working with children and youth

  • Board members looking to better understand quality youth programming

  • Anyone who wants to grow and develop their ability to work effectively with children and youth

On-site trainings available

On-site trainings can be offered at your organization and can be a cost-effective way to ensure all program staff learn the same knowledge base about critical issues and best practices. Organizations with multiple locations find this approach particularly helpful for improving consistent quality across sites. If interested in on-site trainings, please email

Request for Proposals

The Toolbox at MFYC is seeking training proposals from those in the youth development field or who have expertise that would impact it. For more information and to apply, please fill out our online Request for Proposals.

Upcoming Trainings

From family engagement to curriculum development, browse our training topics and register.

Training Calendar

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) provides the foundation for successfully working with young people. 

Learn More

Suggest a Training Topic

We welcome input on what trainings and topics you'd like to see offered.

Submit an idea

Stay up-to-date

Join our e-mail list to learn about upcoming trainings.

Sign up

Youth professionals training

Registration and Costs

A wide variety of professional development opportunities are available and designed to meet the needs of each organization. Some are free and open to all, while others have an associated fee.

The Toolbox is committed to working with all adult learners, supporting a variety of accommodations.

Visit our training calendar.

View our registration policies and procedures.

Youth development professionals

Youth Development Network

The RVA Youth Development Network (YDN) brings together people who are working in out-of-school time, youth development and education fields for networking, relationship building and shared learning. The network is collaborative and led by the Mary and Frances Youth Center.

Meetings are held four times a year on the first Wednesday of the month in March, June, September and December from 9 to 11 a.m.

For more information, e-mail


Community Conversations

These are informal opportunities for youth development professionals to get together with one another over the lunch hour. Feel free to bring your own lunch, as well as items to discuss with others or just come and enjoy the company. 

Conversations will take place from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. quarterly, on the second Wednesday of the month in Feburary, May, August, and November. They will take place at different locations around Richmond in order to introduce meaningful organizations, places and resources that may be able to support youth programs. 

Why utilize the Toolbox?

It is critical for OST professionals to be equipped to meet the ever-changing needs of youth and their families. They help to ensure the physical safety of a child while supporting their short- and long-term social and emotional needs.

Shanelle Ebanks 
Greater Richmond Alliance for Out-of-School Time (GRAOST)


Answering a Community Need

In recent years, OST programs turned their attention toward promoting quality and ensuring youth development professionals receive appropriate training. The Mary and Frances Youth Center answered the need for logistical and financial support by coordinating a more unified approach to professional development. Altria has generously supported the capacity building of The Toolbox to ensure all OST programs have access to high-quality professional development opportunities.

Learn more about the development of The Toolbox.