On the Road Collaborative Program Director Angela Mickens honored as National Afterschool Associations Next Gen Leader 2024

This month, the National Afterschool Association announced its slate of Next Gen Leaders for 2024. The organization, dubbed “the voice of the afterschool profession and leading organization for the advancement of afterschool professionals and leaders”, selected 21 individuals from across the nation who are contributing meaningfully to serving the 7.8 million young people who participate in afterschool programming.
The On the Road team was delighted that Waynesboro Program Director, Angela Mickens, was selected as a part of this extraordinary cohort.
Angela Mickens
Angela, who began her journey with On the Road in 2022 and was an integral part of launching On the Road programming in Waynesboro, was overwhelmed by the honor.
“Working with youth involves a lot of delayed gratification, waiting years to see the results of our work, so it’s nice to have a moment that brings some affirmation in the here and now.”
As a Staunton native, Ms. Mickens shared that she loves the opportunity to give back to the youth of the Shenandoah Valley, where she has spent so many formative years. After playing basketball at JMU, Angela began her career in youth development in Florida, and initially never imagined herself coming back to the area.
Angela working
Angela helped to develop the On the Road programming at Kate Collins Middle School, and spent a lot of time working directly with youth that year. Waynesboro School Board Chair Debra Freeman recently commented that Angela helped build the program with “her hands and her heart”. When reflecting on her transition to a more administrative and broader leadership role, Angela remarked that it has brought out a new side of her.
“At first, it was challenging not being with the youth as much on a day to day basis but I see a great opportunity in my current role to develop and empower our staff: the youth leaders and site coordinators.”
Angela, as well as the other 20 honorees will be profiled in the upcoming Spring 2024 Issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine, invited to attend the NAA Convention in Dallas this March.
“I’m very excited to travel to Dallas and learn more about how to grow in my leadership, develop my staff and help On the Road increase its capacity. I’d love to find a mentor – someone who is just as passionate and excited about serving youth in afterschool, someone who has been in the game for a long time and held a lot of different roles in an organization like ours.”
Angela Mickens selfie with students
We are so proud of Angela and grateful for her fierce dedication to the youth in the community. She is the 2nd On the Road Collaborative employee to receive the honor, after Emani Morse, now co-CEO, was recognized in 2020.
The National Afterschool Association is the professional membership association for people who work with and for youth during Out-of-School time. NAA fosters positive youth outcomes by supporting, developing, and advocating for afterschool professionals and leaders. The Association is the leading network of OST professionals.