Nestled in northwest Idaho, Coeur d’Alene hosts the annual Young Adult Transition Association (YATA) conference. This year, Executive Director, Ty Maves, and Program Director, Nate Hoff attended the conference from October 18 – 21. Every year, young adult programs travel to Coeur d’Alene to share ideas and build connections. This year’s theme for Ty and Nate was definitely about connections.
YATA’s mission is: YATA promotes young adult residential transitional schools and programs that support issues and practices of common interests and enhance the quality of care for young adults and their families. While attending this year’s YATA conference, Ty and Nate participated in breakout sessions that encouraged learning and collaborate discussion to further the young adult field. The YATA conference tends to have fewer attendees than other conferences which provides for a more close knit experience. This allows for and aligns with YATA’s vision and values: YATA provides a forum for collaboration on issues of mutual concern, including young adult issues, operational issues, education, advocacy and other aspects related to providing young adult transitional services.
There were many highlights of the conference; taking in the beautiful scenery, attending workshops, participating in meaningful discussions, and continuing to build and foster connections with friends and other programs. However, one of the biggest highlights was re-connecting with True North Young Adult alumni, Ben. Ben was a student at True North in 2016 and upon graduating moved to the Pacific Northwest. Nate was excited and surprised to see Ben as a deckhand on the Coeur d’Alene, a cruise boat which hosted the conference’s closing activities while on a lake cruise of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Ben has been working on Lake Coeur d’Alene cruises since June and was an incredible tour guide and host for all of the conference attendees on the cruise. He even gave Nate a behind the scenes tour of the wheelhouse while he drove the boat around the lake! It was great to re-connect with Ben and hear about his plans to attend a local college, work towards his captain’s license and become a certified EMT.
Ty and Nate want to give a warm thank you to YATA and all of the attendees for making for a great trip! We hope to see you again next year!