For Rick Alleva, one of the most important components of youth development is having a caring adult with whom youth can relate.
Alleva was that person for so many.
Alleva began work at UNH Extension in 2002 as a community youth development educator. He has spent time working with children and youth of all ages, especially those experiencing significant personal and social challenges, and providing training and supports for those adults who care for them. He has been involved with positive youth development, social-emotional-mindful learning, bullying prevention/empathy promotion and other youth mental health and emotional wellness issues.
Much of Alleva’s work has focused on building partnerships with local community programs, most notably with Seacoast Youth Services, Raymond Coalition for Youth, Somersworth Youth Connection and Austin17House. He helped expand programs in partnership with the New Hampshire 4-H program and other statewide efforts, such as ACROSS N.H., in serving the out-of-school program community, and the N.H. Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in addressing one of the greatest crises of our time.
Alleva’s advice, upon retirement, is, “Get and remain connected with others who deeply care about personal growth and social change and then nurture and share those connections with others...Pay it forward, if you will!”
UNH Extension Youth and Family Program Team Leader Michael Young said, “With Rick’s retirement, the team loses one of its most experienced and caring specialists. Rick brought so much not only to the community members and partners he worked so closely with, but also to his teammates here at UNH Extension. He was professional, but not unnecessarily formal, and he was an expert in his area of work. One thing about him we will miss for sure was that he was a critical justice-minded thinker who pushed us to be the best educators and the best people we could be. He always pushed, though, in a caring and mindful way.”