Prevailing narrative in the afterschool literature is premised on the idea that becoming a profession is required to build and sustain the field. Little reflects the concerns of practitioners that current strategies to professionalize do not reflect the complex and diverse nature of the work. This article uses critical theory to explore the imbalance of power in current discussions. The author argues that there are both benefits and drawbacks to current strategies, but unless practitioners and youth lead the design and decisionmaking, efforts to professionalize will not fully advance the field. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.