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Author Archives: Samuel Chamberlain

March Staff Highlight: Andrew

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How long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?

I’ve been a Youth Support Partner with the Bangor region since November 1st.

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?

Each time I meet with a youth I leave wondering what high school or the first few years of college would have been like for me had I been involved in a program like Youth Move Maine. It would have been fantastic to have an unbiased individual in my life whom I could sit down with and discuss everything going on in my life. Each day I look at what the Youth Support Partners are doing and am inspired by not only them, but the amazing youth that we get to work with. The ability of my coworkers and our youth to overcome the obstacles they face in their own lives is incredible. Being able to be a part of a team that helps to empower others to achieve their own goals using their own skills and desire to achieve is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.

The MOVE in Youth MOVE Maine stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?

At some point or another everyone experiences a crisis of some sort, and we all learn a unique set of skills and coping mechanisms from that. All of us at YMM have had an experience, or experiences, such as this. To me, MOVE is simply sharing these experiences with those who are struggling with their own crisis, and then sharing the outcome. We describe our moving towards strategies while acting as living proof that there is no such thing as a hopeless situation, and subsequently providing support for others as they become motivated to face their own crisis.

When you think back through your time at Youth MOVE Maine what is a fond memory you have?

One of my fondest memories from the short time I’ve been here is my first day of training at our old office in Brewer. The immediate sense of comfort I felt among the rest of the staff here, and how welcome I was, felt like proof that this was somewhere I belonged.

If you could do anything to change the world, what would you do?

I hope to one day have a hand in changing the perception of mental health issues. So many young people in Maine, the United States, and the world silently struggle with mental health issues of some sort due to lack of awareness, fear of the stigma, and inadequate availability of services and treatment.

Spring is almost here, what are you excited to do this spring?

I’m looking forward to being able to spend the day outside relaxing and playing lawn games without having to wear a million layers.

March Youth Highlight: Kevin

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Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi I’m Kevin, I’m 20 and I work with the Bangor office of YMM. I’m a huge fan of the Jurassic Park series, dragons, and anime. I hope to be able to attend college to study computer tech and design.

What do you see as one major issue facing youth today? How can providers and other youth help to fix it?

Bullying is definitely a huge issue faced by a lot of youth, both in school and out.  Providers can act as support systems for bullied youth, while other youth could help end bullying by standing up/speaking up for those being bullied.

What inspires you to be the best that you can be?

Knowing that I have someone I can count on.

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time? How did figure out that you liked this activity?

Playing video games and reading. I can’t remember how I came to like these activities.

What does your involvement in Youth MOVE Maine mean to you?

It means that I have a safe place.

What’s your favorite part of winter in Maine?

When it’s over…

We’re now accepting YSP referrals from all providers!

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

Have you heard the good news? Youth MOVE Maine is now accepting referrals to our Youth Support Partner (YSP) program from all providers across the state! We are so very excited to announce that with the support of a new grant, we are now able to offer YSP services to youth across the state! We are now able to accept referrals from any provider – teachers, counselors, Police Officers, Behavioral Health Professionals, anyone who knows a youth and knows the youth might be interested in 1:1 peer mentoring.

As you may have read, Youth Support Partners are young adults who have been resilient through their own challenging life experiences. Youth Support Partners are trained to develop strong relationships with youth who experience challenges with the law, school, homelessness, mental health or substance abuse. Youth Support Partners use strong healthy relationships as a pathway towards goal attainment and promote positive youth development. Youth Support Partners work with youth anywhere from 3 to 6 months. The YSP Program focuses on building an authentic connection with a young person.

Youth who are interested in the Youth Support Partner program must meet the following criteria: must be between the ages of 14-26; must have mental health diagnosis of SED (Serious Emotional Disturbance) or SMI (Serious Mental Illness); and are uninsured or their insurance does not cover youth peer support services.

We are very excited about these new and exciting steps we are taking to further the Youth Support Partner program in Maine. We are very excited that we are able to provide 1:1 peer support to youth across Maine!

Are you interested in making a referral to the Youth MOVE Maine Youth Support Partner program? You may click here to start.

February Youth Highlight: Molly

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

Tell us a little about yourself…
When I think about Youth MOVE Maine, I think about how wonderful it is to live in an area with such an organization that really values and empowers youth voices and experiences.

What is one major issue that is facing youth today? How can other youth and providers help fix this issue?
One issue that youths all over the country face is affordable higher education.

What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?
I’m inspired to be the best that I can be by my mother and friends. They show me how valuable it is to be unique, hard-working, and kind.

What is a fun activity that you participate in during your free time? What do you like about this activity?
 In my spare time, I read! It’s a great way to relax and unwind after a long day, and it always leaves me thinking. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing, too!

Who are you rooting for in the Superbowl?
I’ll be rooting for the patriots this Super Bowl Sunday. Go New England!

(This post may have been edited for length or clarity.)

February Staff Highlight: Vector

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

How long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?

I currently work at a Youth Support Partner in our  Portland office. I have been working with Youth MOVE Maine for almost 2 years.

 

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?

Just being available for youth to talk to and help navigate through life.

 

The MOVE in Youth MOVE Maine stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?

Means that we use what we have experienced throughout our lives both good and bad when talking with youth about their experiences.

 

When you think back through your time at Youth MOVE Maine what is a fond memory you have?

Just making connections with youth that will last a lifetime.

 

If you could do anything to change the world, what would you do?

I don’t want to change the world but wouldn’t mind being friends the one who does.

 

Do you have a goal for 2017 you would like to reach?

Be happy and healthy, maybe win a jiu jitsu tournament.

 

(This post may have been edited for length or clarity.)

Hey Bangor – we’re on the move!

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

We’ve got some exciting New Year’s news! Our Northern Maine Regional Office is on the move! We’re headed across the bridge into Bangor! This new space gives our Northern Maine office some amazing new amenities that we didn’t always have access to.

  • Almost tripled our square footage!
  • Plenty of bright windows for lots of natural lighting!
  • A small break room for snack storage!
  • A super fun game, TV, hang-out space!
  • We’re right on the bus route!
  • We’re within walking distance of downtown and Pickering Square!
  • Separate rooms for various activities to occur at the same time!

Coming soon in our new space:

  • Expanded drop-in times!
  • A great new space to hold meetings or youth-focused events!

We will be having an open house very soon for you to come in and check out the space! In the meantime, you’re always welcome at our Drop-Ins every Thursday from 2:30 – 4pm!

Do you have questions, comments, or would love a tour of our new space? Please feel free to reach out to Sayre Savage at 207-754-1498 or ssavage@youthmovemaine.org or you may check out all of the amazing staff in our Bangor office here.

January Staff Highlight: Adam

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

How long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?

Since February [2016] I have been involved with Youth MOVE Maine, and am part of a team of Youth Support Partners (or YSPs) – our role is similar to that of a peer mentor.

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?

YMM is a very unique program, and the only program that I am aware of, of it’s kind. The work that our team does is inspiring, in that all of us here believe in hope, and believe in second chances, and in acceptance and equality.

The MOVE in Youth MOVE Maine stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?

There may be only one best way to learn something – by direct experience. The next best way to learn might be through those who can offer insight on relatable experience.

When you think back through your time at Youth MOVE Maine what is a fond memory you have?

A good memory is created every time a young person who was initially uncomfortable with expressing, finally feels safe or ready to open up and share their thoughts, ideas, feelings & emotions. When you see someone smile [or get excited] who you have never seen smile before, and who seemingly may not have smiled or been happy for some time.

If you could do anything to change the world, what would you do?

A way that I would like to see the world improve: for people to attempt to adopt a more open-minded, non-judgemental approach to the way they interact and communicate with one another. One way this could be achieved is by more often practicing values like tolerance, understanding & patience, and also to acknowledge the importance of compromise.

What is your New Year’s resolution this year?

For the new year, I hope to stay faithful to appreciating what I have, as opposed to what I do not have; being grateful, and remaining aware of people’s different perspectives and continuing to appreciate their individual situations.

(This post may have been edited for length or clarity.)

January Youth Highlight: Megan

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Tell us a little about yourself…

Hello, I’m Megan Fowler. I’m 21 years old.  I was born with a disability called cerebral palsy.  I got bullied alot so I decided to educate people about what CP is. Becoming a motivational speaker was so amazing for me, I had people laughing with my humor and crying because they could relate. Other than my speaking I love to be outside camping and fishing, riding ATVs and good having a good time with good people and of course I love music and my family.

When you think about Youth MOVE Maine, what is something that you really value or like about Youth MOVE Maine?

It’s given me hope for a greater change. There are so many ideas to help our community but no one has the support like youth move has.  You can go and be really heard and make the changes you want to see. I also really value the people,  they are very open and honest.  Very if you are having a bad day they make you feel cared about.

What is one major issue that is facing youth today? How can other youth and providers help fix this issue?

A major problem I’m seeing today with young adults is homeless. As a member of Youth MOVE Maine I’d love to start with someone small and work our way up. Like first we could collect winter supplies and make bags and hand them out during the winter. Or like the woman on the news who collected shoes for the kids at her school.  A bigger scale project would be finding for another shelter or more half way homes.

What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?

I used to get upset about people picking on me until I realized it was just that they didn’t understand and didn’t see me as a person, just “disabled”. Ones I started speaking up and showing people who I am everything opened up and people love out I am.  I love to make people laugh and smile. That’s my inspiration.

What is your new year’s resolution?

To not get pushed around and anymore and to do what is right for me, not just everyone else. I always take care of everyone else first and I barely get through. There’s a fine line between helping others and hurting yourself. Plus, like most people say, “I’m going to get healthier,” for a new year’s resolution, but I really want to. I’m getting a bike or treadmill and I’m going to do it. I’ve got the will power!

 

(This post may have been edited for length or clarity.)

December Staff Highlight: Moon

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

MoonHow long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?
I’ve been with Youth MOVE Maine for two years and some change. I’m the Regional Coordinator in Southern Maine.

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?
Watching young people able to keep faith in the circumstances that most would bend, humbles me and reminds me nothing life throws at me is impossible to beat.

The MOVE in Youth MOVE Maine stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?
Our stories and experiences often mold the people we become. To me this means that we ourselves are constant testimonies of the power to overcome.

When you think back through your time at Youth MOVE Maine what is a fond memory you have?
My favorite memory is my early time as a Youth Support Partner. I’ve maintained relationship with a few of my early young folks and it’s so fun to talk about how we both learned as we went and blossomed great friendships from awkward starts.

If you could do anything to change the world, what would you do?
I would completely flip the understanding of mental health, to not be a debilitating stamp, but a yet to be understood gift.

What’s your favorite outdoors activity in fall weather?
Basketball any weather.

 (This interview has been edited for clarity and length)

December Youth Highlight: Peggy

Samuel Chamberlain No Comments

peggyTell us about yourself
My name is Peggy and I’m 19 years old and I’m currently a student at Poland Spring Academy. I enjoy spending time out in the community as much as I possibly can. I enjoy hanging out with friends and going roller skating at the Roller Drome. I also enjoy listening to Country and Pop music, mostly country music though.

When you think about Youth MOVE Maine, what is something that you really value or like about Youth MOVE Maine?
What I value from Youth MOVE Maine is that it helps youth get out into the community and it also gives youth a chance to be able to open up to someone and confide in with issues they’re having or just needing someone to talk. I like that they can get youth out into the community and enjoy things outside of their home, like bowling and or going to the beach.
What is one major issue that is facing youth today? How can other youth and providers help fix this issue?
A lot of youth and parents are clashing and some youth don’t wanna be at home and they aren’t keeping healthy some of them have a lot of toxic environments. If some youth don’t wanna be at home, there are some options like New Beginnings, they can help with a temporary placement away from their parents. You can be there for at least 30 days unless you wanna go to the Transitional Living Program which you can be there for up to at least a year and a half, I believe. The other option is seeing if you can stay with a friend or close family you trust that isn’t a toxic environment.
What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?
What inspires me to do my best is my friends they help me believe that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. If I make a bad choice or decision they don’t make fun of me, they help me move past the mistakes I make. My boyfriend also inspires me to do my best my supporting me in whatever I do, he sometimes say don’t do that it’s a bad idea and then I think twice about and my biggest inspiration is my mother. She inspires me so much! I wanna be like her when I grow up more. She’s the definition of a extremely strong lady. She adopted me when I was 6, she inspires me to do what my heart tells me to do and follow your dreams.
What is your favorite part of the holiday season?
My favorite part of the holiday season, is being around family and friends and having a good time and enjoying myself, but most of all it’s being surrounded around happiness of the ones that I love.
(This interview was edited for length and clarity)

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3 Regional Offices across Maine!

Youth MOVE Maine operates 3 regional offices across the state! Our offices are hubs of youth-focused activities! Find an office near you to get involved in one of our many programs across Maine.