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Author Archives: Sayre Savage

August Staff Highlight: Hannah Joy Morgan

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13769471_10206754607250152_6937717764558048499_nHannah Joy is one of our amazing Youth Support Partners in our Northern Maine Region!

1. How long have you been with YOUTH MOVE Maine and what is your position?

I have been a Youth Support Partner with Youth MOVE Maine for about 15 months now.

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

Youth MOVE Maine is incredible to me because our work is so authentic and transparent. We all genuinely care so much for the youth in our communities and their voices. It inspires me to continue to be the person that I needed growing up, for these youth.

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

Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience to me means, getting excited with people over relating to each other’s experiences, being able to connect and have conversations flow so easily because you understand where each other might be coming from and opening up possibilities with each other with your wisdom from past experiences.

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

I had a youth who I started working with in summer. His goal was to get me to ride a snowmobile for the first time. As winter was ending and our time was coming to an end, he surprised me on our last meeting with a ride on a snow mobile. I remember sitting on the back, holding onto him for dear life and trusting him. It was an incredible experience to share together.

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

If I could change anything in the world, wow, what a loaded question. My heart goes right to protecting innocence. So many people have been robbed of their innocence. What if we all still had it? What if we never saw that abuse? And the bank never reposes your parent’s car? And you never had to think about stealing to get food? I’m not sure what the world would be like if everyone still had innocence. I’m sure we’d have other problems, but that’s just what I wish I could protect.

6. What is your favorite place in Maine and why?

My favorite place in Maine is that rocky beach spot right next to the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth. It was the first place in Maine that made me fall in love with this state. Looking out into the distance I always feel like I’m at the edge of the world!

August Youth Highlight: Kameron

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20160429_165032Kameron is one of the hundreds of youth that engages with Youth MOVE Maine!

When you think about Youth MOVE Maine, what is something that you really value or like about Youth MOVE Maine?
I love the diversity, there are all kinds of people here.
What is one major issue that is facing youth today? How can other youth and providers help fix this issue?
One problem facing youth is just being misunderstood. What youth and providers can do is to take more time, listen take time to change their perspective.
What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?
Being surrounded by people who are also trying to change their ways.
Swings or slides?
I prefer swings.

YMM Announces findings of What Helps? What Harms? Initiative

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Youth MOVE Maine is an organization founded on the belief that all young people should have the opportunity to advocate for themselves and play an active role in decision-making that affects their lives. What Helps? What Harms? is an initiative intended to influence programs and policies for youth. A form of this process was first completed by a chapter of Youth MOVE in Westchester County, New York, to address various topics, services and systems that were unique to that community. To bring the authentic voice of Maine youth, Youth MOVE Maine utilized youth driven approaches including targeted focus groups of youth in Cumberland, Androscoggin and Penobscot counties to gather What Helps?, What Harms? and What’s Needed? in Maine. This process compiled diverse voices of youth who have experience with juvenile justice, mental health, community, foster care, education and employment.

Purpose Statement: Youth MOVE Maine What Helps? What Harms? initiative is a youth driven project to empower youth in identifying helpful and harmful assets from each of the 6 identified pillars (Community, Employment, School, Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, Foster Care). Through their lived experiences within these pillars, youth also voice what is needed for the systems of care to be more supportive and resourceful.

Activity Statement: Youth MOVE Maine met with targeted youth who had lived experiences within each of the 6 pillars. These meetings were inclusive of the focus groups in a variety of settings to ensure a diverse dialogue of youth voices. Each focus group was conducted using a set of questions which included what their experience has been within the pillar, what has been challenging, what has been helpful and what they see as needing reform.

Youth voices need to be heard at all levels, including state and local levels. Youth are continuously facing obstacles and struggles within the 6 identified pillars. Youth voices and ideas are vital in learning the true gaps that exist within our systems, and identifying changes that will result in more relevant, supportive and effective services.

Read the What Helps? What Harms? Initiative Findings Document here.

Are you interested in learning more about Youth MOVE Maine? Please contact us here.


Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time

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Last night was the Fourth of July.

I can’t even begin to describe how I felt about the celebration. Walking out of the little restaurant by the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge in Lewiston, I was in complete awe of the number of people that had gathered. Hundreds and hundreds of them filled the streets, all there to watch as vibrant color exploded across the sky.

July Staff Highlight: Megan Skilling

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MeganSkillingHow long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?
I am the Mid Maine Regional Coordinator and I have worked for youth MOVE Maine for almost a year and a half! Prior to that I was a public school teacher.

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?
Everyday I am inspired by youth that I work with.

Watching the youth grow and have a voice! I am continuously inspired and amazed daily buy how motivated and determined the youth are. I love seeing THEM make a difference and impact in their community. I love providing them with  resources that they need and helping them grow. They inspire me everyday to be a better person. They challenge me to expand my knowledge base and comfort zone. I learn as much if not more from them as they learn for me. I look forward to going to work nearly everyday!

The MOVE in Youth MOVE stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?
It means that everyone has a voice, regardless of age, gender, race etc, and they can use their voice to motivate others and help others and each other grow. It means that you can use that voice to make a difference and you can learn from every experience.

What is your favorite passtime?
I am a fitness instructor as well and enjoy teaching zumba, taking classes and working out. In addition to that I enjoy spending time in the summer at my families camp on the lake. I love crafting too. I just purchased my first home and look forward to making it my own. I like to keep busy!

If you could do anything to change the world, what would you do?
Wow. That’s a hard question! It may sound cliche but I would love to see acceptance. There is so much hate and disappear in the world and I would love to turn on the news and see stories that were positive and not so discouraging and sad.

You can bring 3 things to an island, what would you bring?
Am I by myself?!?!?! Hmmm…
1. Sunscreen – I burn!
2. My friend so I wouldn’t be alone.
3. A picnic basket of food and snacks!
Hopefully this is only a day trip 😂

July Youth Highlight: Joy Harrington

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Joy-HarringtonPeriodically, Youth MOVE Maine likes to highlight youth in the community holding true to our values of being a youth-focused statewide organization. This month, we chose to highlight Joy, a lifelong Mainer, and a recent graduate of Stonehill College, here is what she said:

Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi there, I’m Joy, a 22-year-old Lewiston native who is incredibly passionate about social justice and laughing a lot. My sense of humor is a cross between a 5-year-old and a dad, and I care about making the world a more just and compassionate place. Also, I really enjoy traveling and going on adventures!

You recently graduated from Stonehill College, what were you studying? What would you like to do with your degree?

As a first-generation college student, graduating was such a big deal for me and my family! I double-majored in Sociology and American Studies with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. I plan on pursuing a career in social work, with the goal of obtaining my Masters in Social Work within the next few years.

Since graduating college, what have you been up to? What are you going to be doing this fall?

Right after graduating, I started working at the Bowdoin College Upward Bound program for my third year as their Residence Director. I will be with UB until August, and then I’ll be joining the Tree Street Youth staff in Lewiston, ME as an AmeriCorps volunteer! I will be working in their college guidance program, BRANCHES. When I’m not working, I’ve been catching up on sleep, playing Ultimate frisbee, and hanging out with friends & family!

What advice would you give to youth who are starting college soon?

For the youth who are about to start one of the greatest adventures ever, I want to recommend that you look and take every opportunity your school offers. Join the clubs you want to join, find a way to study abroad for a year, go to your professors’ office hours and ask about their life path, take those really cool electives that feed your soul. Find what makes your campus feel like your home, and run with it!

Do you have any words of wisdom for youth who are thinking about college or post-high school endeavors?

Go for it! Stay chasing your dreams- and catch them.

What is your favorite meal?

I appreciate a good eggplant parmesan dish!

Believe in a New Day

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Recently, I was given an assignment for which I had to write about what I believed in. Being honest, it took me a while to really pinpoint what that was. My life is centered around my pursuit of happiness, but I wanted to go deeper. So, rather than tell about the road to self content on which I’m travelling, I wrote about the very beginning, and what gives me the courage every day to continue with the journey.

June Staff Highlight: Heidi Allen

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Heidi is a Youth Support Partner in our Southern Region, we recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Heidi and learning more about what she is doing.

HeidiHow long have you been with Youth MOVE Maine and what is your position?
I have been a Youth Support Partner at Youth Move Maine for 5 months.

What about Youth MOVE Maine and the work that happens here inspires you?
Every day I am inspired by the triumphant stories and resiliency of others.

The MOVE in Youth MOVE stands for Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, what does that mean to you?
Motivating Others Through Voices of Experience, to me, means using my own lived experience and struggles to empower others to overcome their own hard times.

What is your favorite part of your job?
In this job, I grow and learn on a daily basis. Being a YSP is extremely fun and rewarding.

When you’re not being a YSP, what do you do with your time?
When I am off the clock I enjoy spending time with my 5 year old son, hanging out with family and friends and playing/watching sports.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would travel to Brazil.


June Youth Highlight: Kevin Milovich

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Recently, we had the pleasure of meeting a youth in the Northern Maine Region to share a little about himself and what he thinks of Youth MOVE Maine.

KevinTell me a little about yourself…

My name is Kevin Milovich. I love to go for bike rides and I love to watch movies.

How are you involved with Youth MOVE Maine?

I have a Youth Support Partner but I also go to events in the community that Youth Move Maine is a part of or attends. Like, Open Mic Night in downtown Bangor, we’re going to a viewing of Paper Tigers next week and we’re doing some hiking trips this summer.

What part of Youth MOVE Maine do you find helpful or inspiring?

My Youth Support Partner has been through similar things that I have and we talk about them together. We’re both pretty resilient!

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges facing youth today?

I couldn’t name just one. The big three I see are abuse, neglect and guidance.

How do you think we could make youth voice more represented in the world today?

Today, social media is the best way to be heard. That’s what everyone’s about and where you’re heard.

What is your favorite dessert?

Sweet frog frozen yogurt! And now my Youth Support Partner and I have bonded over something yet again…

May Staff Highlight: Kaylee Wing

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Kaylee is a Youth Support Partner in our Northern Maine Region. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Kaylee and learning more about her role, and how she interacts with youth across the Northern Maine Region.

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

I’ve been with Youth MOVE Maine for 8 months as a Youth Support Partner.

What is one part of your role that inspires you?

What inspires me the most about my role in Youth MOVE Maine is the chance to see the young people I work with continue to grow and take control to make good decisions for their lives.

What does “Motivating Others through Voices of Experience” mean to you?

“Motivating Others through Voices of Experience” to me means sharing your own personal struggles and stories of resiliency to help inspire another person through their struggles. It’s all about connecting with that person on a mutual level.

What do you do when you’re not at Youth MOVE Maine?

Outside of Youth MOVE I spend my time with my beautiful daughter and my family. I’m also a full-time student at Beal College to get my associate degree in Medical Assisting.

What is a binge-worthy show?

A binge-worthy show for me would definitely be between Vampire Diaries, Chicago P.D, Chicago-Med, and Nurse Jackie.


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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.