The Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) has been operating for nearly two decades as a support system and catalyst for youth empowerment. By supporting self-determination in youth action groups and providing opportunities for youth leadership, MYAN’s mission continues to evolve by adapting to the ever changing needs of today’s youth and their adult allies.
MYAN encourages prevention-focused, youth-centric activism through a variety of programming. By offering a broad spectrum of support, MYAN is able to serve Maine’s many diverse communities by assisting at every stage of community organizing.
Youth Taking Action
This free, academic year-long workshop series provides a complementary curriculum for youth groups and adult advisors to develop their own initiatives. By allowing students to use their own unique voices, strengths, and visions within a detailed framework, this program encourages activist growth through education. MYAN currently supports a Portland based Youth Taking Action Group known as the OPEN Project (Organizing Partnership and Engagement in Neighborhoods), which is based in Parkside, one of Portland’s most diverse neighborhoods. The OPEN Project is currently focused on social Justice, racial equity, and leadership development.
Regional and State Youth Policy Boards
This program, in collaboration with District Partners across Maine’s public health districts, creates and facilitates youth policy boards in two-year cycles. The first year is comprised of research and written recommendations about local or state public health policies that affect Maine’s communities. In Year Two, the youth boards will choose a priority policy project and work to achieve it.
Adult support is a vital component of youth activism. MYAN provides resources, partnership, and an online forum for adult allies to grow their own knowledge of facilitation and youth engagement.
Community Education Teams
By offering a series of youth-development facilitation trainings, MYAN is creating a network of informed, connected allies for Maine’s youth. Trainings will include information about positive youth development and strategies for effective youth-adult partnerships.
Training and Technical Assistance
As a state-wide resource for collaborative partnerships, MYAN is uniquely poised to provide access to expert guidance on positive youth development, youth engagement, and social-emotional learning principles. MYAN provides phone, online, and in-person support to youth and adults. Requests range from a simple activity brainstorm to a formal training: any work that builds youth leadership and/or increases the capacity of adults in Maine to support youth in prevention efforts.
Annual Youth Leadership Conference
MYAN’s Annual Youth Leadership Conference is a youth-led event promoting education and action. It provides an opportunity for hundreds of youth and their adult advisors to attend workshops, networking events with elected officials, panel discussions and much more. This yearly event is a staple in Maine’s youth development and leadership opportunities.