Youth Voices Are Powerful
Young people care deeply about their communities—and when adults and youth partner together, communities are stronger and healthier for everyone.
Based out of The Opportunity Alliance in Portland, Maine, MYAN is a statewide network of committed adults and passionate young people who believe in the transformative power of youth leadership. We value young people’s thoughts, voices, and solutions for creating more equitable communities and just systems. Young people’s passion is the vehicle for building leadership skills, resiliencies, positive relationships, and personal agency. These are the factors that help young people lead healthy and successful lives.
Is for communities throughout Maine to foster the healthy development of youth and create a thriving network of engaged leaders.
What We Do
In short—we take a collaborative approach to youth engagement.
Our work is rooted in positive youth development and a strengths-based approach to youth engagement and primary prevention. By expanding both adults’ capacity and young people’s access to growth opportunities and resources, we create avenues for youth and adults to work together on what matters.
The Maine Youth Action Network strategically collaborates, convenes, and partners to build young people’s leadership on issues of social justice, restorative practices, and public health; and the capacity of adults, organizations, and systems to use positive youth development and social-emotional learning principles in their work with youth.
How We Build Partnerships For Change
Great partnerships start with strong relationships, and MYAN is committed to developing relationships with caring adults throughout Maine. We bring together educators, librarians, afterschool program coordinators, prevention specialists, School Resource Officers and community members—any adult seeking to collaborate with young people—to practice new skills, make lasting connections, and share their expertise with one another through workshops and trainings. We engage in ongoing collaborations with partner organizations and adult allies to pilot new programs and bring innovative youth engagement programs to Maine’s communities.
Connection across the network is our priority. Each year, we bring the network together for our largest event – a two-day Youth Leadership Conference. The Conference, designed and led by a team of young people for over 300 middle and high school youth, is an opportunity for young people to present projects, share expertise, and connect in celebration of youth voices.
We contract with nine geographically diverse community organizations across Maine to deliver trainings, technical assistance, and direct programming to young people and adult allies. Our district partners drive our work at the local level to help young people emerge as healthy young leaders. The statewide team supports district partners through program assistance, knowledge and resource sharing, and new curriculum development.
Our district partners connect young people with resources, programs, and opportunities for youth-organizing to address issues that impact young people every day. Our partners are innovative – they tailor programming to meet local needs.