Conference postponed to March 18th and 19th
The 2020 Youth Leadership Conference is now scheduled for March 18th and 19th at the University of Maine at Orono! Under the direction of the 2020 Youth Planning Team, we have made the decision to postpone this year’s conference to 2021 to prioritize the health and safety of our communities. We hope to gather together in person next Spring! The health and safety of our participants is a primary concern for us as we continue to plan how this year’s conference will look. We appreciate your understanding, and will continue to post conference updates here and on our social media.
Interested in attending this year’s Youth Leadership Conference? Fill out the Conference Interest Form below!
We Are The Now
The MYAN Youth Leadership Conference celebrates the work young people do in their communities and connects and inspires emerging young leaders looking to do the same. Young people are tired of being told they’re the future—they’re here, and they are the now.
The annual conference is two-day gathering of Maine youth from all over the state. Each year, over 300 youth leaders, adult allies, educators and community members come together to build their leadership skills and connect with other committed youth. Young people will have the chance to hear from inspiring guest speakers, participate in a community night that’s all about them, Reflect on their work, relax in designated quiet spaces, meet and mingle with college employees and learn about exciting job programs in their area.
For over 10 years, we have provided a stage for youth change-makers to showcase the work they are doing and to connect with other young leaders who are similarly working to create healthier and more equitable communities. The conference is a unique opportunity for young people to create their own statewide network of youth leaders.
By Young People For Young People
The Conference is an energizing youth-centered event elevating the creativity, culture and wisdom of young people. Attendees are immersed in a community of change-makers—young people who are mobilizing on the issues they care about. The MYAN team strives to create a youth-centered space that feels inclusive, engaging and meaningful to the diverse experiences and perspectives of the young people who attend.
The conference’s Youth Planning Team (YPT) collaborates with MYAN staff to design, plan and lead the conference each year. The YPT is at the heart of the conference. Over six months of programming, they support MYAN staff with the logistics, facilitation and identity of the YLC.
What To Expect
The YLC provides many different avenues for youth (and adults) to expand their toolkits on topics of social justice, racial justice, substance use prevention, public health, college readiness, youth advocacy, climate justice and community organizing!
- Connect with fellow emerging young leaders from all over Maine
- Attend interactive workshops presented by young people and adult allies (or present your own!)
- Reinforce your leadership and advocacy skills
- Participate in open dialogues on topics like social justice, substance use prevention, mental health, LGBTQ+ advocacy, climate change and more!
- Join team building games and other activities
- Deepen your understanding of the experiences of peers and fellow students
- Create community art projects
- Record podcasts with other young people
- And More!
Who it’s for
The conference is a space for young people in Maine to connect about making a difference in their community, school, country, or the world. It also welcomes young people who are passionate about an issue such as social justice, racial equity, access to mental health care, climate change, LGBTQ advocacy or substance use prevention. The conference is a place for young people to meet like minded youth and start important conversations. The YLC is open to all middle and high-school aged young people currently living in Maine.
Adult allies and advisers – who attend with their groups – are also welcome to attend and participate in adult-specific workshops and networking.
Listen to what attendees had to say about last year’s conference
The Youth Planning Team interviewed dozens of people at the 2019 conference and put together a podcast of youth and adult voices. Click below to hear some of their experiences and hopes for the future.
What the conference looks/feels like
The conference is abuzz with games, activities and laughter. Take a look at the photos from last year!
What you’ll do
- Discover your leadership abilities and get inspired to use them
- Build friendships with other young leaders from across Maine
- Participate in community dialogues
- Learn about exciting projects making a difference in Maine
- Build a network of allies for future collaboration