Support Our Emerging Leaders
Young people aren’t just our future—they’re our here and now.
MYAN partners with young people to cultivate their leadership skills and strengthen communities; we directly support emerging young leaders through a series of programs and initiatives. These programs happen at both the statewide and local levels.
Youth Leadership Conference
The Youth Leadership conference is one of our central programs—it’s our mission and vision in action. Each year the conference convenes over 300 youth leaders, adult allies, educators and community members for two full days centered around youth voice.
The conference inspires a range of discussion on topics like youth mental health, social justice, substance use, climate change and more. The conference is led by a team of young people—the Youth Planning Team—and features workshops, open dialogue, community projects and networking driven by the youth in attendance. Ultimately, the conference is a shared experience that connects youth to their voices and each other.
Youth Planning Team
The Youth Planning Team is youth leadership.
The Youth Planning Team (YPT) is the heart of MYAN’s Youth Leadership Conference. They represent the power of youth voice in action, designing and implementing most of the annual conference.
Open to any high school student leader, the YPT is a diverse and representative group of young people from around the State. The team collaborates closely with MYAN staff for six months to inform, develop, and coordinate a truly authentic youth-led event. The YPT determines the theme of the conference and provides attendees with a meaningful experience that builds the skills and awareness to support local work.
Team members will develop skills and confidence in
- Leadership roles
- Event planning
- Public speaking
- Community Research
- Social Media Communication
- Group Facilitation
- Peer Support
Team members will also build out their personal and professional networks to include colleges, youth serving organizations and communities. Most importantly, YPT members will walk away with lifelong friendships and knowledge that their efforts have impacted young people across Maine
Youth Engagement Groups
MYAN’s network partners provide direct, localized support to youth groups in towns all over Maine. Youth engagement groups are varied in age, setting, and reach—and always committed to the development of youth leadership and community connection. In the past, groups have worked to address topics like:
- Mental Health
- Food Security
- Climate Change
- And more!
MYAN develops cutting edge teaching tools and curricula to share with new and existing groups of young people. We also collaborate with adult advisors to provide the technical assistance they need to build group culture and create impactful and sustainable programming. Our goal is to support and elevate the youth work already happening in schools and communities throughout the state. We developed our Youth Engagement Toolkit as a curriculum to support youth engagement groups.
Our training methods are grounded in positive youth development and social emotional learning frameworks informed by leading national research and aligned with Maine educational learning results. These two frameworks encourage developing positive relationships and building skills around social awareness, decision making, and self-management so that young people are best prepared to make healthy decisions. These research-informed theories offer distinct strategies for supporting the healthy development of young people, and MYAN leverages both in our approach to youth engagement.
Get in Touch!
Connect with our team for expert assistance in curriculum design and facilitation, and how to build in more opportunities for youth leadership!