YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews
The NYC Regional Youth Forum is Around the Corner... Register Today!
Art + Activism Forum Banner

ART+ Activism 
YOUTH POWER! wants to amplify your voice in our efforts to change the system. We want your quotes on creative coping skills and what helps what harms in the system. Enjoy FREE food and drinks while learning about creativity and advocacy. This event is for New York City youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 29 who have a disability or have received mental health, addiction, child welfare and/or justice services.

~ Food ~ YP! Photo Booth ~ Performances ~ Networking ~
November 4, 2016 | 5:00 - 8:30pm 
489-493 East 153rd Bronx,NY

Youth Subject Matter Experts Needed for Certified Recovery Peer Advocate-Youth Job Task Analysis
The New York Certification Board Logo
The Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State, Inc. (ASAP) and the New York Certification Board (NYCB) have partnered with YOUTH POWER! and WRise Consulting to develop a new certification,Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) - Youth,and a dedicated training curriculum for youth peers who specialize in serving youth with addiction and/or behavioral challenges.

In creating this certification, we are seeking individuals with experience working with youth and/or young adults providing youth peer support to serve as Subject Matter Experts in the development of the new CRPA-Youth certification Job Task Analysis.

The first meeting of Youth Subject Matter Experts (SME) will be convened in Albany on November 1, 2016. If you are interested in Youth Peer Support Services and would like to serve as a SME, please fill out the application below or email Doug Rosenberry for submission criteria. The submission deadline to participate in the initial SME meeting is October 21, 2016, but submissions will be accepted through December 2016 to be considered  for subsequent SME activities and meetings.

Subject Matter Expert Qualifications

Required: Experience working with youth and/or young adults providing youth peer support.

Preferred: 18-30 years of age. 

  • 20 or more hours of peer support training;
  • Currently certified as a CRPA;
  • Knowledge of CRPA certification standards/process; or
  • Knowledge of the addiction and behavioral health systems;
For questions about the NYCB or New York CRPA Youth & Family Project, please email Doug Rosenberry at or visit the NYCB website for details.

Welcoming the New Hudson River RYP, Brennan Williams
Photo of Brennan Williams holding the hope board
Hi! I'm Brennan, the new Hudson River Regional Youth Partner. I was introduced to YP! a few years ago during a speaking engagement in the Capital Region, which is where I live. I loved what I heard about YP! and now here I am!
I've been a member of and working with the mental health, disability, and young adult communities for over 10 years. As someone who is transgender, my access and ability to navigate these systems has been met with unique challenges. I have great friends and mentors who have helped me build support systems, coping skills, and tools to advocate for myself. I'm privileged in that I have had opportunities to put myself out there and help others as well.
I want to thank everyone for all of the time and effort you put into YP! Your hard work and dedication to making our society a safer, more accessible, and understanding place is apparent. I am thrilled to be joining such an amazing group of people. 

Phone: 518-322-2096

The Hudson River Regional Youth Partner covers the following counties:
Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Westchester
Our Champion of Change, Desiree Moore, is Passing the NYC Torch.
Photo Collage of Desiree Moore at Various YP! events
Its bitter sweet to share I will be resigning as the NYC Regional Youth Partner Position. I have done many years of system advocacy and would like to do direct work in the Foster Care system. I was introduced to YOUTH POWER! in 2009. Being super honest with you, I found YOUTH POWER! during one of the hardest times of my life. 

I was a hopeless 20 year old with no clue about having a voice. I remember always being told I was to be seen but not to be heard. So when I got an email about attending the 2009 Statewide Youth Leadership Forum that was planed by youth, for youth, I was pretty interested. When I found out it was in Albany I thought it was even cooler as it was my first time ever taking Amtrak. Then, as if taking the Amtrak wasn't cool enough, meeting Stephanie Orlando and hearing her story changed my life. At the time, I had never heard someone not only share their story, but also end with taking a stand and bringing awareness. This event really inspired me because it taught me all about the different angles of advocacy. It opened my eyes to start dreaming about the impact I wanted to make in these systems. I was also impressed with the Statewide Youth Leadership Forum because people understood me. I left this event with great memories and friends who are still in my life. I remember leaving the event saying "I want to do this kind of work." Never would I have imagine years later I would be planning the event where I once found my voice. 

YOUTH POWER! has truly been a gift to me because it became my first real job where I made a real difference. It also empowered me to become a better person because I would meet young people and they would share with me how I gave them by hope sharing my story. This job was a two way street because as I was giving hope, I was receiving it too. In many ways God used this job to heal areas that were broken in my life. This job allowed me to dream big. Anytime I shared with Stephanie an idea she would be so excited and really push me to make it happen. That's truly how Spreading Hope Through Sharing our Stories came off of paper and into life. 

I have to say the Spreading Hope campaign has to be my biggest achievement. There's a special love I have for Stephanie because she has been the most supportive boss I have ever had. I've had so many great experiences with YOUTH POWER!, such as attending a rally to advocate to eliminate Electro Shock Therapy, traveling all over the country, heart-to-hearts with Stephanie, developing life changing projects, and much more. Cheers to successfully passing the torch in two regions. Thank you all who have been a part this journey with me. 

My YOUTH POWER! Timeline


When I first discovered YOUTH POWER!. I applied for the Youth Statewide Leadership and was accepted. This is when I first met Stephanie Orlando and was introduced to advocacy. Stephanie inspired me to start sharing my story get involved in my community. 

Started to get involved in YP! Working group.



Honored as the Youth Advocate of the Year for Families Together of New York State. 

Was offered and accepted the Long Island Regional Youth Partner Position.


Assisted in developing a peer support group in Residential treatment facility and Youth Advisory council in children psych hospital. This was my first efforts in increasing youth voice and youth involvement. 

Attended my first FTNYS/ YP! Legislative luncheon and met with senators and government officials

Travel to Portland Oregon to attended Alternatives conference and met awesome people. This conference opened my eyes to see advocacy from a national perspective.

Honored as The White House of Champion of Change for youth advocacy work

2014 - 2015:
Resigned from Regional Long Island Partner and traveled the U.S. to work on an Anti-Bullying Campaign

Became the NYC Regional Partner. Worked alongside amazing Youth Advocates and peer leaders. 
Had opportunities to speak on panels and do presentations on YOUTH POWER! and to help increase professional development. 
Are You the Next Regional Youth Partner?
image of desk with empty chair in front of YP office graffiti. Are you the Next Regional Youth Partner is written across the image
Now Accepting Applications for the NYC and Central Regional Youth Partner Positions

Message from Desiree Moore: Being a Regional Youth Partner(RYP) is a very rewarding job. There are many perks to being a RYP, such as meeting national and international influential people in the youth movement, traveling to different places, sharing your stories, and spreading hope to young people who haven't found their voice yet. This is a job where every day is different. If you love planning events, helping young people find advocacy opportunities, sharing stories/helping young people share theirs, and providing technical assistance to organizations looking to build youth voice and peer support, you may be a great candidate to become the next Regional Youth Partner. Please check out the post and apply today.

Now Accepting Submissions for Annual Member Newsletter!
Members Only Alert
Show us how you Amplify Our Voices 
across the state in this year's for-member, by-member annual newsletter!

YOUTH POWER! is seeking member submissions of art and activism, poetry, short stories, graphic arts, signs and posters, inspirational quotes, and essays to be included in the 2016 newsletter. 

Theme: Amplify Our Voices
Submissions Due: Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

Send your submissions to:
Attn: Brianna Valesey    Topic: 2016 Newsletter
Address: 737 Madison Avenue, Albany NY 12208
Fax: 518-434-6478

Want to be a part of the team creating the newsletter?
Join the Outreach Workgroup! 

This workgroup creates ways to grow the YP! network and strengthen its voice. The workgroup reaches out to current and potential members regularly. YP! promotional materials, media and news are created by this group.

Meetings can be joined by phone, web, or app and take place monthly on Wednesday evenings.

If you have any questions regarding the newsletter, or are interested in joining the Outreach Workgroup, please contact Brianna Valesey at or by phone at 518-432-0333 ext. 31.
Team Up With Advocates Across the State in this YP! Workgroup!
YP! Now Recruiting. Join the Effort
Looking for a way to build advocacy skills, add to a resume, and make a contribution to our youth serving systems? 

Join the Action Working Group! 

Action is the team that works on campaigns based on the YP! Priority Agenda. Currently, we are working on preparations for Office of Mental Health focus groups on youth in transition. These focus groups will ask youth about their transition to adulthood needs in areas such as education, employment, and independent living skills. In upcoming meetings, Action will be developing the questions that will be asked at these forums.

As a member of Action, you have the opportunity to Amplify Your Voice and join forces with youth advocates across the state on issues that matter to YOUth.

To join or for more info, contact Melanie Hecker at 518-432-0333 ext. 14 or
Don't Miss Out! Western Regional Youth Guided Training this Friday, October 21
YP! and NYSS Logos with Multi-County Trainings underneath
YOUTH POWER! is proud to offer The How To's of Youth Guided Practice! This five-hour interactive training is designed for individuals who would like to meaningfully engage young people in guiding policy and practice in their agency, community, and/or System of Care.

This free multi-county training will be hosted in Niagara County on October 21, 2016 from 10:30am  to 4:30pm. Light refreshments will be provided with a 1-hour lunch "on your own". For more information or to register, visit

If you have any questions, please contact Brianna Valesey at  or by phone at 518-432-0333 ext. 31.
Spreading Thanks: One Mic for Resiliency and Recovery
Voices of Youth Advisors Logo
The Voices of Youth Advisors (VOYA) will be holding a recruitment event on Monday, November 14th from 5-7pm.

Location:  CEO (2328 5th Avenue) in Troy, 3rd floor conference room.

The event, titled "Spreading Thanks: One Mic for Resiliency and Recovery" will feature a Thanksgiving themed meal with activities geared towards empowerment, giving thanks for individuals and milestones in one's journey, and amplifying our voices to encourage recovery and resiliency.

For more information or to register, please contact Elijah Fagan-Solis at 518-432-0333 ext. 19 or
Celebrating Disability Mentoring Day 
RAMP logo
By Christina Narkon

As a mentor and also as a young professional, I can say with certainty that disability mentoring changes lives in profound ways. I first came to be a mentor while in college. I originally planned on becoming an attorney, but now I am now pursuing my Master's in Special Education. The reason that I do not have a Juris Doctorate? Disability mentoring. The reason I made the career change was simple: after I paired up with my mentee, both of our lives changed in incredible ways! I knew that disability mentoring was something that I could and should make into a daily occurrence as a special education teacher.

When most people hear that I'm a mentor they get immediate visions of me sitting in a library guiding a student through a tough math problem. As a mentor, some days we do this! But more often, my mentee and I spend time talking through everyday highs and lows, trouble with friends, tension with a teacher, or struggles at home. While our life paths looked different from afar, my mentee learned early on that I had also struggled with a learning disability while in school. Our mentorship wasn't me, as some college-educated lady, telling him what to do to "fix" his life. Instead, our relationship is more of a partnership; having gone through similar situations myself just years prior, I have been able to pass down tools that I have learned to my mentee. These skills and tools have ranged from self-calming or "grounding" techniques, homework and study habits, and resume and job-finding skills.

More importantly than me passing on blocks of tools for my mentee to build life skills and healthy habits, or setting career and college goals, I know that I can be the person that I never had growing up for my mentee: someone who knows where you've been, can see where you are, and celebrates and uplifts the person you are at in your heart.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, with Disability Mentoring Day being celebrating on Wednesday, October 19th. To learn more, visit
#ThisIsDV: Raising Awareness on Domestic Violence
image of someone with purple shoes standing on a wood floor over a teal plus sign with words that say awareness _ action _ social change. National resouce center on domestic violence logo in corner.
This October, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is building upon  conversations from 2015 around Awareness + Action = Social Change by offering key awareness activities and action steps for propelling us forward together.

They are elevating the voices of survivors, lifting up resiliency and healing as a transformative response to domestic violence, supporting self-care in advocacy, revisiting the passion that fuels our movement, and embracing new directions for bold and intentional social change work.

Throughout October, you can participate in their #ThisIsDV social media campaign to amplify the voices of survivors to help validate and name their experiences and raise awareness about the multifaceted nature of domestic violence.

To learn more about the campaign, click here.
Get Involved with National Campaigns!
Photo of megaphone with different social media symbols coming out
Social media is a great tool to bring awareness in our advocacy efforts.
Together, we can amplify our voices!

Click on the campaigns below for more information on how you can team up to Speak Up and Speak Out! 


Want to get more involved in YP!'s Advocacy efforts?
 You can submit advocacy tips, articles, and more on topics that affect YOU! Team up with monthly, weekly, and national day campaigns and email submissions to !

Did we miss a campaign or resource above? Let us know
Save the Date: Families Together in NYS Legislative Awareness Day
Save the Date!
Legislative Awareness Day
February 14, 2017

The Families Together in NYS Legislative Awareness Day provides the opportunity for family members and advocates from across New York State to join together and meet with legislators and state leaders to have their voices, concerns and needs heard. The annual event offers a forum to continue the ongoing and vital discussions regarding children's mental health, challenges faced by families, and solutions found with family support through a unified voice.

For more information, visit
Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders:
Next Meeting October 19, 2016
Youth M.O.V.E. National logo
Calling all Youth Leaders -- Are you leading youth engagement efforts in a Systems of Care community or a Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter? Are you a youth or young adult who wants to develop professional skills while also connecting with peers who are using their lived experiences to make systems change? 

The Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders is a virtual forum for youth and young adults to: develop professional skill sets via virtual training opportunities connect as a community to share and gather new resources unite with other youth advocates and professional peers from across the country Don't miss your opportunity to register for Youth M.O.V.E. National's highly interactive Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders! 

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 4:30-6pm.

For more information, or to register, click here.
Free Mental Health First Aid Training in Albany on November 30, 2016.
Mental Health Association in NYS Logo
MHANYS' is providing free Mental Health First Aid training to individuals who work with or support transition aged youth within Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties.  Mental Health First Aid is often referred to as CPR for the mind, it's an evidence based training that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illness along with a 3 year certification.
The training with take place on  Wednesday November 30th from  8:00 am -4:30 pm at the NYS Association of Community & Residential Agencies at 240 Washington Ave Extension .

Anyone who takes this course will:
  • Receive a nationally recognized certification for 3 years
  • Receive a nationally produced manual with in-depth course materials and resources
  • Receive local listing of resources for both crisis and non-crisis situations along with monthly resource updates until September 2018!
For more information or to participate in the training, email or call Joelle Monaco, MHFA Program Coordinator at or 518-434-0439.
NYS Office of Mental Health Announces Launch of the Project TEACH Statewide Coordination Center
                                    NYS Office of Mental Health logo
The New York State Office of Mental Health announces on October 5, 2016, the launch of the Project TEACH Statewide Coordination Center, which will further expand a program that supports the treatment of children with mild-to-moderate mental health problems within pediatric primary care settings.

Project TEACH (Training and Education for the Advancement of Children's Health) links pediatric primary care providers with child psychiatrists to provide immediate consultation services. The program expands the availability and accessibility of children's psychiatric services throughout New York State.

The Office of Mental Health also announced that the program has selected Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatry Academy to operate the coordination center. New York State will invest $4.9 million through June 2020 to support the Statewide Coordination Center (SCC) and ensure use of the program is at full capacity. The SCC will provide training and consultation services statewide to promote children's social and emotional health.  It will continuously evaluate the Project TEACH program and assess its impact on New York State's youth, while promoting efficiency through ongoing improvements. The Academy was selected to run the SCC through an open Request for Proposals process.

The SCC will create a Project TEACH website to provide families and primary care providers with resources and public education materials on adolescent behavioral health. It will also work with the Office of Mental Health's Suicide Prevention and First Episode Psychosis initiatives to bring training and resources to pediatric primary care providers.

Launched in 2010, Project TEACH has enrolled more than 2,300 pediatric primary care providers in its first six years and has evaluated nearly 10,300 children for behavioral health concerns. Project TEACH has provided more than 3,100 linkage and referral services and more than 110 trainings to pediatric primary care providers. A recent expansion of the program projects an additional 3,800 enrolled providers will provide an additional 24,500 New York children with behavioral health consultations by 2020.

For more information about Project TEACH including information on how primary care providers can take advantage of this program, please visit:
The views and opinions expressed in third party messages and external links included in this eNews are those of the organization or individual mentioned. They do not necessarily reflect the official positions of YOUTH POWER!.
YOUTH POWER! is the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and are seeking change.  Together, we have decided to speak up about our experiences because no one knows what it is like for us better than we do.  Through peer-to-peer mentoring, we empower young people to be active citizens who are aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policies, practices, regulations and laws.  We are young people helping other people, ensuring availability of self-help and peer support while changing systems so that young people get the support they need with the respect and dignity they deserve.  Nothing About Us Without Us!

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