Youth Move has say in services

5:50 PM, May 25, 2011   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There is a movement afoot in this country. Young people taking a stand and having a say in things that affect them.

Youth motivating others through voices of experience, or Youth MOVE, has now come to Maine. Its mission is to inspire change through youth involvement. The young people who are a part of it have found that by banding together they do have the power to make a difference.

Members of Youth MOVE provide peer support for each other. They are also helping to shape state policy on services available to young people.

"A lot of times young people who are participating in services don't get a choice. They don't get asked what their goals are and they don't have an opportunity to say what they want to get out of services", said Ryun Anderson, Program Coordinator.

It wasn't that long ago when parents made all the decisions. Now parents sit side by side with Youth MOVE members to make decisions together. What better way to shape services and programs than to get input from the people who have relied on them?

"With being a part of this, it actually made it more comfortable for me to be able to speak out about what I want instead of having other people try to run things for me", said Youth MOVE member Marci Tierney.

Tierney relied on state services while growing up. "I used to really have a lot of depression and I thought nothing would ever get better. I had so much anxiety about my relationship with my mother, I was hopeless", she said.

Now, as part of Youth MOVE, she's working on a survey to define what quality services are. Once group members determine that, they can push state officials to to live up to those standards.

It's a feeling of empowerment that these young people have never had before.

















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