Other Youth Voices


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Youth M.O.V.E. National

“It’s important to come to the table with an open mind and valuing the other partner. Be flexible and actively seek win-win solutions, and allow yourself to be taught.”

We spoke with Youth M.O.V.E. National, Youth M.O.V.E. Miami – Though the Arts, and Youth M.O.V.E. Jacksonville in person and by phone in July 2014 and again via email in September 2015

Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience (M.O.V.E.) National is a youth and young-adult led national advocacy organization that wants to change the world. The organization is devoted to improving services and systems that support young people. They focus on empowering young people to partner with adults to create meaningful change in mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems. The organization represents 77 chapters, consisting of 9,000 members across 39 states.

Youth Engaged 4 Change recently spoke with leaders from Youth M.O.V.E. National and two of their chapters about the impact of their work and what they have learned about partnering with adults to create change. This photo journey captures some highlights of our conversations.

  1. The organization specializes in serving both youth and adults. This practice reflects the belief that youth and adult voices have equal value in partnerships and that both parties need skills in order to work together effectively. The organization provides training and technical assistance to help youth and adults become effective at working together to change systems.
  2. The organization works to develop national peer support standards and provide technical assistance for states that want to provide peer support services, including Medicaid billing. The organization also assesses organizational readiness for providing peer support services and provides training for human resource departments on how to support young people involved with systems as employees.
  3. The organization believes in the importance of recognizing life transitions. That is why its “generation next” program trains young people involved with systems to share their stories at different stages in their lives, whether they currently serve as advocates themselves, advocate on behalf of other youth, or now play the role of supportive adults.

Through its work, Youth M.O.V.E. National has learned the value of working in partnership with others to make positive changes in the perception of youth in systems of care — from just being numbers or cases to being seen as individuals. The organization focuses on supporting young people in working together and with adults. National partner organizations include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and The White House.

  • Dare to Dream America – Inspired by Dare to Dream Canada, this youth-led funding program engages youth ages 13 – 25 in developing creative projects that promote mental health and well-being.
  • What Helps What Harms – This national policy initiative has been led by the Bravehearts M.O.V.E. New York chapter. It engages a collaboration of over 50 chapters across the country in holding forums identifying and sharing what helps youth become successful as well as what is harmful in their lives.
  • The National Commission on Youth Peer Support – Youth, young adults, and adults work together to develop best practices in the field of peer support. This project is helping shape national standards for youth peer support.
  • The National Young Leader’s Network (NYLN) – This network is a pool of diverse youth who speak at national events.

Click here to launch the photo journal and learn more about collaboration from the perspective of Youth M.O.V.E. National and two of their chapters – Youth M.O.V.E. Miami-Through the Arts and Youth M.O.V.E. Jacksonville.