What is the Youth MOVE TA Center (Y-TAC) ?

Across the country, recovery-oriented services and consumer run organizations, including youth and family- run organizations, are increasingly seen as vital supports within the mental health service array. Youth MOVE National’s Consumer Peer Center was established in July 2020, with grant funding support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a youth-run peer organization, YMN honors lived experience and recognizes the value of both traditional and non-traditional supports. We serve peers across the lifespan, their families, and providers of all ages, to grow the youth peer movement across the United States. As one of five funded Centers, we look forward to collaborating with our partners to improve and sustain the implementation of peer and recovery-oriented services and supports.  

Building on Youth MOVE National’s (YMN)  expertise in youth peer support, youth engagement, and positive youth development, the peer center will build the capacity of the current and future peer workforce, consumer-run organizations, including youth and family organizations, mental health service providers, and individuals with lived experience to promote the resilience and recovery of those experiencing mental health challenges. We use multiple, effective tailored technical assistance (TA), coaching, and training approaches to improve implementation and enhance the integration of recovery-oriented services into the traditional mental health service array. 

Our Mission

In line with our mission, “Motivating Others through Voices of Experience”, we have united to use our experiences and skill sets to affect positive change through advocacy, leadership development, consumer engagement in systems change initiatives, by providing training, technical assistance, consultation, youth-adult partnership and leadership trainings, conference and meeting planning and delivery, and distance and onsite peer learning.

Focus Areas

The young adult mental health workforce has many training and professional development needs in order to effectively provide services.

Youth-Run Program Support
Youth Peer Support
Youth Leadership Development
Professional Development & Education
Peer-to-Peer Networking Opportunities

The Youth MOVE Peer Center is pleased to offer:

the peer center Supports

  • Tiered menu of training and assistance to support peer-run organizations, provider organizations, and the mental health system in the successful planning, implementation, and sustainability of recovery services
  • Annual learning community opportunities for distinct cohorts to address prioritized topic areas and audiences
  • Development and dissemination of resources, toolkits, implementation guides, and other relevant materials
  • Responsive individualized training, coaching, and technical assistance to the peer workforce, peer-run organizations, provider agencies, and local and state-level mental health leadership
To learn more about available training and technical assistance opportunities, head over to What We Do

The Youth MOVE Team

Johanna Bergan
Principal Investigator

Pronouns: She/Her
Johanna leads and guides Youth MOVE National’s work to ensure all young adults in youth-serving systems are seen as leaders. As a young mother, she saw the need for positive systems change and was one of the many young adults on the frontlines of Youth MOVE National’s founding. She believes strongly that change stems from dialogue between individuals with lived experience. You wouldn’t believe this about Johanna, but she’s an introvert. She can be seen frequently recommending niche podcasts to unsuspecting individuals.

Lydia Proulx
TA Specialist

Pronouns: They/Them

Lydia’s own lived experience with mental health, school, and youth leadership drives their dedication to authentic youth engagement, advocacy, and education. They’re excited about improving the service delivery model for LGBTQIA2-S youth on a national scale. As the former youth program manager at Youth MOVE Massachusetts and Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL), they led the development of youth peer support groups, youth trainings and speaking engagements, and the internship program. In their spare time, Lydia volunteers on a local farm for hunger relief and teaches comprehensive sexual health education to youth and young adults. Plus, they love antiquing on the weekends.

Kristin Thorp
Project Director

Pronouns: She/Her
Kristin is the Youth MOVE National Peer Center’s Project Director where she supports the implementation of the Center’s initiatives including providing technical assistance to the mental health field on integrating and expanding youth peer support and other recovery-oriented approaches to care. In her previous role as the Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator at THRIVE, Maine’s Trauma-informed System of Care, Kristin offered technical assistance, training, and consultation to government agencies, providers, and communities on incorporating and embedding trauma-informed principles and practices. Capitalizing on prior experience working for Youth MOVE Maine, she advocated for and incorporated youth voice into all elements of system change, understanding that the well-being of young people hinges on their participation across all levels of program development and enhancement. She is a strong believer in working with youth as equal partners and pushing for policies and services that will improve the lives of young people.

Matthew Leavitt
Communications Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him

Matt started doing youth advocacy and educational programming when he was 18-years-old through the Upward Bound Program at the University of Maine. As a former student, Matt utilized his experience to work with youth who were low-income and first-generation achieve their educational aspirations. After 10 years of working with Upward Bound, Matt graduated with his with a Master’s in Intermedia with a focus on mental health and art as well as a Master’s in Education with a focus on accessto education. Using both professional and educational experience, he went on to work with Youth MOVE Maine as a program coordinator working with youth around the state in systems of care to provide peer support and community integration services. Eventually, he became the operating manager for the statewide program, overseeing staff, training, and contracts. Matt now serves as the Communications Coordinator at Youth MOVE National, working on branding the message of youth voice in everything that YMN and YM Chapters do. When Matt is not at the computer, he can be found in an escape room, a concert, in front of the TV with a video game controller, or on an adventure with his family.

Samantha Skinner
Administrative Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her

Sam has two deep passions in life: social justice and climate justice. She has a history in various environmental science projects ranging from netting and i.d. banding wood ducks to collecting biological samples of chacma baboons. She has become more focused on youth advocacy in the past few years due to first-hand systems involvement. As you could imagine, Sam is a big supporter of group hikes and wild lands education in youth treatment. She is a huge fan of playing volleyball, birding, and creating smol polymer clay earrings and charms. Her current favorite is that of a hamburger, though she is ironically vegetarian!

Tamara Manzer
TA Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her

Tamara’s journey with leadership and advocacy work began at Youth MOVE Maine with Maine’s Trauma-Informed System of Care Initiative, where she developed and coordinated statewide programming that served youth involved in systems. Tamara comes to Youth MOVE National with a lens of having faced adversities of her own, and she wholeheartedly believes in the power of supporting youth towards wellness and resilience. Tamara served on Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) as an advocate and member of the Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee, where she examined racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. She has a plethora of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Tamara has experience at an innovative education organization as part of a school turnaround around initiative for education reform. More recently, Tamara also spent some time working at MaineHealth’s Center for Health Improvement. Tamara is passionate about the rights of young people, racial equity, and thriving communities. In her free time, she enjoys life with her family and embraces fitness.

Jasmine Boatwright
TA Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her

Jasmine became interested in youth and family voice once she noticed the limited power young adults have in decision-making. She began sharing her and her family’s experiences in the mental health system in order to advocate for youth. Prior to joining Youth MOVE National, her advocacy led her to become the director of Youth MOVE Michigan, supporting Youth MOVE Detroit, and providing technical assistance to local systems of care and tribal youth groups. When she’s off the clock, Jasmine moonlights as a local entertainment promoter and can put together a playlist of good music you haven’t heard before. One of her favorite movies is the Transformers series because Bumblebee reminds her of her first car she named John Shaft.

Madeline Zielinski
TA Specialist

Pronouns: She/They

Madeline got her start in youth advocacy attending Indiana Youth Group, an LGBTQ+ drop-in center. This sparked her passion to destigmatize LGBTQ issues and educate on their intersectionality with mental wellness. Prior to Youth MOVE National she was the state coordinator for Youth MOVE Indiana and served as a representative on the IN-Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council, the State LGBTQ+ board, the Commission on Improving the Status of Children, and the Vice-Chair of the Indiana Systems of Care Youth and Family Subcommittee. She holds the record of sharing the most memes in our office instant messenger.