What is the Youth MOVE Peer Center?

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

Arc Telos Saint Amour -
(But folks tend to call them Tay)
Principal Investigator

Pronouns: They/Them

Arc Telos Saint Amour is a neurodivergent, queer and trans, gender non-conforming person of Mexican Indigenous descent, and a childhood victim/survivor of trauma who deeply believes in listening to youth voices and the power of holistic affirmation and self-agency.
Arc Telos spent over ten years in the national for-profit industry as an upper level manager/director and business developer opening start-ups and working with established organizations to expand into new territories all over the US. Following this, Arc Telos spent another ten years active in the non-profit field, working with organizations through-out Chicago, New York, Vermont, California, and Michigan centering Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) practices and using trauma-informed and intersectionality based frameworks.
Arc Telos is of course more than just their career and identities. Arc Telos is vegan and practices indigenous animalism and Unitarian Universalism. They are deeply passionate about all genres of music, documentaries, hiking and other outdoor adventures (in which they are infamous for achieving minor injuries and the loss of shoes), hanging with their partner, three kids, and their two pets (Jeffrey the Pug and Rue the Ragdoll Rescue Cat), absolutely refusing to be anyone other than Princess Peach in Mario Kart or Mario Party, and consider themselves to be within the top 100 of all time high context ramblers that have an opinion on just about anything and everything.

Cassie Diaz -
Operations Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Cassie’s journey in advocacy started at a young age largely due to her and her family’s involvement in various systems. As someone with lived experience, she discovered the importance and necessity of uplifting voices (particularly in marginalized groups) in order to impact systemic change. During her undergraduate career, she participated in and led multiple peer support groups ranging from academic mentorship, sexual assault response and support, and youth mental health outreach. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies, she continued to be a staunch activist for change and reform, particularly with LGBTQI2-S, women’s rights, and racial justice groups through volunteering and organizing efforts. Cassie joins Youth MOVE National as the Operations Coordinator, providing support, leadership, and oversight to operational day-to-day functions to inform and drive YMN’s mission. In her free time, Cassie is a volunteer leader for NARAL Pro-Choice America and can often be found organizing or assisting outreach events. She also loves to cook, reads almost any book she can get her hands on, and spends as much time as possible with her partner, friends, and family.

Paige Martin -
Communications & Technology Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Paige Martin (she/her) started her journey with Youth MOVE National back in January 2021. Paige began as a Communications Intern with Youth MOVE. Her lived experience and passion for uplifting voices and stories is what drives Paige to give her all in her day to day work! Paige has experience with all age groups, and loved learning from and empowering youth at every age. One of her most notable experiences was working with youth in crisis and experiencing homelessness. She helped create a safe and healthy place for youth to visit and find resources. Paige is also a proud advocate for youth and young adults who have experienced psychotic episodes. With her lived experience, she has worked diligently and passionately with the EASA (Early Assessment and Support Alliance) program. When Paige has some free time, she enjoys playing and making toys for her cats, Pepper and Mike Meowski. She also enjoys a cup of tea every night with a good book!

Lydia Proulx -
Project Director

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.

Shayn McDonald -
Technical Assistance Specialist

Pronouns: They/Them

Shayn’s passion for youth advocacy and social change is rooted in their many lived experiences and involvement in systems throughout their lifetime. As a queer young adult and trauma survivor, Shayn is particularly invested in education and advocacy around LGBTQ2-S+ communities, and actively seeks to highlight and address the impact of trauma and systemic oppression with the intention of creating greater change. Their involvement in the mental health system in particular motivates them to continue expanding awareness around the diversity of human experiences, and they believe that every person is deserving of community and self-determined support. Prior to joining Youth MOVE National, Shayn worked as the Youth Advocacy Coordinator for the Zia Young Adult Access Center—a Massachusetts-based, youth-led peer support and resource connection center that educated and advocated around youth advocacy and system change. When not working, Shayn enjoys spending time with their cat and watching notoriously bad horror movies. They also love philosophical conversations and contemplating the nature of the universe.

Michelle Vance -
Technical Assistance Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her

Michelle’s advocacy work began when she attended a planning meeting where she met project stakeholders interested in hearing what they could do better for young adults. She was a great person to connect to as she has never had a shortage of ideas to create change in the foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. Michelle spent extensive time working on youth voice and youth engagement within Utah’s Systems of Care and Healthy Transitions Initiative. She is a trained Peer Support Specialist who helped develop a Youth MOVE chapter in Utah. Michelle is proud of the work she led in creating intentional spaces for youth to share their experiences directly with those involved in policy and systems change efforts. On the weekends, Michelle is an avid gamer, PS4 and Switch are her favorite past times. She also has two dogs, a hedgehog, and a day gecko, that keep life interesting.

Te Jay McGrath -
Technical Assistance Specialist

Pronouns: He/Him

Te Jay brings many years of professional and lived experience to the Youth MOVE team. Not only has he directly served and supported many types of young adults, especially those experiencing homelessness, he has worked on policy changes when it comes to LGBTQ+ initiatives, anti-bullying efforts, and public health inequities. Te Jay has been performing all around southern California as his drag persona, Tia Wanna, for over 9 years. Originally from Hawaii, Te Jay is a Korean American who now resides in Los Angeles where he has called home for over a decade.

Victoria Eckert -
Data and Quality Coordinator/Technical Assistance Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her

Victoria comes to Youth MOVE National as a Licensed Social Worker in New York State but also with family lived experience. As a young person starting her career, she was lucky to begin working as a Youth Engagement Specialist with Chautauqua County, NY System of Care that not only taught her about the importance of systems change work but led her to fall in love with the acknowledgement and encouragement that people with lived experience should always be heard. Victoria brings her strong background in System of Care implementation, suicide prevention and trauma informed care to the Youth MOVE National team. As Victoria loves to talk and share her passion for this work, you can also find her teaching undergraduate mental health classes at SUNY Fredonia. When Victoria is not working, she loves to spend time with family, garden, go backpacking, or hit up the gym with friends.

Jasmine Boatwright -
Lead Technical Assistance 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.

Joshua Calarino -
Technical Assistance Specialist

Pronouns: He/Him

Joshua’s journey began with Youth MOVE Miami. He had gone the first time to simply attend a Salsa dance class. It was through the arts that Joshua became connected with himself and his peers. From there he slowly got out of his shell and learned about the Youth Movement. It was there that he found his voice and learned to use it. He slowly became a leader who used his lived experience to advocate for local, even state, policy surrounding systems of care. It was through his passion and dedication that he became a national leader speaking at conferences and affecting change all over the country. His hope is that youth can become leaders just like he has become. To give to others what Youth MOVE gave to him. A voice and a message to spread. On his off time Joshua loves to travel and eat new foods!

Elizabeth Calcaterra -
Intern at Youth MOVE National

Pronouns: She/Her

Elizabeth Calcaterra (she/her) is Youth MOVE National’s Intern from August 2022 through May 2023. She is completing her Master of Science in Social Work through the University of Tennessee and is excited to complete her final internship with us. Elizabeth currently resides in Michigan where she works as a Volunteers Program Director and a Juvenile Detention Youth Specialist. She loves to spend time outside in any weather with her dog named Pico. Elizabeth looks forward to learning from the National Leadership Team at Youth MOVE, our partners, and our Chapter Network.