Leading with Youth Voice

Co-creating Equitable, Inclusive Systems & Practices

A webinar series for honoring and amplifying all youth 

Part 1 | Youth Voice Foundations

January 24th, 2022 | 3:30 - 5:00pm PST

What are the benefits of having voices of youth at our tables? How can we support young adults in making sure their voices are heard? Join us for a conversation about the importance of youth voice at our organization’s decision-making tables and in our communities. We’ll examine the principles of youth-driven system work and the ways it benefits our agencies, coalitions, and systems as a whole. This session will serve as grounding all participants in shared language and definitions of youth-driven practices.

Event Objectives:

  1. Understand the principles of youth-guided practices
  2. Identify and define key concepts of youth engagement
  3. Explain the benefits of youth engagement at multiple levels

Presentation Materials:

Download Youth Voice Session 1 PDF

Recording Now Available!

Part 2 | Best Practices For Youth Engagement

February 7th, 2022 | 3:30 - 5:00pm PST

Youth participation in advising and decision-making in systems change initiatives bring unique and vital insight into our work. This session will explore what is needed to promote youth and young adult engagement in program development and implementation and key factors that can contribute to disengagement. There will be a focus on learning effective strategies for engaging and maximizing youth voice and choice in designing programs and systems that work for them, how to increase young people's active participation in collaborative team settings, and how to assess whether this is happening successfully. In partnership with young adults, we'll explore what authentic youth-adult partnerships look like and learn about tangible experiences of youth about what it means to be meaningfully engaged. 

Event Objectives:

  1. Review strategies for maximizing family leadership
  2. Identify challenges and discuss solutions to engaging family and youth leadership
  3. Describe real world examples of operationalizing youth-guided 
  4. Understand how to assess youth engagement efforts

Presentation Materials:

Download Youth Voice Session 2 PDF

Recording Now Available!

Youth Voice Session 2 Participant Guide

Certificate of Attendance and Washington state clock hours available for attendees of the live session


Kirstin Thorp Headshot

Kristin Thorp (She/Her)
Youth Program Director | Youth Move National

A bit of a jack-of-all trades at Youth MOVE National, Kristin is the Youth Program Director. She supports the implementation of national evaluation of Children’s Mental Health Initiatives, provides technical assistance to the behavioral health field, facilitates engaging youth in research and evaluation projects, and works with the National Leadership Team to develop technical assistance products. 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. Self-appointed Queen of Slack, Kristin makes sure the #watercooler channel always stays lively and interesting.


Matthew Leavitt - Staff Photo

Matt Leavitt (He/Him)
Communications Coordinator | Youth Move National

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 access to 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.


DISCLAIMER: Do not reproduce or distribute this presentation for a fee without specific, written authorization from the Northwest MHTTC.

Want more information and school mental health resources? Visit the Northwest MHTTC's School Mental Health page and sign up for our newsletter for regular updates about events, trainings, and resources available to the Northwest region.

Copyright © 2024 Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network