YCE aims to create varied and diverse opportunities for people to
participate fully in their lives, schools, and communities.
Scroll over the images below to learn more about each program.
Click a program name to make your way to that program's own website.
The Young People’s Caucus (YPC) builds pathways for young people who have been directly impacted by systems involvement and systemic oppression to have a genuine voice and power in decision making in Maine. We create opportunities and connect young people, agency partners, and policy makers to work together to create public systems that support and empower all young people, with a focus on youth who have experienced the juvenile justice and foster care systems.
G2O brings together public high school students and other youth to join project teams and drive the content for meaningful, skill-building work during the summer. The program model is based on national best practices and lessons learned from multiple highly successful summer youth employability initiatives. G2O is managed by a collaborative partnership between the YCE team and many community-based organizations with lead program coordination by the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN).
YLAT lifts the voice of Maine's youth in Foster Care. It is a partnership of youth and adults working together to improve outcomes for young people in the foster care system. YLAT engages young people in monthly groups across the state, public speaking, training and increasing access to resources and opportunities to young people in foster care. In addition, YLAT provides a platform for youth to advise decision-makers, inform youth-centered laws, and craft policies.
Maine Youth Transition Collaborative (MYTC) is a network of youth leaders and public and private partners from across Maine that works to ensure that youth transitioning from the foster care system to adulthood have the resources and personal connections they need to be successful. MYTC coordinates collaborative strategies involving community and state partners to address gaps and issues vital to a young person's social/emotional well-being, intellectual development, economic self-sufficiency and health and safety.
Check out some of YCE's past initiatives.
Portland Empowered champions student and parent voice with a specific focus on engaging those who have historically been under-represented. We reduce barriers and create opportunities for emerging youth and adult leaders so that youth in Portland Public schools are successful. PE supports Youth (YEPs) and Parent (PEPs) Engagement Partners which both enable students and parents to organize together and act as change makers and advocates in their schools and communities.
The Post-Secondary Success Project (PSSP) is made up of a group of young adults with distinct life experiences navigating the postsecondary education system. They lead and work alongside educators and service providers to explore barriers, supports, and recommendations for systemic change. These individuals share life experiences such as first generation status, Black identity, English as a Second Language (ESL), and more. The PSSP community hosts conversations that mobilize change and growth both individually and collectively in order to leverage the power of lived experiences to inform policy and practice in the education system.
All of Maine’s youth deserve equitable opportunities for education and career success. Yet, youth who are systems-involved (foster care, juvenile justice and/or experiencing homelessness) have historically fallen behind their peers in the general population in these areas. As one response to this issue, Maine joined a national effort called Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) which is led by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to adapt two evidence-based models that build solid pathways for young people from high school to post-secondary education and careers.
Wabanaki REACH: Restoration, Engagement, Advocacy, Change, and Healing supports the self-determination of Wabanaki people through education, truth-telling, restorative justice, and restorative practices in Wabanaki and Maine communities. Wabananki REACH envisions a future when Maine and Wabanaki people join together to acknowledge truth and work collectively toward equity, healing, and positive change and aspires to restore right relations, responsibility, compassion, love, reciprocity, abundance, and joy.