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The programs and systems that serve our young people are not aligned in a way that youth get continuous support from secondary through postsecondary education and on to credentials and jobs.  As one of 23 national Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund sites, and one of only four rural sites, the Southern Maine Youth Transition Network (SMYTN) seeks to build the conditions for collective impact so youth have the relationships, skills, and opportunities needed for success as they transition into adulthood.

SMYTN seeks to remove barriers and create opportunities to connect Maine’s 16 – 24 year olds to education and careers.

Building on the momentum and relationships of prior coalitions in Cumberland and York Counties, SMYTN includes public agencies, private service providers, youth, faith-based organizations, businesses/industry sectors, foundations, and educators.

SMYTN also incorporates an essential group of youth leaders with diverse life experiences and valuable expertise to share with peers, policy- and decision-makers, and the individuals, organizations, and systems working on behalf of young people.

SMYTN work occurs at many levels, all interrelated.
These include:


An Implementation Team made up of leadership from partner agencies which is focused on improving youth outcomes by: expanding, enhancing, and aligning education and employment programming and changing policies and practices


A Community of Practice which consists of providers who work directly to support youth in accessing education and employment opportunities. Using actual case examples from the field, the COP provides a long-term cohort-based opportunity for providers to build skills related to thinking systemically, diagnosing breakdowns, managing conflict, and navigating complex inter-organizational dynamics to achieve a specific outcome. 


Youth leaders, who meet separately as SMYTN youth leaders, come together with SMTYN adults, and represent other Southern Maine leadership efforts focused on specific experiences, such as being in foster care or experiencing homelessness


Two Opportunity Brokers who work to support young people in accessing opportunities and to collect and share themes from youth experiences to inform change efforts

Portland Empowered Contact Info

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