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YCE Program Updates


Youth Leadership advisory Team - YLAT

Kicking off socially distanced in-person meetings and offering virtual skill-building opportunities each month. On September 26th, YLAT is hosting their first ever virtual conference. This year rising leaders will be trained in topic areas such as transitioning from participant to leader, exploring personality types and leadership styles, and effective communication.


Portland Empowered - PE

Portland Empowered celebrates and welcomes Pious Ali into his new role as Director. Pious is the long-time historian of PE and has led PEP’s for the last 7 years. In his new role Pious will continue to advance the vision of equitable education that is as important as ever. 


Learn to Earn and Achieve Potential - LEAP

Maine’s implementation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s national initiative, Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) 2.0, kicked off Year 2 this summer. The YCE team is making a programmatic pivot in Year 2 and participating in the initiative as a Learning Community partner. This means instead of working with our local LEAP partners on program enrollment, we will focus on system alignment. To support this strategic shift, we are working on building Opportunity Pathways and launching Regional Learning Exchanges across the state. Opportunity Pathways will take an internal look at the youth-facing programs of YCE and the Cutler Institute’s Justice Policy Program and identify ways we can partner, align, and work collaboratively to develop clear leadership pathways and skill-building opportunities for multi-system involved youth and other young people across our programs. The Regional Learning Exchanges builds on a successful practice of LEAP 1.0 to bring together partners from across the state to share resources, ideas, and practices to better serve young people through their organizations. 

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Gateway to Opportunity

This summer the Gateway to Opportunity (G2O) program went virtual! One of the YCE team’s core programmatic partners, the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN), coordinated G2O virtually across 4 host site organizations in 3 different locations: Portland, South Portland, and (for the first time ever!) Bridgton. As in every previous summer, each of the project teams of youth participants received near peer mentorship, guidance, and support from college students serving in the role of Team Leader. MYAN worked with the Cutler Institute’s Data Innovation Project on the program evaluation, and the YCE team is excited to build on MYAN’s experience from this summer to explore how more communities across Maine can adopt the G2O model (virtually as well as in person).  


Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship - CCEF

Twelve consistent, committed Fellows have engaged since the launch in December. Guest speakers from all around the country and locally have met with the Fellows. We will be wrapping up the pilot of this project in the next 2 months. Keep an eye out for a promotional video in the works to recruit the next cohort of Fellows for 2021! 

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Young People's Caucus - YPc

The Young People's Caucus welcomed in a new group of Youth Leaders, to join with some returning Youth Leaders to make a powerful new 2020-2021 cohort to lead the work of the Young People's Caucus this year. The Youth Leaders had their first meeting with the Children's Cabinet staff to explore those issues of importance to young people and provide critical feedback and ideas on one of the Children's Cabinet's strategies. We are looking forward to this partnership deepening throughout the Fall. 


ReImagine Education wrapped up this October with a final list of refined recommendations. These have been shared across Portland and beyond. We are hearing from folks how helpful these recommendations have been to continue the work of racial equity in schools. We also know multiple districts are actively working on Equity Policies. See Recommendations here.

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.

Maine Youth Transition Collaborative - MYTC

  • Advisory board meetings will kick off in October, and we are looking forward to partnering with young people and community providers around increasing resources in economic success and permanency.

  • Excited to recognize Faith Mishkin who has been accepted to the 2020 Virtual Advanced Youth Leadership Institute to strengthen skills around policy advocacy to advance equitable results in Maine!

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