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young people's caucus

The Young People’s Caucus brings together youth from across

the State to inform decision-makers about those issues impacting

the lives and futures of young people here in Maine.

join the young people's caucus!

Are you a young person directly impacted by 

the juvenile justice system, foster care, systemic racism, homelessness and/or identity-based oppression? 

Are you interested in sharing your perspective and
ideas with state and local legislators to make
positive change informed by your experiences?

The Young People's Caucus prepares and supports individuals ages 15-26, like yourself, to use their voice and make direct
change in Maine through the following projects. All of these are paid opportunities and begin gathering in mid-November of 2022.

To learn more, hover over project name below:

Legs in Jeans

The Learning Cohort

A group of 10 youth leaders will meet every other week to make deep connections with one another and the community at large, gaining a greater understanding of each person’s lived experience, the legislative process, local politics, the history of youth-led change making, and the power and potential of meaningful legislation. In the spring, you will have the opportunity to turn this knowledge into action, meeting with adult leaders who can support the change you want to make.

*virtual meetings with some in-person opportunities

Support Group

The Youth Caucus Planning Committee

A group of 10-20 youth leaders will meet every other week to learn about caucuses and the legislative system, and to design the second annual Youth Caucus, an event in February that brings legislators and young people together to discuss issues that directly impact Maine youth and to move towards solutions. Last year's Youth Caucus included discussions on five key issues: youth justice, foster care, racial equity in schools, workforce development and climate justice. This year’s planning committee will decide the format and focus topics for the 2023 Youth Caucus! 

*virtual meetings with some in-person opportunities

Music Recording

The Youth Voice Podcast

A group of youth leaders will meet every other week to design, plan and run a talk show hosted by and for Maine's young people. In partnership with WMPG Portland, youth leaders will record discussions and interviews and edit material into podcast episodes.  The first season included six young women who discussed their perspectives on growing up in ethnic households, family, schools in Maine, pop culture, mental health and more. 

What will the next season sound like?  That's up to you!

*hybrid meetings

Interested in joining us? Click here 


text or call 207.747.9562

Join us on January 27th for our virtual Youth Caucus at the State House!

Do you have experiences, ideas and/or opinions that you want to share with adults at the State House?

Do you want to join a movement of young people using their voices to help make Maine a state where all young people thrive?  

At the virtual Youth Caucus at the State House, you will have the chance to share your experiences and ideas with legislators, commissioners and other adult decision-makers. The event will include presentations and breakout space discussions centered on five key issues: youth justice, foster care, racial equity in schools, workforce development and climate justice. Any young person (15-25 years old) from anywhere in Maine is welcome to participate in this event! 

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To learn more about the event, click here and read our FAQs! 


To register for the event, click here! 

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Join us as a leader for Young People’s Caucus!


Are you a young person who wants to help lead for change across all the systems—education, juvenile justice, child welfare—that affect young people in Maine?  

Do you have experiences, ideas, opinions that you want to share to help adult partners truly understand the issues impacting young people in Maine?

Co-Facilitate... at the State House to engage legislators and decision-makers on a range of topics

Plan & Design...

...each of the YPC events, presentations, conversations 

and workshops

Lead, Direct & Drive...

...the direction of YPC - decide what issues/topics to focus on, how to structure meetings, when and how to engage adult partners, etc.

Get Paid!

$20/hour with additional paid training opportunities

YPC Youth Network Leaders are young adults (ages 14-26) who care about issues and systems that affect young people—juvenile justice, child welfare, education, racial justice, mental health, employment pathways, transportation—and who want to use their voice to help make change. Youth Network Leaders meet regularly to build connections with one another and discuss their experiences and ideas, and work alongside commissioners and legislators to inform them about the issues impacting young people across the state of Maine.


YPC is open to any young people in Maine, with or without previous leadership experience, and especially welcomes young people with lived experience in juvenile justice, the foster care system, homelessness, and/or young people who have experienced identity-based oppression.

Additionally, YPC Youth Network Leaders...

The Young People's Caucus is Committed to: 
​​Engaging youth most directly impacted by injustice and systemic oppression
Supporting the leadership and holistic development of young people
Strengthening intergenerational and intersectional movements
Shifting power dynamics to create change

Interested in joining us? Click here 


text or call 207.747.9562

2020-2021 youth leaders
 The Young People's Caucus strives to be a platform for young people to share their experience, opinions and ideas. YPC is a launching point for youth to be actively involved and supported in working in partnership with decision-makers to create positive change for all young people. YPC is what it is today because of the leadership of Youth and the partnership of organizations across Maine.  In 2020-21, the Young People’s Caucus worked closely with Maine’s Children’s Cabinet. Youth Leaders and Children’s Cabinet members met three times during the year to discuss racial equity and education, building opportunities for paid work experience for young people, and creating and sustaining meaningful youth engagement.

 Below, meet some of the Youth Leaders who led this work!

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Antonio T Tela

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Ladi Nzeyimana

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“We are living in the world that they set up, thus we have to recognize this and work together in order to create one for the next generation.”   – Youth Leader

“I shared my experiences and felt like people heard me and responded to me.” – Youth Leader

“I hope to have deeper conversations in the future and to grow our group with other youth. Also to aid and create large changes.” – Youth Leader


“We can only be as serious as you take us.” – Youth Leader 

young people's caucus









The work YPC has accomplished...

  • In 2019 YPC hosted 6 events at the State House addressing issues from Substance Misuse to Juvenile Justice Reform

  • At the start of 2020 YPC hosted two events at the State House, before Covid: (1) A Rural Roundtable on the Intersectional Issues Youth from Rural Areas Experience (2) A Focus on Under-Represented Voices of Youth

  • When COVID began, YPC youth leaders met weekly to connect with one another, share challenges, plan and organize the following:

  • In the Spring 2020 during the pandemic the YPC hosted virtual events for the DOE & DHHS.

  • In the Summer the YPC engaged youth and educators in ReImagine Education, a collaborative project to address racism in the school system. 

Our new reality with COVID has lifted up and reinforced what young people have told us and continue to tell us about how to approach policy:  We are all interconnected through each other and the systems that structure and govern our lives. Decision-makers have an opportunity to REIMAGINE a future that acknowledges this interconnectedness and supports young people on issues of health (mental & physical), transportation, education, immigration, child welfare, paid work, criminal justice, housing, and civic engagement.

Where we're going...

  • Youth Leaders want authentic relationships and opportunities to engage decision-makers. In response this Fall the YPC is working closely with the Children’s Cabinet to explore Youth Engagement and Racial Justice from the perspective of a diverse group of Youth Leaders.

  • In addition, from January through June youth leaders will have the opportunity individually and collectively to host events (open to all) as well as respond to specific needs, requests and issues that arise. We welcome you to reach out if you would like to connect with the Young People’s Caucus.

YPC is made possible in partnership with Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN)

and representative Victoria Morales. For more information:

young people's caucus LEADERS
2019 - 2020

Ali Abdulkadir

  • Juvenile Justice

  • Community Resources

  • Racial Justice


Antonio T Tela

  • Racial Justice

  • Education Reform

  • Mental Health

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  • Environmental Justice

  • Juvenile Justice

  • Restorative Justice


Feza Wembo Baelongandi

  • Language Skills Improvement

  • Leadership Life Skills Improvement

  • Restorative Justice


Ladi Nzeyimana

  • Youth Voice

  • Racial Justice

  • Community Organizing


Sadie Ouillette

  • Queer & Trans Rights & Activism

  • Restorative Justice

  • Education




  • Maine Youth Justice

  • Juvenile Justice

  • Youth Voice


Xena-Marie Hill

  • Communication & Leadership Skills

  • Advocacy & Activism

  • Youth-Led Projects


Zubeyda Shute

  • Racial Justice

  • Restorative Justice

  • Women's Rights

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