Healthy Change On the Move…Change Agent Youth M.O.V.E.

Kim and I were honored to be invited to and attend a special Children’s Mental Health Committee meeting last Friday at Chestnut Health Systems.  The focus topic was Youth M.O.V.E. Illinois.  Mary Pat Dejarnette, Region V Family Leadership Coordinator, from the Karla Smith Foundation graciously invited us to attend the meeting with her since she is aware that Kim has been seeking a healthy way to share her story and use her voice in advocating for others her age, especially in the realm of mental health.

So…what exactly is Youth M.O.V.E. Illinois?  They are one of 32 statewide chapters across the country helping to fulfill the mission of Youth M.O.V.E. National.  I think the Youth M.O.V.E. National website explains their mission best by saying, “Youth M.O.V.E National is a youth led national organization devoted to improving services and systems that support positive growth and development by uniting the voices of individuals who have lived experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education and child welfare.”

And…what are Youth M.O.V.E. National’s goals?  “…to assist in developing the Youth Leadership program at meetings, to create youth movement principles and policies, to develop training tools, guides and other documents, to unite the voices and causes of youth, to act as consultants to youth, providers families and other adults, to provide national youth leadership representing youth served by mental health and other youth-serving systems and to coach others in the area of authentic youth involvement.”

How encouraging!  There is meaningful change taking place that takes into account our nations youth!  And even more encouraging is that the changes taking place come from voices of experience.

It is exciting that there are organizations that exist today that not only support our youth but encourage our youth, with real world experience in various systems, to use their voices to create positive, meaningful change.  If you are interested in learning more about Youth M.O.V.E. National or starting a chapter you can find more information about them on their website:  And if you are interested in learning more about how to get involved with Youth M.O.V.E. Illinois you can check out their website here:  I encourage you to check them out and learn how you can become a change agent too!

Growing stronger…


Youth M.O.V.E. Illinois.  Accessed on June 22, 2012 at

Youth M.O.V.E. National.  Accessed on June 22, 2012 at