Rockstar FinalLogo2 Trans ForWebYouth M.O.V.E. National presents its Rock Star Awards to individuals and/or organizations who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of youth, services and systems that support positive growth and development of young people who have lived experience in various child-serving systems including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare. 


  • Recipients need not be members of Youth M.O.V.E. National.

  • The award may be given posthumously.

  • Prospective recipients may self-nominate

  • Current members of the Board of Directors, National Leadership Team and previous recipients of the award are not eligible for nomination.


Nominations for 2016 RockStar Awards are now closed. We look forward to your nominations in 2017!

Additional Information in the RockStar Awards Informational Packet



Individuals and/or organizations nominated should have distinguished themselves in one or more the following ways:


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity Nomination Form

Youth M.O.V.E. National is pleased to offer the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National. YMN has partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to honor and reward excellence in promoting health equity and systems transofrmation work.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National recognizes and honors individuals who have successfully implemented a systems change approach within the past two years to improve outcomes for those impacted by health disparities. With this award, we are aiming to recognize and celebate an individual who has helped to create a culture of health, particularly in one or more of the following areas: access to quality care, education, employment, income, community environment, housing, and public safety.

One nominee (an individual or team of up to two individuals) will receive national recognition, as well as a $3000 prize. The prize money is unrestricted and may be used in any way determined by the winner.

Eligibility - Consistent with the Offical Rules for this award, in order to be considered for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by Youth M.O.V.E. National, nominees must be:

  • Citzens or legal residents of the United States;
  • Thirteen (13) years of age or older;
  • Not a trustee, director, officer, stakeholder, employee, contractor, agent, representative, affliliate of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Youth M.O.V.E. National, selection committee, or the spouse/domestic partner, parent, sibling, child, or grandchild of any of the foregoing;
  • Have not previously received any Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity from any sponsor organization in any year.

Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year:

1. Outstanding and continued service to the profession through active support of youth voice as evidenced by efforts to ensure youth voice is fully integrated into the work.

2. Outstanding and continued commitment to youth engagement in a manner consistent with the highest standards of the field. These standards may be met in a variety of ways, including activity which involves exceptional creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership, or scholarship.

3. Outstanding research and/or publication in any media or format that contributes to the further understanding and development of authentic engagement of youth voice.

4. Outstanding and continued performance as a teacher in the field of social services or a closely related field.


Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year:

1. Outstanding and continued performance as a youth or young adult advocate between the ages of 14 and 29 with lived experience in one or more child-serving system including, but not limited to, mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare.

2. Recognized and respected amongst peers and adults for exemplary leadership skills.

3. Outstanding and continued commitment to authentic representation of youth voice in a manner consistent and relative to youth culture and issues These standards may be met in a variety of ways, including activity which involves moral courage, social media, creative arts, youth support groups, etc.

4. Outstanding participation in youth-led projects and/or groups aimed to increase awareness of mental health, juvenile justice, education or child welfare issues.


Organization of the Year:

1. Outstanding and continued development of youth-guided programs and practices.

2. Recognized as a leading organization in engaging and promoting youth voice in all levels of the organization.

3. Outstanding implementation of authentic youth engagement as is evidenced in written policies and procedures, presence of youth on governing authorities, and as reported by young people in program.

4. Outstanding commitment to youth engagement as is evidenced by efforts among others to ensure youth are fully integrated into work.

5. Outstanding and continued support of a recognized chapter of Youth MOVE National as evidenced by the creation of a positive partnership between youth and adults/parents.


Marlene Matarese Advocate for Youth of the Year:

1. Outstanding and continued support and facilitation of youth and young adult voice as evidenced by involvement in youth-led projects, trainings, etc…

2. Recognized as a significant support person for youth and young adults involved in advocating for positive systems change.

3. Outstanding and continued commitment to being a champion for youth voice.

4. Outstanding relationships with youth and young adults.


Youth M.O.V.E. National Chapter of the Year:

1. Outstanding and continued performance as a nationally recognized chapter of Youth M.O.V.E. National in good standing for at least one (1) year.

2. Recognized and respected within statewide and/or local community as youth-led group that upholds the mission and vision of Youth MOVE National

3. Outstanding and continued commitment to authentic representation of youth voice in a manner consistent and relative to youth culture and issues These standards may be met in a variety of ways, including activity which involves moral courage, social media, creative arts, youth support groups, etc.

4. Outstanding participation in innovative thinking that contributes to the field of youth engagement with an aim to increase awareness and best practices of mental health, juvenile justice, education or child welfare issues.


Youth Advocate of the Year:

Chandra Watts (Youth M.O.V.E. Massachusetts) (2015)

Chandra Watts is the Lead Peer Support Specialist at Youth M.O.V.E. Massachusetts and the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, a statewide, non-profit, family organization based in Massachusetts dedicated to improving the mental health and well-being of children, youth, young adults and famillies through advocacy and education.  She uses her lived experience to educate her community about the stigma surrounding mental health.  She advocates for positive charge in all youth serving systems in the state of Massachusetts.  Driven by her own past within the mental health system, Chandra aims to help youth and young adults make a voice for themselves and be heard at the local, state, and national level.

Niketa Currie (Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina) (2014)

Niketa embodies the journey of lived experience with bravery, humor and understanding that adults can learn from. When appropriate, she shares her lived story with her peers and community stakeholders so that other young people overcome their fear of expressing their strengths and talents with no fear! Niketa's journey from Youth Advocate to Advocate for Youth is even evident in the successes she's experienced as a young mother and advocate for her son Xavier, and her recent transition to living independently. With all of these life changing events Niketa continues to actively serve on the statewide board of Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina as Secretary.

(Brendan Ward (Memphis, TN) (2013)

Brendan Ward is a young person that commands an audience. Since he has learned how to share his story of overcoming his diagnosis; he has become unstoppable. He actively seeks opportunities to read his speeches and poems detailing his journey from, as he calls it, "Uncontrolled ADHD to Controlled ADHD". Over the years he has boldly inspired many parents, and community & government officials.

Eric Lulow (2012)

Angelica Roberts (2011)


Marlene Matarese Advocate for Youth of the Year:

Damie Jackson-Diop (2015)

Damie Jackson-Diop has been involved in youth transition work for almost 10 years with North Carolina Families United, serving as the Youth Transition Program Director.  She helped to start Powerful Youth United, which then incorporated into Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina in 2010.  She works tirelessly to ensure youth voices are at the table and are heard.  Even when she meets pushback from agencies or decision-making bodies, she is motivated to push even harder for youth voice.  She is humble and will always give recognition to youth or others.

Bruce Brumfield (Onondaga Youth MOVE) (2014)

Bruce Brumfield is a part of Onondaga Youth MOVE and OnCare, which is a collaborative system of caring and support that provides what families need for their children and youth with emotional or behavioral challenges to be happy and successful in the home, school and community. He works with youth ages 12 – 21 years old; teaching them life skills in real social situations so that they can be successful in their life's endeavors.

Ratisha Carter (Champaign, IL) (2013)

Ratisha Carter is the Statewide Director for Youth M.O.V.E. Illinois and Youth Engagement Specials for Access Initiative. ACCESS Initiative is a System of Care in Champaign County to help youth (ages 10-18) function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. Ratisha has exemplified an uncompromising determination to support youth, a willingness to learn and perfect her methods to effectively engage youth, and provides numerous opportunities for youth to UNDERSTAND the world in which they live and to be UNDERSTOOD by their therapist, counselors, program directors, community, schools and family.

Lorrin Gehring (2012)

Marlene Matarese (2011) Inaugural Award to Namesake


Organization of the Year:

Federation of Families Miami-Dade (2015)

Federation of Families Miami-Dade has been a great supporter of youth voice!  In 2014, when FOF was awarded a large sum of funds to open a drop-in center, Youth M.O.V.E. Maimi was unsure of how they would fit into the equation.  But FOF had a plan...they allocated the funds to make certain Youth M.O.V.E. Miami had a home in what is now The Youth & Family Center that has allowed Youth M.O.V.E. Miami to run meetings and events.  FOF is a great example of the support youth groups around the country need to impact their community.

Kentucky Partnerships for Families and Children (2014)

Kentucky Partnership has worked over the past fifteen years to understand, grow and implement a "youth-guided/driven" System of Care. They have grown to include eleven community mental health centers each with regional youth councils and provides a training and a monthly stipend for youth leaders to facilitate each youth council meeting. For the past six years, Kentucky Partnership's statewide youth council has been an equal partner in the planning of the their annual youth/parent conference

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (Washington DC) (2013)

Under the leadership of Dr. Phyllis Magrab, Principal Investigator, and Jim Wotring, Director, the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development has consistently believed in the value of youth voice. They have consistently supported and engaged initiatives and projects that help support young voice and the work of young people.

Magellan Health Services (2012)

Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (2011)


Youth M.O.V.E. National Chapter of the Year:

Youth M.O.V.E. Maine (2015)

Youth M.O.V.E. Maine has successfully embedded themselves in communities across Maine as leaderss of Youth Peer Support.  They have supported hundreds of young people with lived experience across the state in identifying their strengths and passions.  Their unique ability to acquire braided funds from SAMHSA, Department of Corrections and smaller contracts has helped them to employ youth and young adults with lived experience to build authentic relationships with young people.  Youth M.O.V.E. Maine also works with various community members, businesses, officials and social service providers to provide resources and skills a young person needs to thrive in a way that young person sees fit.  They are also working closely with the Department of Corrections to strengthen re-entry efforts and support youth in being positive leaders and role models.  They are in a great position to build a better Maine.

Youth M.O.V.E. Miami Through the Arts (2014)

Youth M.O.V.E. Miami represents many different cultures and backgrounds, yet all have a united voice. Through the use of creative arts they aim to use individual experiences to promote positive messages about wellness in the community. They provide youth an opportunity to express themselves in creative ways by engaging in several workshops to create their messages such as; poetry and spoken word, art and photography, and drama and skits. As equal partners in their systems of care, they empower and strengthen youth voices in order to motivate wellness and success.

Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon (Eugene, Oregon) (2013)

Under the leadership of Martin Rafferty, Executive Director, Youth MOVE Oregon has achieved it's dream of becoming an independent, youth driven, non-profit organization, offering the voice of young people to the state of Oregon. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon's work on the ground in the state with drop-in centers, trainings and advocacy is inspiring for all who are impacted. Their work in youth peer to peer support is timely in today's service environment; and their courage in addressing suicide attempts head on are an example of their willingness to do whatever it takes to support young adults.

Youth M.O.V.E. North Carolina (2012)

Youth M.O.V.E. Arkansas (2011)


Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year:

Jasmine Boatwright (Youth M.O.V.E. Detroit) (2015)

Jasmine Boatwright is the Youth Involvement Coordinator for Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority's Children's Initiatives Department and Champion for the Detroit Youth M.O.V.E. and Michigan's Chapters. She leads the Youth United initiative for the Department as well as outreach events, youth trainings, and participates on several committees - including youth and parent advisory councils, upper management system meetings, and an executive leadership collaborative body.  Jasmine's experience, knowledge, and leadership skills have turned a small initiative into a large population of youth who, inspired by her commitment and passion, are gaining momentum to impact change in their community.

Dr. JoAnne Malloy (2014)

Dr. JoAnne Malloy is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work and the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. She ensures that youth drive their own planning and participate in system change at the policy, planning, and evaluation level. JoAnne uses data to show how youth can achieve the highest level of positive outcomes by following their dreams and being connected to communities; she fully believes in youth, and listens to their ideas for project improvement.

Gwen White (Washington, DC) (2013)

Gwen White is the Project Director of the Healthy Transitions Initiative (HTI). This initiative allocated 25 million dollars to integrate services and supports for youth and young adults 16-25 with serious mental health conditions and their families. Gwen  has been an incredibly supportive adult ally, gets youth voice, and has successfully applied engaging youth and young adults in the Healthy Transitions Initiative. When funding was cut from the FY2014 budget she continued to engage and rally to reinstate the funding.

Elizabeth Waetzig (2012)

Dr. Gary M. Blau (2011)  Inaugural Award to namesake


Latest Social Updates

RT @LambdaLegal: Note: This does NOT change the law. Trans students are still protected by Title IX. This intentionally creates confusion.…
RT @Variety: .@ddlovato on her new documentary: Mental health is "just as important as physical health" https://t.c…
When your bags are packed, and you’re just waiting for NASA to say you can move to TRAPPIST-1.
Same-sex marriage laws linked to fewer youth suicide attempts
OK, we like these tips. Now, to apply them… 🤔
Check out the recording of KSOC-TV’s live webisode, “Intersecting Identities: Improving Health Outcomes for LGBTQI2-S Youth of Color.” where a panel of experts share evidence-based strategies for helping LGBTQI2-S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Two-Spirit) youth of color!
This webisode will explore the intersecting identities of LGBTQI2-S youth of color and look at ways to help providers, afterschool program facilitators, families, youth, and others better understand i
Congress’s rush to repeal health care will have devastating consequences for Millennials’ physical, mental, and financial health. A recent report found that if Congress doesn’t slow down and come up with a plan to improve health care so that it better meets our state’s needs, our generation’s premiums will go up on average $725 next year. Tell Speaker Ryan that the 8 million Millennials who have gained coverage under the ACA -- and the millions more who have higher quality coverage they can count on -- can’t afford to go back. Sign the petition: #ProtectOurCare
How to train your brain to go positive instead of negative. 💆
Youth MOVE National, in partnership with BRSSTACS, is excited to offer opportunities for technical assistance!
Have you been involved in the adult justice system as a youth, or has a member of your family or loved one had this experience? Do you want to share your story to help spark change and make sure this doesn't happen to more young people? We want to hear from you! The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is looking to expand our National Spokesperson Bureau, and we want you to apply! CFYJ will host a Spokespeople Training from May 17-19 2017, in Washington, DC. During our training you will learn how to share your experience as a powerful tool that can help others make positive changes. We will work on developing your narrative and putting a relatable face on the people that are in the criminal justice system, shattering stereotypes and misconceptions about what our justice system is or is not. We will explore how your story can affect change, and how you can use it to educate others. **The deadline to apply is March 3, 2017.
Want to join the National Youth Advisory Council? Now is your chance! The National Youth Advisory Council provides guidance and expertise to Doors to Wellbeing (D2W) staff on matters related to projects and activities. Council members typically have expertise in fields related to the D2W Focuses. These Focuses include: - Youth Leadership - Evidence Based Practices & Self-Help Services within Consumer-run Organizations - Education & Training of EBP& Self-Help Services for Veterans from the war in Afghanistan & Iraq - Implementation of Best Practices for Consumer-Run Organizations and Peer Specialists
We love hearing about all of the amazing advocacy our Chapters are doing in their communities and states! Great work Tyler & Youth MOVE Indiana!
Raise your hand if you're glad it's Friday. 🙋🏻🙋🏾‍♂️🙋🏼🙋🏿🙋🏼‍♂️
Check it out!
The STAR Center was back in Austin, Texas this month working with youth and peer leaders from across Texas!
Let Congress Know You Want It to Save Medicaid for Former Foster Youth! Across the country, about 23,000 young people age out of the foster care system each year, and they are more likely than their peers to suffer from health issues due to exposure to trauma, homelessness, and neglect. Medicaid for Former Foster Fouth has positively impacted the lives of thousands of former foster youth, ensuring that they are also able to stay covered until age 26 as a provision of the Affordable Care Act. We want to ensure that in the current debate over health care policy in this country, this provision is not lost! Join us Wednesday, February 15th for a Call-In Day asking your elected officials to preserve Medicaid for Former Foster Youth! Learn more, here:
Across the country, about 23,000 young people age out of the foster care system each year, and they are more likely than their peers to suffer from health issues due to exposure to trauma, homelessnes
Former #fosteryouth experience PTSD @ 2x rate of combat vets. #Medicaidto26 means they can stay healthy.…
Calling all Youth Leaders!!! Don’t miss your opportunity to join us TODAY at 3:30pm-5pm ET for the highly interactive Direct Connect National Learning Community for Young Leaders on with working with "hard to reach" populations hosted by Linda M. Callejas, Ph.D. & Catalina Booth, J.D. from the Cultural & Linguistic Competence Team at the TA Network for Children’s Behavioral Health! Join using the following link: We look forward to connecting with you and supporting you in developing skills and relationships that will help you in your work to transform the behavioral health system and expand Systems of Care.
Marieke and Hannah are just finishing up some onsite planning with our newest Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter in Texas, ACCEPT!
RT @TransitionsRTC: Are you a #youngadult who has lived experience in #fostercare? @YouthMOVE giving $50 for your participation in driving…
Mark your calendars - you're invited to: RECOVERY LIVE: DEFINING OUR OWN RECOVERY on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EST) Recovery LIVE! participants engage directly with moderators and each other through live chatting, polls, and other interactive features. Listen in to the conversation... and be a part of it! Defining Our Own Recovery will explore the experiences of young people in recovery who share their personal stories in order to create change. Recovery movement leaders will share their perspectives on how individuals can share stories in ways that maximize impact and minimize personal and professional risk. This session will also explore how organizations working with young people can support them in sharing their own recovery stories. Register here:
If you enjoyed BRSS TACS First Fridays, you'll like our new Recovery LIVE! events. Defining Our Own Recovery: Strategic Sharing and Recovery Messaging for Young People is part of a new series of BRS
Have you heard of the"Start with Hello" campaign that helps teach children, teens and young adults about social inclusion and how to become more connected with one another? This campaign is meant to help others feel included and welcomed by simply starting with hello! Whether you’re a teacher, student, parent, or community member, Madison Cares invites you to join in the Start with Hello campaign, this coming week February 6th-10th! Learn more, here:
Visit the post for more.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind!
RT @ProjectBuddy: ✨ Thread of information about mental illnesses ✨
Don't miss Defining Our Own Recovery: Strategic Sharing and Recovery Messaging for Young People on Feb 23. Register…
We're so proud to have Teens4Change as a Vermont Youth M.O.V.E. Chapter, although they are relatively new to the family they have done and continue to do some really amazing and inspiring work in their community! Check out their latest photos from Mental Health Advocacy Day.
Get ready to #MOVEItForward 2017. Save these dates.
Have you decided to #GetCovered? The deadline is literally TONIGHT.
Perfect Monday evening reminder!
Thanks for the awesome chat! #millennialmon
RT @WorkingAmerica: A10 Bringing this back up! Make sure you #getcovered before tomorrow's deadline at #MillennialM
A11: Want to #SaveACA? Get involved. Text your zip code to (520) 200-2223, find your rep's number, and call them. Today. #MillennialMon
RT @YoungInvincible: Last question! Q11: The ACA allowed me to finally #GetCovered, how can I help protect it? #MillennialMon
A10: ABSOLUTELY. If you sign up now, you will be covered till the next insurance cycle—no matter what happens to #ACA. #MillennialMon
Youth MOVE Indiana: Fort Wayne Chapter thank you for sharing a little bit of love and brightening up our Facebook feed - Keep up the amazing work!
"When you face a really tough situation, you often feel vulnerable, perhaps even hopeless. But you’re not alone in the situation. You often have quite a number resources to use — mentors, colleagues, or friends to go to for guidance, or steps you can take when preparing. You can even make slight adjustments to the event itself to make it more manageable."
So don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.