Back to RockStar Awards Homepage. 


  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity 

Garron Rogers (Youth MOVE North Carolina) (2016)

Garron Rogers is the Youth Transitions Director with Youth MOVE North Carolina. Garron is a tireless advocate and is, and has been, committed to youth voice throughout his career. Through his work with Second Round Boxing, with BECOMING, and now with Youth MOVE, Garron has implemented a number of youth driven programs, including Man Up. Man Up is a group huddle for young men ages 16-21 to explore topics and issues facing young men in Durham. From defying stereotypes to respect to music the dialogue and group helps build the potential in each young man. Garron has designed and implemented school based mentoring programs, youth leadership academies, youth peer support training, as well as the Youth On Fire Awards to recognize youth who have proven leadership and given back to their schools and community. In addition, Garron is a tireless advocate who supports youth one on one, helping them to obtain employment, navigate the justice system, and advocate for youth's mental and medical health needs by meeting with their supports.

  • Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year:

Adam Nooe (Youth MOVE Broward) (2016)

Adam Nooe is a wellness coach at the South Florida Wellness Network and serves as the President of Youth M.O.V.E. Broward. He works with transition age youth, teaching them life skills and linking them to community resources. Adam uses his lived experience to provide training to professionals on co-occurring disorders and the mental health system from a peer perspective to help those without personal experience understand their impact on youth living with their diagnoses. Adam is an active advocate for youth voice and choice in the community, providing trainings, participating in media events, and more.

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:

Kaley Ford (C.A.Y. MOVE) (2016)

Kaley is the Youth Services Manager at Advocacy Services for Kids in Kalamazoo, Michigan, she has been a strong advocate for the youth through the C.A.Y. (Calling All Youth) M.O.V.E. program. She consistently engages youth in presenting to our community on mental health issues and creatively empowering youth to raises their voices and develop leadership skills. This year Kaley advocated with youth leaders to secure a city proclamation for May 5th as Children's Mental Health Awareness Day and proceeded to host a "Dunk Out Mental Health Stigma" event, attended by over 5,000 people

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:

Youth United (2016)

Youth United is a youth-led initiative whose purpose is to promote youth voice and youth involvement throughout CONNECTIONS Wayne County System of Care. Youth United promotes training and leadership, youth advocacy, and stigma busting events and workshops relative to mental health challenges, all done through the voices of youth with lived experience. Because of Youth United's hard work and dedication, youth are fully integrated into our system of care. Youth United has become the premier organization in Wayne County for youth involvement and youth engagement.

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 MOVE Indiana (2016)

Since 2014 Youth MOVE Indiana members have attended over 30 conferences, have presented and represented in four states and two countries, marched in the Circle City Pride Parade, and grown its membership across the state! Members of the Indiana chapter of Youth MOVE represent almost all of the social serving systems in the state and serve as representatives on groups from the State Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, to the Indiana Recovery Network Alliance, and the Indiana Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group at the Governor's office. System of Care efforts are at the heart of their work. Youth MOVE Indiana is dedicated to ensuring youth representation whenever there is policy change, state or local-level, that affects youth-serving systems.

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:

Caitlin Baird (Youth MOVE Oregon) (2016)

Caitlin Baird is the Wraparound Initiative Project Lead at Youth MOVE Oregon. In her role she serves on statewide policy committees, legislative work groups, and provides youth peer support. Throughout this work she demonstrates the great value (and necessity) of having youth voice present and heard. She strategically and effectively weaves elements of her own lived experiences into discussions that exemplify why it is important for adults in decision-making roles to include youth. Not only does she remind us of its importance, she demonstrates how it is done - by being present and delivering youth and young adult messages into the process.

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

Are you an #LGBTQ teen between the ages of 13-17? HRC & @UConn want to hear from you! 🙋 🙋‍♂️
Know someone doing great work w/ youth? Now's your chance to recognize them! Nominate for the RockStar Awards today…
RT @CtrSchoolMH: We want youth leaders who care about mental health to join us for a Leadership Day. RT to spread the word! Details: https:…
RT @NAMICommunicate: New bill, still bad for mental health. #Act4MentalHealth and tell Congress to vote NO on #GrahamCassidy:…
RT @volunTEENnation: Nominate individuals that are improving lives of youth in the Juvenile Justice System and/or MentalHealth @YouthMove h…
RT @MAFpajarito: We're excited to announce that we can now offer #Dreamers FULL SCHOLARSHIPS to pay for #DACA renewal. Apply today! : https…
BONUS! We asked @ListenLucy's Jordan for one last benefit to sharing your story as a means of advocacy. We couldn't…
Good news! The deadline to submit nominations for the RockStar Awards has been extended until Oct. 1. Nominate now:…
Huge thanks @ListenLucy for partnering with us during #WellnessWeek and sharing all the fantastic insight into the benefits of stortelling!
Why share your story? Reason #5 of 5: Finding your purpose. Learn more at and…
Perhaps the most impacting reason to share your lived experience story? You learn a great deal about yourself.…
You might not think it, but sharing your story can improve your physical wellness. @listenlucy #wellnessweek
There are things to consider when sharing your story, but @ListenLucy's Jordan doing so improved her environmental…
This week, we're letting @ListenLucy's Jordan tell you in her own words why storytelling benefits wellness. Reason…
It's officially #WellnessWeek and we're giving away swag! Follow us, @ListenLucy, and reply to this tweet to win on…
Starting next week, we're partnering with @ListenLucy to talk about sharing your story as a means of advocacy. Join us! #WellnessWeek
We stand with all #DACA youth. All youth deserve the support needed to live a resilient life. Here's what you can do
RT @the_TA_network: Nominations are now open for @YouthMOVE's RockStar Awards!
RockStar Awards are open for nominations right now! Go to to submit your nomination today.…
Addressing the needs of youth experiencing #cyberbullying: Watch #KSOCTV LIVE on 8/31 at 3:30 p.m. EDT