#InspireWellness: A View from Johanna’s Desk

In my work I frequently get to talk about the importance of mental and emotional health.  I am so excited for this chance to talk openly about other dimensions of wellness that are incredibly important to me.  And I invite you to come with us on this celebration of wellness throughout the month of September. Share in whatever way feels right to you, and when possible, let us know by using #InspireWellness.

I love food. Simply love it. I love eating, designing menus, grocery shopping, dining with friends and families, making food to give to others, talking about food, teaching cooking classes… You get the picture. I especially love to fuel my body with the food that makes me feel good. My individual food choices are driven by a desire to support local farmers and our local economy by purchasing food directly from local farmers whenever possible. My food choices are driven by a deeper understanding of the economics of our food system and the impact that food selection has on our environment. My food choices are driven by the experience that green vegetables, whole foods and balanced meals make me physically powerful.  In fact, I view each opportunity to eat as an opportunity to lead and advocate for the world I want. I challenge each of you to think of why you eat the food you do each day. Are vegetables apart of your life? If not – how can they find a way onto your plate?

I was blessed with an innate love of green vegetables. (And I believe you can grow to love them if you don’t already!)

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find a balance of physical activity that is right for me. I challenge you to find something that works for you! I sometimes think I am allergic to exercise. My whole mind and body seems to revolt at the thought of a long distance run or pushups. I do love the way I feel after my body moves. After a long struggle of trying to find an exercise that works for me…I started to walk. Just a walk, almost every day. And I love it! I listen to podcasts as I walk and look forward to it as a time to be inspired, a time to reconnect with my physical body and a time that is just for me. And in a perfect world I find time for yoga!

Each day that I fuel my body with the best food possible and set aside the time to stretch my legs in a walk throughout my Northeast Iowa hills I go to bed with so many of my wellness dimensions in good places. When I break it down to the basics:

Veggies + walking = balance in emotional, environmental and intellectual dimensions

Find the equation that is right for you!

I am overwhelmed by the excitement I have received from Youth MOVErs after our decision to celebrate whole body wellness throughout the month of September.  Wellness is really important to us here at National AND really, really important to me personally.

At the end of the day – Thank YOU – for inspiring wellness in me.

You can follow the Youth MOVE Chapter Network’s celebration of wellness on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest throughout September with the hashtag #InspireWellness. Please join us!


And a little more about today’s bloggers favorite....

Food:  Spinach

Place:  Northeast Iowa

Exercise:  Walking

Book:  Harry Potter

Movie:  The Lion King

Vacation Place:  New Orleans

Introducing Youth MOVE's New Executive Director

Youth MOVE Nation:

Many of us come to associate the start of a new year with resolutions, self-improvement, and new beginnings. Such has been the case with us at Youth MOVE National.

It is with much excitement that I announce the hiring of Johanna Bergan as our new Executive Director. Johanna took over as Interim Executive Director in October when our founding Executive Director, Lacy Kendrick-Burk, resigned to pursue other ventures in her career. Johanna had planned to stay in the interim position just a few months until we hired someone permanently. However, as I had hoped, Johanna realized that she was exactly where she needed to be, and decided to apply for the position.

Johanna has been involved with Youth MOVE National from the beginning, serving on the Board of Directors for 4 years. When we parted ways with the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and became our own independent organization in 2012, Johanna applied and was hired as the Director of Membership Services. She will maintain this role as well until we bring on additional staff.

John Quincy Adams, 6th US President, said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” I believe this to be true with Johanna. I’ve never met anymore more committed to their work. She truly lives, breathes, and bleeds Youth MOVE. I am excited to see where her fearless leadership takes us, and know she is going to be a true RockStar for Youth and Young Adults across our nation.

All the Best,

Brittany Holt

President, Youth MOVE National


Transition of Youth MOVE Executive Director

Greetings, Youth MOVE Nation!


In a time of transition, I am able to look back on all that has accomplished, as well as forward to all that will come.  I have so very much enjoyed the opportunity to work with the amazing group of phenomenal young leaders across the Youth MOVE nation, and have been able to witness and support the growth of the youth voice MOVEment over the past two years. I believe I have been able to make a major difference in not only for the Youth MOVEment, but have helped to further youth voice and leadership skills for our nation’s young people.


When I started at Youth MOVE National, we had three half-time positions, and through work with our leadership team, was able to increase this to four full-time positions, with nearly quadruple the budget in less than two years, as well as providing strategic implementation of policies and procedures necessary to provide organizational infrastructure. Additionally, I oversaw the development and implementation of several successful programs, including the National Young Leaders Network, the Trauma Informed Method of Engagement (TIME) Model, the first grassroots, youth-led national policy initiative in our field – What Helps What Harms, Youth Peer Support Standards and activities, saw an increase from 43 to 77 chapters nationwide, and held the best Rockstar Youth Leadership Track at the Georgetown Training Institutes yet!


While I consider it an absolute privilege to have led this organization and this MOVEment for the past two years, an important part of leadership is knowing when to step out of the spotlight and support the next generation of young leaders to take over. As such, my time has come to pass this amazing and incredible opportunity on to the next fantastic young leader. Effective September 30, 2014, I will no longer serve as the Executive Director for Youth MOVE National. This is not an ending, but simply a transition in how I can continue to serve the Youth MOVEment.


Johanna Bergan, our current Director of Member Services, who you all already know and love, will serve as the Interim Executive Director. I look forward to supporting the next aspiring and inspiring leader of Youth MOVE National. I want to sincerely thank each and every person who has supported us (and myself) along this incredible journey, all of the supportive adults who have provided their guidance and wisdom, and the young leaders across the nation who continue to inspire and motivate me every dayI encourage you all to seriously consider visiting www.youthmovenational.org to make a financial donation to Youth MOVE National as our staff continue assisting the Youth MOVEment to grow strong in voice, leadership skills, talents, connections, and most importantly support of each other It truly takes all of us to continue a strong Youth MOVEment, and it has been an honor and a privilege to serve each and every one of you. I can’t wait to see where you all take the Youth MOVEment in the future.


Stay well, Youth MOVErs J 


Yours truly,


Lacy Kendrick Burk

Advocate for Youth

#AMPLIFY Summer 2014 Newsletter

Youth MOVE ROCKED Children's Mental Health Awareness Month!

The Youth M.O.V.E. National's 2014 Children's Mental Health Awareness Theme was:

AMPLIFY Our Voices

The impact of 77 chapters across the country is HUGE! Our Spring/Summer newsletter edition is the inside scoop on you Youth MOVE celebrates the mental health of all youth. We invite you to check out the highlights here:

Spring/Summer 2014 Newsletter

Continue to follow the work of the #YouthMOVE Chapter Family with this hashtag:



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