Rockstar Awards 2020

Welcome to the Rockstar Awards for 2020.

Watch the 2020 RAVE (Rockstar Awards Virtual Edition).

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2020 has been a year of finding resiliency and we know that that youth and young adults are resiliency-builders. Despite the challenges we have faced this year, we know that youth all across the nation have found ways to create better communities and a better world. Now is the time to celebrate those accomplishments and celebrate the ways in which they innovate and problem-solve through systems, giving us hope with their voices of experience.

 

We’ve all had to flex this year in order to build bridges and find new ways to engage youth. Despite these challenges, we have seen the phenomenal work that youth, youth-supporting adults, and organizations are doing in these stressful times, so we want to honor that through our Rockstar Awards.

 

 

This is where you come in.

 

Consider donating to our Rockstar Fundraiser to directly impact and help these youth, supportive adults, and organizations continue to do amazing work in mental health and youth-serving systems!

Gwen White

Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year Award
Gwen White’s career of developing innovative approaches to mental health service delivery for children, young adults, and families, has spanned decades, states, and many, many roles. From Project Director of federal grants in Pennsylvania, to national Training and Technical Assistance expert roles at Georgetown University, CARS, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Gwen has brought her expertise on young adult transitions and systems transformation to many of us. No matter what role Gwen is holding, she is sure to be found in partnership with young adults. Gwen has been a long-time partner, ally, and co-consultant with the Youth MOVE National team. Gwen is currently a Training and Technical Assistant Consultant with the national Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child Youth and Family Mental Health.
Check Out Gwen's Feature>>

Kayla Morgan

Marlene Matarese Advocate for Youth of the Year Award
Kayla uses her degree in Criminal Justice, Juvenile Services and her lived experience with aging out of foster care and experiencing teen pregnancy and homelessness to bring awareness to the over-representation of children and their families in the child welfare system. Kayla has used her experience in foster care to implement policies and procedures on a national level with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Northwestern University and locally on the Race Equity Task Force Group DHHS, Kayla has dedicated her career to healing and uplifting Black and Brown communities with advocacy to prevent further generational trauma through her business As the founder of Resilient Roots Yoga provides a safe space for individuals who have experienced trauma to reconnect with their bodies through movement, positive:”I am” affirmations, meditation, and creative writing. When we slow down and take time to connect with ourselves we can change the narrative of our lives. We are brave. We are strong. We are resilient like our roots! 
Check Out Kayla's Feature>>

Te Jay McGrath

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity
Te Jay McGrath, originally from Aiea, Hawaii, has been working for the City of Pasadena’s Public Health Department since 2016. Over the years, his focus has been with young adult outreach services, specializing with youth that identify as LGBTQ+ and youth experiencing homelessness.Te Jay started the first Southern California chapter of Youth MOVE National in 2017, and now serves as the Program Coordinator for the TAY Link program, a 4 year grant project funded by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health that provides Transitional Age Youth linkage services, in which he helped launched from day one. He is currently finishing his degree in Hospitality Management and also performs as his drag persona, Tia Wanna. 
Check Out Te Jay's Feature>>

Youth MOVE Nevada

Chapter of the Year
Youth MOVE Nevada is committed and driven to representing the authentic youth voice. We are passionate about using our lived experience to influence systems change and remove the stigma placed on mental health. In light of COVID-19, we pivoted and continued to support and engage youth across Nevada through virtual poetry slams, podcasts, and Twitter chats on topics that represent youth culture. Also, we acted on the needs we heard and increased our once a month meetings to weekly meetings where we have seen great growth from our members. All the while, we have made sure that our voices are heard at systems meetings like juvenile justice and regional consortiums, and also at conference presentations and trainings with community partners and organizations. There is still a lot of work to be done, and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to continue advocating for youth and with youth directly and in systems.
Check Out Youth MOVE Nevada's Feature>>

Diamarilys Gonzalez

Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year Award
My name is Diamarilys Gonzalez, I am 17 a senior at Reading High School. I am involved in various amount of things such as Volleyball, Aevidum, Peer Mentor, and more. In school I am a Co-President of Aevidum, within this club my goal as president is to make it aware that mental health is a real thing for everyone, it can be good and it can be bad but I want members to know I’m here through it all as I myself have experienced the positive and negative sides of it. Through sports as well, sports have helped me mentally, and my goal is to make sure my teammates feel the same as well. My way of seeing change within my school is speaking up, as students our voices a rarely heard, or when they are no actions are taken. I want to see change so not only will I speak up but I will make sure actions happen, we deserve change, we deserve better and I will make sure of it. I not only want to see a change in our school but in life itself, especially this “justice” system we have, this is not the only time you will hear my name.
Check Out Diamarilys' Feature>>

Luisanna Cruz

Tricialouise Gurley-Millard Youth Advocate of the Year Award
Luisanna is a senior at Reading High School and participates in multiple activities such as, Student Council, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Aevidum, works outside of school, etc. Luisanna hopes to accept her offer from Carnegie Mellon University to major in film and media while taking the pre- med track. To add, Luisanna loves activism and bringing awareness to social issues and advocates for mental health. Luisanna educates people in her community and in her school that its okay to talk about mental health and get help. She has gone through her own personal battles with mental illness and shares her story to inspire people to value themselves and others. Luisanna says, it’s okay to not be okay but you don’t want to be stuck there forever and she also wants you to know that, you matter.
Check Out Luisanna's Feature>>

Al Exito

Organization of the Year Award
Al Éxito is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the educational achievement and transformative leadership capacity of Latinx youth and their families, to succeed in life and participate fully in Iowa. Al Éxito inspires, prepares, supports, and positions Latinx leaders, middle school through college, for postsecondary attainment, career readiness, and civic engagement. Al Éxito integrates culturally specific strategies to ensure Latinx youth have access to resources and opportunities. Al Éxito fosters Latinos’ collective influence to build a better future for our communities and state.
Check Out Al Exito Iowa's Feature>>

Thank you to all of the 2020 Rockstars for being a voice of change!