National Leadership Team

Johanna Bergan Headshot

Johanna Bergan

Executive Director

Pronouns: She/Her

Johanna leads and guides Youth MOVE National’s work to ensure all young adults in youth-serving systems are seen as leaders. As a young mother, she saw the need for positive systems change and was one of the many young adults on the frontlines of Youth MOVE National’s founding. She believes strongly that change stems from dialogue between individuals with lived experience. You wouldn’t believe this about Johanna, but she’s an introvert. She can be seen frequently recommending niche podcasts to unsuspecting individuals.

Kirstin Thorp Headshot

Kristin Thorp

Youth Program Director

Pronouns: She/Her

A bit of a jack-of-all trades at Youth MOVE National, Kristin is the Youth Program Director. She supports the implementation of national evaluation of Children’s Mental Health Initiatives, provides technical assistance to the behavioral health field, facilitates engaging youth in research and evaluation projects, and works with the National Leadership Team to develop technical assistance products. In her previous role as the Continuous Quality Improvement Coordinator at THRIVE, Maine’s Trauma-informed System of Care, Kristin offered technical assistance, training, and consultation to government agencies, providers, and communities on incorporating and embedding trauma-informed principles and practices. Capitalizing on prior experience working for Youth MOVE Maine, she advocated for and incorporated youth voice into all elements of system change, understanding that the well-being of young people hinges on their participation across all levels of program development and enhancement. She is a strong believer in working with youth as equal partners and pushing for policies and services that will improve the lives of young people. Self-appointed Queen of Slack, Kristin makes sure the #watercooler channel always stays lively and interesting.

Victoria Eckert

Operations Director

Pronouns: She/Her

Victoria comes to Youth MOVE National as a Licensed Social Worker in New York State but also with family lived experience.  As a young person starting her career, she was lucky to begin working as a Youth Engagement Specialist with Chautauqua County, NY System of Care that not only taught her about the importance of systems change work but led her to fall in love with the acknowledgment and encouragement that people with lived experience should always be heard. Victoria brings her strong background in System of Care implementation, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed care to the Youth MOVE National team.  As Victoria loves to talk and share her passion for this work, you can also find her teaching undergraduate mental health classes at SUNY Fredonia.  When Victoria is not working, she loves to spend time with family, garden, go backpacking, or hit up the gym with friends.

Jasmine Boatwright Headshot

Jasmine Boatwright

Youth Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Jasmine became interested in youth and family voice once she noticed the limited power young adults have in decision-making. She began sharing her and her family’s experiences in the mental health system in order to advocate for youth. Prior to joining Youth MOVE National, her advocacy led her to become the director of Youth MOVE Michigan, supporting Youth MOVE Detroit, and providing technical assistance to local systems of care and tribal youth groups. When she’s off the clock, Jasmine moonlights as a local entertainment promoter and can put together a playlist of good music you haven’t heard before. One of her favorite movies is the Transformers series because Bumblebee reminds her of her first car she named John Shaft.

Lydia P Staff Photo

Lydia Proulx

Youth Program Coordinator

Pronouns: They/Them

Lydia’s own lived experience with mental health, school, and youth leadership drives their dedication to authentic youth engagement, advocacy, and education. They’re excited about improving the service delivery model for LGBTQIA2-S youth on a national scale. As the former youth program manager at Youth MOVE Massachusetts and Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL), they led the development of youth peer support groups, youth trainings and speaking engagements, and the internship program. In their spare time, Lydia volunteers on a local farm for hunger relief and teaches comprehensive sexual health education to youth and young adults. Plus, they love antiquing on the weekends.

Matthew Leavitt - Staff Photo

Matt Leavitt

Communications Coordinator

Pronouns: He/Him

Matt started doing youth advocacy and educational programming when he was 18-years-old through the Upward Bound Program at the University of Maine. As a former student, Matt utilized his experience to work with youth who were low-income and first-generation achieve their educational aspirations. After 10 years of working with Upward Bound, Matt graduated with his with a Master’s in Intermedia with a focus on mental health and art as well as a Master’s in Education with a focus on accessto education. Using both professional and educational experience, he went on to work with Youth MOVE Maine as a program coordinator working with youth around the state in systems of care to provide peer support and community integration services. Eventually, he became the operating manager for the statewide program, overseeing staff, training, and contracts. Matt now serves as the Communications Coordinator at Youth MOVE National, working on branding the message of youth voice in everything that YMN and YM Chapters do. When Matt is not at the computer, he can be found in an escape room, a concert, in front of the TV with a video game controller, or on an adventure with his family.

Tamara Manzer Bio PIc

Tamara Manzer

Youth Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Tamara’s journey with leadership and advocacy work began at Youth MOVE Maine with Maine’s Trauma-Informed System of Care Initiative, where she developed and coordinated statewide programming that served youth involved in systems. Tamara comes to Youth MOVE National with a lens of having faced adversities of her own, and she wholeheartedly believes in the power of supporting youth towards wellness and resilience. Tamara served on Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) as an advocate and member of the Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee, where she examined racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system. She has a plethora of experience working in the nonprofit sector. Tamara has experience at an innovative education organization as part of a school turnaround around initiative for education reform. More recently, Tamara also spent some time working at MaineHealth’s Center for Health Improvement. Tamara is passionate about the rights of young people, racial equity, and thriving communities. In her free time, she enjoys life with her family and embraces fitness.

Madeline Zielinski

Youth Program Specialist

Pronouns: She/They

Madeline got her start in youth advocacy attending Indiana Youth Group, an LGBTQ+ drop-in center. This sparked her passion to destigmatize LGBTQ issues and educate on their intersectionality with mental wellness. Prior to Youth MOVE National she was the state coordinator for Youth MOVE Indiana and served as a representative on the IN-Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council, the State LGBTQ+ board, the Commission on Improving the Status of Children, and the Vice-Chair of the Indiana Systems of Care Youth and Family Subcommittee. She holds the record of sharing the most memes in our office instant messenger. 

Joshua Calarino

Youth Program Specialist

Pronouns: He/Him

Joshua’s journey began with Youth MOVE Miami. He had gone the first time to simply attend a Salsa dance class. It was through the arts that Joshua became connected with himself and his peers. From there he slowly got out of his shell and learned about the Youth Movement. It was there that he found his voice and learned to use it. He slowly became a leader who used his lived experience to advocate for local, even state, policy surrounding systems of care. It was through his passion and dedication that he became a national leader speaking at conferences and affecting change all over the country. His hope is that youth can become leaders just like he has become. To give to others what Youth MOVE gave to him. A voice and a message to spread. On his off time Joshua loves to travel and eat new foods!

Michelle Vance

Youth Program Specialist

Michelle’s advocacy work began when she attended a planning meeting where she met project stakeholders interested in hearing what they could do better for young adults. She was a great person to connect to as she has never had a shortage of ideas to create change in the foster care, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. Michelle spent extensive time working on youth voice and youth engagement within Utah’s Systems of Care and Healthy Transitions Initiative. She is a trained Peer Support Specialist who helped develop a Youth MOVE chapter in Utah. Michelle is proud of the work she led in creating intentional spaces for youth to share their experiences directly with those involved in policy and systems change efforts. On the weekends, Michelle is an avid gamer, PS4 and Switch are her favorite past times. She also has two dogs, a hedgehog, and a day gecko, that keep life interesting.

Tymber Hudson

Youth Program Specialist

Pronouns: They/She

Tymber Hudson is a storyteller, strategist, and multidisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tymber is deeply committed to centering, uplifting, and empowering Black LGBTQ+ communities to abolish systems that perpetuate trauma and oppression. Through all of their work, Tymber puts the community at the center of the design of policy and practice that impacts their daily lives. 

Tymber served as the LGBTQ+ policy associate at the Biden Foundation where they designed and managed a database with more than 500 digital story submissions for “As you Are”: A national storytelling and public education campaign discussing family acceptance and the harms of family rejection.  They also provided technical assistance and research support to other national youth-serving organizations working to implement LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity into their programs, policies, and practices.

Tymber continues to use their personal experience and knowledge to educate and ignite change for all young people.

Shayn McDonald

Youth Program Specialist

Pronouns: They/them

Shayn’s passion for youth advocacy and social change is rooted in their many lived experiences and involvement in systems throughout their lifetime. As a queer young adult and trauma survivor, Shayn is particularly invested in education and advocacy around LGBTQ2-S+ communities, and actively seeks to highlight and address the impact of trauma and systemic oppression with the intention of creating greater change. Their involvement in the mental health system in particular motivates them to continue expanding awareness around the diversity of human experiences, and they believe that every person is deserving of community and self-determined support. Prior to joining Youth MOVE National, Shayn worked as the Youth Advocacy Coordinator for the Zia Young Adult Access Center—a Massachusetts-based, youth-led peer support and resource connection center that educated and advocated around youth advocacy and system change. When not working, Shayn enjoys spending time with their cat and watching notoriously bad horror movies. They also love philosophical conversations and contemplating the nature of the universe.

Samantha Skinner

Administrative Assistant

Pronouns: She/Her

Sam has two deep passions in life: social justice and climate justice. She has a history in various environmental science projects ranging from netting and i.d. banding wood ducks to collecting biological samples of chacma baboons. She has become more focused on youth advocacy in the past few years due to first hand systems involvement. As you could imagine, Sam is a big supporter of group hikes and wild lands education in youth treatment. She is a huge fan of playing volleyball, birding, and creating smol polymer clay earrings and charms. Her current favorite is that of a hamburger, though she is ironically vegetarian!