Saying Goodbye to Johanna Bergan

Dear Youth MOVE Family,

It has been a journey! The Youth MOVE National Board of Directors is preparing to announce and introduce our next Executive Director this week (I am so excited for you all to hear!), and I am preparing for my last day in the Executive Director role this Friday, July 22. My tenure at Youth MOVE has spanned 14 years, including service on our Board of Directors for 4 years before transitioning to a staff role and stepping in as Director in 2015. In each of these roles, Youth MOVE has been more than just work for me; Youth MOVE has been family.

I am deeply grateful for each and every one of you who has made Youth MOVE feel like home – for me, but even more so for young people in communities across this country. The experience of feeling affirmed in our identities, welcomed for who we are, valued for our lived experience, and respected as advocates; this is the magic of Youth MOVE. Young people are growing the movement, growing these opportunities.

We have grown and accomplished so much – sharing just a few of my favorite highlights here –

  • Steady growth in our Chapter Network model grounded in the belief of youth-driven, community organizing as vital movement-building and sustained change-making;
  • Spreading the importance of youth voice across all youth-serving systems, which breaks down system silos and identifies that mental health has a core need in child welfare, education, and juvenile justice;
  • Partnering with researchers, evaluators, and other strategic partners to challenge the field to use best practices in youth engagement and execute authentic youth voice partnership;
  • Responding to young people’s demand for increased access to youth peer support – organizing and training to prepare this growing youth peer workforce;

My experiences at Youth MOVE have profoundly shaped the leader that I have become, and I am so proud to have made contributions to the youth voice movement. I owe you all so much.

As I look to the future, I have great hope. I see this team, organization, chapter network, and movement standing on a hill, poised and ready for the next great thing! The resources, expertise, and passion are here to knock down barriers and open doors to opportunity. Youth MOVE is in good hands moving forward and has great potential stirring across the network.

I’m setting aside my role as Executive Director now and signing off as Youth MOVE’s biggest champion – y’all got this!

  • Johanna Bergan

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Brittany Holt Collins (former YMN Pres)

    Johanna is the true definition of a Rockstar youth advocate. I am honored myself to have served along side you on the board, and for a couple years as your boss . Just look at all that’s been accomplished under your leadership!!! May your YMN legacy live on forever!

  2. Amanda Long

    You will be hard to replace Johanna!!! So glad we got to work together! I wish you nothing but the best <3

  3. Jeremy L

    Best of luck to you in your next adventure! Thanks for being an amazing champion!

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