Written by: Lydia Proulx
It’s the new year, and you know what that means…. Actually, you may not know. Let me introduce you!
Founded in 2016, the Youth Best Practice Committee (YPBC) supports young leaders and systems around the nation with understanding the value of youth voice in systems-change work. So, the YBPC itself isn’t new, however, this particular committee is! In the fall of 2020, we began accepting applications from youth and young adults with lived experience as well as supportive adults who are especially qualified to guide how youth voice, youth engagement, and youth peer support can really change and improve mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and all youth serving systems.
Our fabulous committee members will serve one calendar year (January – December) on the YBPC, at which point they (and YOU!) are welcome to apply in the fall to serve on the Committee in 2022. Want to learn more? You can learn more about the YBPC on our Youth Best Practices Committee Webpage!
So, without any further ado, let me introduce you to our Youth Best Practice Committee for 2021!
Maxx (they/them or he/him): Maxxwell “Maxx” is a young adult with a passion for advocacy, especially within the realms of trauma, peer support, queer experiences, and fat liberation. Maxx is a certified peer specialist in the state of Massachusetts and has held positions within advocacy organizations for 7 years. In their spare time, Maxx has been compiling a book of poetry they hope to publish and has been participating in virtual poetry slams. They love cats, music, and have lots of niche interests they enjoy researching on their own time (the primary one right now being nuanced language and the importance and significance in language within social justice efforts).
David (he/him): David McClung is a youth engagement specialist from the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health and has been part of the YBPC for many years. He is also a member of the board for Youth MOVE National and helps to support ACCEPT Texas, the state Youth MOVE chapter in Texas.
Eden (she/her): Eden is a young adult with lived experience in youth-serving systems. Having pursued work and education in the realms of peer support, privacy ethics, and mutual aid practices, Eden now evaluates locally and federally-funded young adult access centers across Massachusetts through the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Eden is a graduate student at Tufts University School of Medicine studying health informatics and analytics. Her research interests reside at the intersection of health policy, technology, and privacy.
Felicity (she/hers): Felicity Krueger is a 17 year old youth leader. She is a member of Kentucky Youth MOVE and Face It Youth Leadership Council. She enjoys helping in the community and working with kids. She is adopted and has struggled with anxiety and dyslexia. She is hoping to be a social worker and continue to work at summer camp as a counselor.
Ana (she/hers): Ana is a Des Moines Area Community College Graduate, full time mom, and young leader at Al Exito. Ana has been working with Al Exito for 8 years as a youth advocate. She is new to YBPC, and is already looking forward to seeing it flourish. Ana loves to make desserts, dance, and joke around with fun people. She is bilingual in English & Spanish, and also took 4 years of Japanese in high school! はじめまして^_^! (Nice to meet you!)
Astraea (she/hers): Astraea Augsberger is an Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Social Work. She is a licensed clinical social worker with 15 years of practice experience working with children, youth, and young adults involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice and healthcare systems. She is currently leading research projects focused on youth civic engagement, community advisory boards, and facilitators to healthcare utilization among youth and young adults.
Tymber Hudson (they/she): Tyler 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. They currently work at the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation where they lead the creation and implementation of strategic planning across programs to maximize growth and increase the support available for LGBTQIA2S communities across Western Pennsylvania including young and families within the child welfare system.
Lexie (she/hers): As a Youth Facilitator at Youth M.O.V.E. Nevada, Lexie is passionate about supporting youth peers while removing the stigma placed on mental health. Professionally, Lexie’s lived experience helps her engage in systems advocacy and create a strengths-based bridge to improving systems and supports for youth. Oh and she loves the gym (self-care)!
Additional members of YBPC include:
Suzanne, Rachael, Huck, and Maegan.