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SEPTEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER
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We Keep Moving

Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon Featured Story


Anti-Oppression Training
 

In the month of August, Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon (YMO) held an 8 hour Anti-Oppression training led by YMO’s Maj Hutchinson. Participants of the training were able to build confidence in their ability to address oppression through action; increased their understanding of how oppression functions and what their role in it is; explored the roots of oppression that face us in our daily interactions; examined their internalized oppression and barriers to working on it; built their skills in being accountable allies; and developed strategies for interrupting oppressive situations and built an action plan of concrete next steps.

Participants also analyzed how systems of oppression manifest within popular culture and how it relates to our individual identities in order to better understand how to transform our communities, workplaces and organizations. Participants work-shopped possibilities on creating true change from the inside out. Techniques on becoming an ally and understanding the role of an ally were also examined and practiced within the training.  At the end of the training, participants were able to understand the root causes of oppression and able to use common language to address it in the community and take tangible steps toward creating social change.

Maj Hutchinson has a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Oregon.  She works with Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon designing and delivering trainings and curriculum. She is the former Executive Director and founder of the LEAD Program, an innovative, anti-oppression based curriculum for low-income and at-risk youth.  Maj has designed and led workshops on Anti-Oppression, Anti-Racism and Youth Empowerment for young people, teachers, parents, nonprofit organizations, schools and student groups.  She currently works as a special education teacher in a pull-out school for students on behavioral IEPs.  She is a parent of two amazing children and has dedicated her life to making the world a better place for youth and families.

YMO Spotlight


Jackie Guy
Regional Director
Jackson County

 
Jackie is fortunate to have been born into a loving and supportive family in Southern California. Her family struggled with physical and mental health challenges throughout her life and despite their efforts to protect her from those same challenges; eventually it became clear that there was nothing more they could do. When Jackie turned twelve years old, her parents announced that they had decided to divorce and soon after, her father moved to Texas. After living with her mother for six months in the midst of an ugly custody battle, Jackie was able to move to Texas to live with her dad. However within six months of her move to Texas, Jackie’s father passed away suddenly. The sudden loss of her father—her favorite person in the world, was a trial like nothing she’d ever faced. Jackie spent the following year living with extended family in Texas. The death of her father triggered a series of unfortunate events including issues and trauma like she’d never experienced. She began using dangerous coping mechanisms in order to survive. When life began to feel like too much to handle and Jackie began to contemplate suicide, she reached out to her mother for help and was met with an immediate response. 

She was able to return to California to live with her mother just after she turned fourteen. Her return home was like the breath of fresh air she desperately needed. However, with the move came many new difficulties and unforeseen issues. Determined to turn her life around and leave the past behind her, Jackie turned to her first love—sports. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to go to college without an athletic scholarship. High school was challenging for Jackie, she worked hard to win a scholarship while trying to unlearn years of dangerous coping mechanisms, which was equally as stressful as it was difficult. However, with her new support systems and after a lot of hard work, she was able to earn an athletic scholarship to the University of Illinois to play softball.

Jackie’s life really felt like it was beginning when she started college. Instead of focusing on pure survival, she began focusing on living and thriving. Jackie found a second family amongst her teammates and friends and discovered that her true passion lies in helping others. After she graduated, Jackie spent six months volunteering in Africa and it was there that she realized that helping others is not only her passion but also, something that she needs to do. Upon her return to the US she began work with AmeriCorps VISTA, where she spent a year building capacity at Head Start as the volunteer coordinator. After she completed her contract with AmeriCorps VISTA, Jackie found YMO.

 
Her work with Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon has been a dream come true. This job allows her to use her experiences to help others overcome situations similar to those she’s faced. When she’s not working, Jackie loves to be active; she enjoys everything from running and hiking to playing softball and flag football. When she is not being active she loves trying new things like eating Ethiopian food or playing squash. She also loves to catch up with friends, read, and Netflix marathon anything that can make her laugh (especially if she has seen it before).
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Youth Advisory Council Strives for More 

 

Youth partners Danni Gorden and Chris Warner led an energetic group of youth at Washington County’s Youth Advisory Council this month. The group focused on increasing public visibility of crisis resources in the community, expanding the Council’s Membership, and preparing youth delegates for representing the Council at Washington County’s larger System of Care Advisory Council in October. These delegates will be working closely with Danni, Chris, and former Washington County youth partner Caitlin Baird as they prepare to bring their voices to this larger meeting.
 

Youth at the Council also discussed the barriers and benefits of developing a tri-county Youth Advisory Council, and talked at length about potential branding for a tri-county resource website. Discussion at the Council was interspersed with snacks and a game of charades, which was a huge hit with both the youth and the youth partners in attendance. Youth M.O.V.E. staff are excited to continue facilitating the Council, and are already looking forward to next month’s meeting!

Car Wash for a Cause


On August 1st Lane County ERA members held a free car wash for the public on 5th Street in Springfield.In exchange for the free wash ERA members handed out suicide awareness pamphlets with information on how to help one’s self or someone close who experiences suicidal thoughts. Youth also received a special surprise when the local fire department stopped by to support the cause and the youth hosting the event. Firefighters helped waive cars in to the wash as well as wash cars. Participants of the event were surprised that youth would not accept payment for the wash, but instead were fueled by the passion to spread awareness about suicide. 

Invitation to Young People; Become a Member of YAMMHAC!

 
This summer the Metro EASA Advisory Council transitioned into the Young Adult Metro Mental Health Advisory Council (YAMMHAC). Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon has been invited to join in this transition and development! We are excited to have a space where people ages 15-25 have an opportunity to lead the way and make significant changes in the way mental health services are delivered and received.

Since this new council is in its infancy stage there is so much to be determined on what it will look like! So Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon invites young adults who are interested in sharing their experiences and working toward systemic change. We would like to have youth who have experiences in the mental health system, from receiving services themselves, to being a sibling or a peer of someone who’s received services, a person who has experienced mental health challenges and did not seek out services, and young adults who just want to make a difference. This is your council so we want to hear what YOU want out of and from YAMMHAC: from the food we eat at meetings, to the decisions we make, to what you want and need from the county’s services. We are so excited about this opportunity and looking forward to how it will develop and change! Please feel free to contact Vicky Scott via text or phone call (503) 662-2931 or email (vicky@youthmoveoregon.com)! 

Leadership Group Continues to Grow

 
To celebrate the closing of summer, Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon’s BCN leadership group held an end of summer movie event at the Cinebarre, where the theater donated tickets to allow YMO to take their growing group to see the movie Pixels. Attendance for Wednesday night leadership group meetings have grown substantially in the month of August, by an average of two youth for each meeting. YMO BCN’s Peer Support Intern, Anders, was given the task of designing a group activity to accommodate the expanding group for one of their recent meetings. The new activity, Balloon Bop, involved the use of youths' names and communication amongst the group to keep the balloon in the air. YMO’s BCN groups and activities are considered valuable by many as they serve as a continuous reminder for young people that no matter the challenges in one’s life, there will always be a safe space to be utilized to reach out for support. 

Movie Night at the Drop


The Clackamas Drop recently hosted Movie Night for young adults in the community. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon provided pizza and snacks, while young people chose the movie to be featured. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon continues to host events because they provide opportunities for young adults to come together and gives them the opportunity to practice and develop interpersonal and cultural competence. All of the young people at the Drop agree to Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon’s three commitments which include staying in school or being committed to learning, following the law, and working towards a life assignment, which is a goal they set for themselves. This means that all of the youth who come to the Clackamas Drop are working toward goals and putting in effort to improve their lives. Any time spent at the Drop helps young people develop the assets of Youth Programs, Positive Peer Influence, and Interpersonal Competence, from the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. Research shows that the more assets a young person has the more successful they are likely to be in adulthood.

Young Adults Escape the Heat and Find Work with Support from YMO

 
On a scorching hot day in August, Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon’s Medford Drop hosted a water balloon battle in the park complete with hundreds of water balloons and cardboard forts. YMO staff and youth happily soaked each other until their supplies ran dry. As usual with such events, YMO boasted no winners or losers, but celebrated the opportunity for the much needed stress and heat relief.
 
Back inside the Medford Drop, staff have recently implemented a proud new addition to encourage and support young people looking for work. Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon Peer Support Specialists have created a job board where young adults can find information for current job openings in the community. Staff are also making it a priority to work with young people on identifying professional skills, resume building, job applications, and more. To find out more about these opportunities or to meet with a Medford Peer Support Specialist, contact Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon’s Jackson County Regional Director, Jackie Guy at jackie@youthmoveoregon.com.
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