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We invite youth and young adults ages 13 and up to “FUNdaMENTALs of the YOUth Movement” – the 2019 Conference Youth Track, sponsored by Magellan Healthcare. Join us to connect with youth leaders and peers from across the country who are using their stories and voices to improve youth supports and services in behavioral healthcare.


2019 Conference Summary Videos 












The Youth Track will include fun and engaging workshops that focus on building the network of youth leaders nationwide, developing and honing leadership skills and empowering YOUth to make a difference in the lives of their friends and peers as well as in their states and communities. Youth attendees will have the opportunity to participate in innovative trainings and engaging activities presented by premier youth empowerment organizations MY LIFE, YOUTH POWER!, Youth EraFederation of Families of Central Florida, Inc. and Bloom 365.


Youth will have their own space to connect with each other and attend sessions prepared just for them. Additionally, youth who attend the conference will develop their own plenary session - giving them the opportunity to share their stories and their voice with the entire conference audience. This is a unique opportunity for youth to work together building awareness across systems and communities about their mental health needs and their strengths.

Youth Track Session Descriptions
Drumming Sounds (Andrew Ecker)

Andrew Ecker has risen from the ashes of childhood trauma, drug abuse and incarceration to form Drumming Sounds, an evidence-based drum circle facilitation organization based on a healing protocol called HealthRHYTHMS. He leads healing drum circles in schools, psychiatric hospitals, cancer treatment centers, drug rehabilitation centers, community organizations and for many other types of groups. He is a speaker, an author, a drum circle facilitator, a musician, a sound healer and a teacher.

Drumming Sounds empowers individuals and groups by giving them opportunities to utilizing drums and other instruments in a way that promotes unity and cultivates a sacred space where demographics fade, and people connect on a deeper level. Using the Drumming Sounds protocol they bring groups and communities of all kinds together to promote, connection and bring them back to the basic rhythm of life.

Sharing Your Story to Bring About Change (MY LIFE and Youth POWER!)

If you’ve experienced and overcome a particular type of challenge, you can likely help others who are experiencing a similar situation. In this workshop, experienced youth leaders will demonstrate how you can strategically share your experience and voice to advocate, educate and inspire to bring about positive changes for yourself, others and your community. This interactive workshop will share techniques, tips and coaching for beginner and experienced story sharers.

Artivism: Creating The Movement (Youth Power!)

Art + Activism - Artivism! In this workshop we will explore how you can utilize your strengths and passions to be involved with The Movement. Through exploring past creative aspects of Rights Movements and discussing current forms or creativity and helpful platforms we create a way for you to be involved and make a difference in your community and beyond. We will explore how you can use creativity ranging from hip hop to blogging in efforts to amplify your voice.

FUNdaMENTALs of YOUth Culture Nite

An empowering evening of inspiration, activities and entertainment centered around the elements of positive Hip Hop Culture – Music, Art, Poetry, Dance and Community.

You Can't Pour Out of an Empty Cup: Self-Care and Burnout Prevention Strategies for Young Professionals with Lived-Expertise (Youth Era)

This workshop focuses on burnout prevention and wellness promotion strategies through deep dive and reflective exercises and transformational coaching approaches. Topics include 8 dimensions of wellness, vicarious trauma, boundaries, and more.

11 years of MY LIFE Filled with Inspiration, Hope and System Change (MY LIFE)

MY LIFE youth leaders past and present will share strategies and techniques to help the voices of youth reach a broader audience to create system change, reduce stigma and increase community awareness. MY LIFE youth leaders, including some of those who helped found the program in 2008, will share their experience and highlight methods that will help other youth and communities lead impactful and sustainable youth groups and movements.

Red Flags, Root Causes and Solutions to #UprootAbuse in a Generation (Bloom365)

Identify and develop peer to peer advocacy skills by participating in intentional conversation, insightful activities and learning more about how you can make a difference in preventing teen-dating abuse and interpersonal violence. 

Attendees will leave this session with tips for being an effective peer advocate, tools to implement these changes in their community and skills to help break the cycle of interpersonal violence. 

Youth Track Team Descriptions


MY LIFE, which includes groups in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wyoming and Louisiana, is made up of youth between the ages of 13 and 23 who have experience with mental health, substance abuse, juvenile justice and foster care-related issues. Through regular meetings, special events, local and national presentations the group is playing a vital role in helping to improve services and systems for youth across the country. MY LIFE (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment) is proud to have been an integral part of the National Federation of Families Conference since 2008, when we delivered our first ever workshop presentation.


Families Together in New York State is a statewide, family-run organization, which hosts YOUTH POWER!, a statewide network run for and by youth and young adults. We work to ensure young people have meaningful involvement on all levels of the services they receive. We ensure the availability of Peer Support through persistent advocacy, technical assistance and by offering training and education opportunities.

Youth Era

Youth Era creates solutions for communities across the country that look beyond short-term assistance for the few and toward sustainable support for the many. When Youth Era opens up a new drop-in center, saving communities hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s not just the young people or even their families who benefit. With Youth Era services, young people have a much better chance of becoming happy, successful, and contributing adult members of their communities, and everyone reaps the rewards.

Federation of Families of Central Florida

The Federation of Families of Central Florida, Inc. (FFCFL) is a non-profit 501(c)3 family support organization dedicated to supporting families, educating caregivers, reducing stigma within our communities and advocating for children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health needs in Central Florida.


Bloom365 is a non-profit domestic/sexual/teen dating violence prevention organization headquartered in Arizona. Through a 3-Step "Bloom It Up" solution delivered in schools and community-based organizations, they combine public health framed education with peer to peer advocacy and activism to #UprootAbuse and cultivate empathy, respect, kindness, equality, consent, safety and peace as the standard for this generation of youth and the next. 


Many thanks to Magellan Healthcare for making the Youth Track possible!

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