Thursday Special Edition

September 15th, 2016
(202) 783-7949

Last week in Chicago, the National Network advanced our efforts to elevate the expertise of young leaders. We’re proud to report that our 2016 Fall Retreat was a tremendous success!

This year marked the first official gathering of our newly expanded National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC), first established in 2014. To kick off the event, our Youth Engagement Director encouraged both former and first-time Advisors to envision a brighter, safer future for all young people. Meanwhile, other staff discussed policies and proposals of critical importance to youth experiencing homelessness in America. Among other topics, our three-day agenda explored our Proposed System to End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness, policy advocacy techniques, data analysis and public speaking.  

From policy to practice, NN4Y equipped our Advisors with additional tools, training and inspiration to realize effective solutions to a national epidemic. In turn, these young advocates inspired us with their unwavering passion, intelligence and creativity. Most importantly, our Youth Advisors began developing their own advocacy goals at the local, state and federal levels. Needless to say, the future of the youth homelessness movement is in excellent hands!

As always, NN4Y will continue working alongside our Advisors to refine and fulfill a comprehensive advocacy agenda. Additionally, our staff will provide opportunities for these young leaders to educate and support others in the field. 

Spotlight: New and Returning Youth Advisors

Silas was among the very first Youth Advisors to join the NYAC. As an experienced outreach worker, they focus on meeting unstably housed youth wherever they are in the community. Silas works to strengthen services and systems throughout the Seattle region, and travels the country to help others replicate similar techniques. Silas looks forward to realizing a future in which all youth and young adults look out for one another - regardless of their differences. 
Sharday is a new recruit from Chicago, IL, who proudly represented her hometown at our Fall Retreat. She understands the dire needs of youth in her community, and works hard to communicate that information to local leaders. Sharday envisions a day when all youth in Chicago - and the entire country - have access to the resources she grew up without. 

Bentley is one of the youngest members of the National Youth Advisory Council, but has already established a reputation for advocacy within the LGBTQ community. A talented writer, he constantly challenges those around him to strive for self-fulfillment. In the spirt of that advice, Bentley forges partnerships between local agencies to improve life in his community and, ultimately, the world at large.
Spotlight: Ongoing Advocacy Projects

During our Fall Retreat, NYAC members participated in a visioning activity to map the future of youth homelessness in America. During this session, Advisors decided to conceptualize a scale from short- to long-term goals of the movement. 

The chart below represents an abbreviated summary of their work. Our staff will partner with Youth Advisors to review and expand upon this project, among many others launched at the Retreat. Moving forward, NN4Y will leverage these NYAC-created resources to support and enhance our policy advocacy agenda. 

To learn more about the NYAC - including opportunities for involvement - please contact Youth Engagement Director Yorri Berry-Harris. 
Trent Hagan
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