Youth Advisory Council

What Is It?

Our Youth Council is a group of 14– to 24–year-olds partner and collaborate with Maine Boys to Men staff in pursuit of its mission and its program development and delivery. Youth Council is critical to making our work youth centered and youth focused. The group’s enthusiasm and commitment to our mission inspires us and our community members, many of whom have sought the Youth Council’s help to inform their own policies and programs.

What Do
We Do?

Youth Council’s work focuses on creating positive impact in our communities on the topics of masculinity, gender stereotypes, consent, upstander intervention, empathy, and communication. The Youth Council has

  • created a podcast;
  • made a documentary;
  • attended conferences;
  • served on speaker and interview panels;
  • convened speakers; and
  • brought our youth violence-prevention program to hundreds of students, teachers, and youth-serving adults.

Youth Council members are
engaged, inspired, informed!

What Are Meetings Like?

We begin with funny check-ins to let us all connect. Then, we are always inspired by new learning related to gender, empathy, communication, or healthy relationships. We are encouraged to take what we’ve learned and share with other students, student groups, RSVP® clubs, etc. The rest of the meeting is project work—we always have an event or project we are working on. We close by reflecting on what we’ve learned and we answer another connecting question.

As Maine Boys to Men Youth Council Members, we are…

  • Valued for our contributions to MBTM’s curriculum direction and effectiveness;
  • Meaningfully engaged in discussions of healthy self-expression and inclusion and in projects to promote them;
  • Leaders for this work in our local communities;
  • Informed and inspired to make positive change; and
  • Prepared to carry our knowledge into our future communities.

Listen to our podcast, The Youth Take, on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Youth Council
Members & Alums

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Abbie (she/her)

Yarmouth High School, Class of 2022
The MBTM workshop about gender stereotypes and consent was eye opening because I haven't had many open discussions of these topics before. In order to prevent violence in our culture we need kindness, empathy, understanding, equality, and open-mindedness. Our world today is changing, growing, and learning, and this is time for our generation to stand up and fight for what's right!
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Aidan (he/him)

Maine Coast Waldorf School, Class of 2021
Gender pressures are ubiquitous. That is not to say that all gender pressure is a bad thing, but it took being involved in MBTM to see the role that gender plays in our world. I am lucky enough to be able to live a life mostly devoid of crushing pressure to conform, but MBTM has given me the ability to empathize with those who do. Just because I am a man doesn't mean I haven't been wronged by gender roles.

Aimable (he/him)

Pine Tree Academy, Class of 2021​
Why do I have to be like someone else? I'm already who I am, so rather than spending my time trying to be like somebody else, I have to learn from my mistakes and make changes where needed or come up with new strategies and keep developing so that I can be example and an influential person wherever I am.
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Ana (she/her)

Yarmouth High School, Class of 2022
I haven't had much pressure with gender stereotypes, but I still have a few stories. My grandfather once said that I couldn't weed a whole garden bed because I was a girl. I took every nasty thing out of that garden bed! I am a part of several minority groups, and I just can't stand to see how much hate goes around just because we're "different." My favorite thing about Youth Council is how accepting and kind everyone is. I just love all of the positive vibes!
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Dylan (she/her)

Waynflete, Class of 2021​
It makes me happy to be with other young people concerned and dedicated to the same issues as me. MBTM showed me that there are ways to make change and other young people who are excited to do it. I think education and dialogue, sharing our experiences and needs, are how we begin to prevent violence. We also need to let people who are struggling know that we want to support them.
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Eliana (she/her)

Scarborough High School, Class of 2021​
MBTM has given me tools and language to interrupt the very beginnings of gender stereotypes and violent behaviors. Learning about that gender and sexuality are a spectrum, not a binary, validated me as I questioned my sexuality and allowed me freedom to not label myself. Another a-ha moment was looking at the gender boxes we're forced into, and the language and attitudes society uses to police them.
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Grace (she/her)

Freeport High School, Class of 2020​
I am the president of my school's Reducing Sexism and Violence Program. I love having spaces to connect with like-minded people and to remind myself of my values and what I'm passionate about. Just because I'm a young person, doesn't mean I'm careless, can't care for the future, or can't understand how the world works. I am proud to be part of a new generation!
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Jared (he/him)

Yarmouth High School, Class of 2022​
The value of being involved in the Youth Council is that I can be a role model and give my input. Just because I am a young person doesn't mean I am immature, doesn't mean I am stupid, and doesn't mean I am ignorant. I am just still learning. I think what adults should know about my value as a young person is that we are the next generation that can make a change by learning from them.
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Jason (he/him)

Union College, Class of 2023​
I got involved with MBTM because I wanted limit gender-based violence in my community. I quickly realized that I personally could improve using their teachings. MBTM never tells you how to act, but rather they give you the tools to express yourself however you see appropriate. I am now more aware of the different approaches around me; I am also a better leader and more self-confident.

Joe Les (he/him)

Freeport High School, Class of 2021​
I hear peers use problematic language like "fag" or "retard" as insults. Change can start as small as people phasing out problematic insults. I think youth can impact change because we have the greatest influence on other young people. The more youth there are working towards a cause, the more other young people there will be in support of that cause. This is more effective than telling people what to do.
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Linguo (he/him)

Waynflete, Class of 2021
Just because I am a young person, doesn't mean I am naïve and reckless or not thoughtful. Just because I am male doesn't mean I am always powerful, always strong, or always a provider. I am a male who is not going to be restricted by stereotype. On Youth Council, we have diverse opinions and perspectives, but it is a support atmosphere. People respect each other even if we are disagreeing.

Makayla (she/her)

Kennebunk High School, Class of 2021​
Youth Council is a safe community and environment. I'm able to be who I am and say what I want and know that I'm being acknowledged. We are all there to be the youth voice and make a change. I want to be a part of that change. Every youth voice matters. Everything that a youth voice says should be valued and considered by adults. This is how change happens.
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Maggie (she/her)

Employed at Dana Hall School for Girls/Professional Horse Trainer​
I became involved because of my story of survival. From the first meeting I went to, I immediately felt flooded with support. I have watched MBTM change lives. They are the most welcoming, non-judgmental, open-minded, and caring group and I feel honored to be a part of it. I have grown both my own mind and my perspectives on life.
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Natalie (she/her)

Endicott College, Class of 2023​
Over time, I’ve become more involved as Youth Council became a way for me to share my own journey in an act to help others. I have both participated in and facilitated many MBTM trainings and each time have helped folks of all ages understand the power of voice and that there is a place for all voices in this world. I share my story in hopes of helping other survivors identify what they want their story to look like.
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Olivia (she/her)

Maine Coast Waldorf High School, Class of 2021​
When MBTM came to my school, I was struck by how much I learned about stereotypes and how many people at my school wrestle with conformity and peer pressure. I was horrified that so many of us experience low self-esteem, loneliness, and self-loathing. I joined Youth Council to learn how to approach the toxicity of high school and attempt to cleanse the environment around me, for myself and other teens.
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Owen (he/him)

Maine Coast Waldorf High School, Class of 2021​
People in Youth Council come from different schools and work with a common goal, open to hearing everyone's opinions and helping those goals come to fruition. If people know more about violence or harassment, they will notice things and make changes—however small. I keep coming back to Youth Council because the more I know, the more I notice, and the more I can change.
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Pearl (she/her)

Maine Coast Waldorf High School, Class of 2021​
When we did the “mask” exercise at school, I thought about the greater community of my school. As a teen girl, I've faced a bit of stigma for my more traditionally masculine hobbies. Sometimes people find it really hard to recognize that I don't follow the pattern they expect. Social change needs to happen. Youth can plant seeds of change early on to create a more lasting, long term impact and a more sustainable future.
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Sara (she/her)

Hofstra University, Class of 2023​
After I attended my high school's first MBTM training, I started my school's Reducing Sexism and Violence Club. I began working as a student advocate, hosting screenings, panels, and trainings as well as working with Youth Council and MBTM staff. I am now advocating on my campus as a fellow for Hofstra's Center for Civic Engagement and I’ve come back to MBTM as an intern.

Satchel (he/him)

Maine Coast Waldorf High School, Class of 2021​
I have always believed in much of what MBTM does. Working with this group has made me more aware of issues and how I can help in even a moderate way. My involvement has taught me to have an open and accepting mind. Youth Council is a highlight of my week. We don't know everything, and we certainly can't fix everything, but we do our best to inform ourselves and others of these issues and work toward solutions in our community.

And ...

Not Pictured: Brennan (he/him) Scarborough High School, Class of 2022; Wes (he/him) Maine Coast Waldorf School, Class of 2022; Seamus (he/him) Maine Coast Waldorf School, Class of 2021; Ella (she/her) Yarmouth High School, Class of 2022