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Youth Initiatives

Powerful Resources for  Communities

Young people all over Maine are working to resist tobacco, and our communities are recognizing them as a huge potential resource. Youth thrive when they have a connection with a project over the long term. They reach out to younger youth through mentoring, generate marketing ideas, and solve problems. They have the energy, and often the schedules that lead to strong community work, and they can exert a major influence over peers and adults.

Why Involve Youth?

Making an Impact on Prevention

Youth are making a huge impact, both in Maine and nationally. They are getting involved in policy changes, and they are developing relationships with tobacco retailers to encourage them to reduce the amount of tobacco in their stores. They are exposing the lies of the tobacco companies, supporting those who want to quit, and helping peers resist the pressures to smoke.

Maine youth participate in Peer Leadership Conferences, the Youth Advocacy Program, and recently, Stop. Quit. RESIST, the Annual Maine Anti-Tobacco Youth Summit, which gathered 150 youth from across the state and provided them with the tools, skills and resources so they can play a leading role in making their communities healthier.

Community organizations can cultivate a strong youth contingent to help with anti-tobacco counter marketing efforts. Find out about ways other communities have successful cultivated youth involvement over the long term, including mentoring, providing youth with meaningful roles and jobs, and rewarding their accomplishments.

Youth Advocacy Program &

Maine Youth Action Network

The development of leadership skills and youth and adult partnership skills are essential to the success of HMPs’ youth initiatives to create environmental and policy change around tobacco, substance abuse, physical activity, and nutrition in Maine.

The Youth Advocacy Program (YAP) harnesses the powerful influence of peer pressure in a positive way. YAPs help youth reduce and prevent tobacco use among their peers and empower them with the skills that they need to create a healthy community by learning how to advocate for change.

The Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) is a statewide Network of support for youth and adults that connects people and programs throughout Maine with the mission of training, supporting, connecting and advocating for youth. Youth groups of all types can be a part of MYAN, including those involved in social action, prevention, mentoring, and health promotion.

MYAN can help strengthen youth programs in the following ways:

Get Tips for Youth & Adult Partnership.

Strengthen Your Youth Programs. Be a YAP coordinator, or be part of the MYAN, and harness the power of youth in your community.

Youth Leadership Events & Trainings. Youth and adults who attend training gain skills, information, resources and connections to help them create positive changes in their communities. Contact MYAN about upcoming training opportunities and events.

Additional Links

Group Formation & Maintenance

Recruiting for Your Group

The Consensus Process

25 Quick Energizers


Maine Legislative Youth Advisory Council

Health Policy Partners/Maine Public Health Association

From Activities to Activism—What is Policy Change?