MYAN is a program of The Opportunity Alliance. In the fall of 2011, PROP (The People's Regional Opportunity Program) and Youth Alternatives Ingraham joined forces to form The Opportunity Alliance. This new organization serves children, youth, adults, and seniors; individuals, families, and communities throughout Maine. MYAN was born out of the Statewide Network of Peer Programs (SNPP), a program that had been in existence for five years offering limited trainings and technical support to youth groups in Maine and planning and hosting the Peer Leadership Conference. The SNPP program was funded by the Teen and Young Adult Health Program at the Maine Bureau of Health for one staff position and was limited in the amount of support and training it could offer.
In 2001 SNPP was renamed the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) to more accurately reflect our belief that the strength of the youth groups working in Maine to create change was not focused on the information, resources or training that one staff person could offer them, but instead the strength was in the experiences, information and resources within the diverse groups all across the state. It felt essential to us to switch the hub of the program away from the staff and create the infrastructure of a Network of groups of youth partnering with adults to create positive change.
In the first few years, MYAN grew to have funding from the Fischer Foundation and then from a collaborative grant from the Maine Bureau of Health, including 4 programs (Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine, Teen and Young Adult Health, Cardiovascular Health Program and Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program) to expand to regional work where we brought groups together across the state to share ideas, information and resources. MYAN also continued offering technical support and training to groups. MYAN partnered with the Institute for Public Sector Innovation at the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine during this time.
Currently, MYAN is funded by a collaborative effort of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, supported primarily by the Fund for a Healthy Maine and state general funds that match the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. Learn more about MYAN's funders.
Throughout MYAN’s history we have valued meaningful youth involvement, exploring different ways to engage youth in the guidance, planning and implementation of our work. We continue to explore the best ways to do this, and our programming and structure evolve each year.