MYAN: Bangor Conference Encourages Students to Lead by Example

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Opportunity Alliance serves children, adults, and communities throughout the state.

One of their programs is called the Maine Youth Action Network.

The annual conference was held in Bangor, bringing together high school students from all over.

"A better understanding of people's points of view on things that are different from mine."

Youth involvement starts with finding common ground regardless of where you come from.

"We bring in people from all over the state together to learn about social emotional learning and use their voice so they have the ability to take skills back with them into their own communities to create positive change."

The mission of the Maine Youth Action Network is to foster the healthy development of youth by creating a thriving network of engaged leaders.

"So we talk about youth substance use, we talk about bullying and harassment and bias in schools, and we talk about adolescent mental health. That's one of our key topic areas."

For two days, students from across the state convene at the Cross Insurance Center for break-out sessions, creating partnerships between youth and their adult allies.

"Youth have an interesting role in society because they don't currently have a role in politics, but in the future, they will. So it's important that they develop their opinions and they develop a very open mindset to make changes in the world."