Youth are agents of change
Since 2008, Magellan Healthcare’s MY LIFE (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment) has been leading the way for youth influence in behavioral health and foster care systems. Through MY LIFE, young people come together with their peers who have similar lived experience at regular meetings, special events and local, regional and national presentations. Together, they support each other in their recovery goals and strive to eliminate stigma associated with involvement in child-serving systems by building a proactive community that offers guidance to those systems and communities.
Stay Home for MY LIFE virtual youth fest
In response to COVID-19, Magellan launched the Stay Home for MY LIFE event series, featuring inspirational speakers, uplifting entertainment, fun activities and more for youth and young adults who have experience with mental health or substance use challenges, juvenile justice and/or foster care systems.
A program for youth, by youth
MY LIFE is for youth between the ages of 13 and 23 who have experience with mental health or substance use challenges, juvenile justice and/or foster care systems. Youth who have a family member or friend experiencing these challenges are also encouraged to participate.
Outreach and engagement
The program actively empowers youth by encouraging them to use their voices to inspire and create positive change for themselves and others in their local communities. Regular meetings are the foundation of the MY LIFE model, providing opportunities for youth to come together to create a community of support, plan activities and initiatives, build community connections, and learn from inspiring presenters. MY LIFE leaders speak at community meetings and events and present workshops at local, regional and national conferences, including the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and numerous others.
MY LIFE presentations and workshops
|6,000+ youth and adult attendees|
|60+ local/national presentations by MY LIFE youth|
|62+ youth have represented MY LIFE|
MY LIFE youth have presented workshops in places including:
- Detention centers
- Government offices
- Community events
- Boys and Girls Clubs
“MY LIFE is a beautiful opportunity for youth to learn skills needed to help overcome their challenges, while inspiring them to be great role models for other youth and their communities.”
– Greg Dicharry, MY LIFE founder
Select awards and recognition
MY LIFE and MY LIFE youth have been honored by numerous provider and advocacy organizations for youth development, engagement and leadership. Some examples:
- Youth MOVE National “Rock Star” Award
- National Council for Behavioral Health – Program of Distinction
- NAMI Pennsylvania Advocacy and Youth Empowerment Award
- Mental Health America “MPower” Award for Hayley Winterburg, MY LIFE Arizona co-founder
MY Fest celebration
The Magellan youth festival MY Fest is a signature one-day event, organized by MY LIFE to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health, substance use and foster care. It features musical acts, dance performances, art exhibits and resources for youth and families.
|27 MY Fest events|
|600 exhibitors at MY Fest events nationwide|
|~60,000 community members inspired and educated by MY Fest|
Magellan Healthcare’s MY LIFE and related activities are presented in partnership with our customers, other youth-serving systems and youth groups, and a variety of local youth-serving organizations.