Children, Youth and Families

Melanie Knox

Public Welfare Program Analyst
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12 E. Chestnut Street, Augusta

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 626-5270

Melanie has been with the Muskie School for 18 years. Prior to joining  Muskie, she worked 18 years in government service, with the last 8 years in public welfare and 5 years in direct service with clients. Research is her first love and she is most happy when working on a variety of projects. Melanie has earned certificates in mediation and facilitation from USM and is always looking for work involving focus groups and interviewing. She also trains Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff on a variety of topics, but her favorites are teaching DHHS workers how to present orientation to clients, as well as teaching supervisors/managers how to identify and deal with the “bad apple.”

Melanie has worked with a Food and Nutrition Service project, which gave her the opportunity to work with Somali women, school children, and farmers markets around nutrition and food safety, another area of interest. This project gave her opportunity to help author a recipe and activity book for school children on nutrition and blog to Food Supplement participants about healthy low cost meals on the Maine Nutrition Network website. Melanie has experience with polling technologies, conference planning, logistics, leading workgroups, developing materials, literature reviews, and research, and she has worked on projects involving paternity, sex offenders, breast feeding moms, nutrition, and court training, to name a few. Melanie is currently working with the Division of Child Support Enforcement at the Office for Family Independence.

Melanie has raised 4 children while earning a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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