Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Making a Brighter Future for Foster Youth in York County, Maine


Since 2004, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative has awarded grants to the Muskie School of Public Service to convene and facilitate the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative (MYTC). This Collaborative engages youth, as well as public and private partners from around the state, to support young people currently or formerly in foster care as they transition to adult life. Statewide partners come together in an advisory capacity; others collaborate with young people on committees and workgroups; and in some communities, the efforts have focused on building local community networks. Through the collaboration and support of its partners, MYTC has learned to broaden and deepen its approach to building community support. This 5-page paper, "Making a Brighter Future for Foster Youth in York County, Maine", sponsored by Maine Network Partners and Common Good Ventures, tells the story of lessons learned from two experiences in community network building. It provides a case example of how a community-based network comprised of youth, as well as public, private, and non profit participants, can drive significant positive change.

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Publish Date: 
September 28, 2009

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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