Healthy Transitions: Preparing for instant adulthood at 18 years of age.
Tuesday, January 30, 2024, from Noon until 1:30 p.m.
The local youth and young adult leadership team of Luzerne and Wyoming Counties MH-DS and Youth Revolution were recently awarded a SAMHSA Healthy Transitions Grant.
The project has started work by recruiting more youth and young adult leaders who will be developed to advocate and/or work in the behavioral health system with a focus on the target population, transition-aged youth and young adults (ages 16-25) who either have or are at risk for developing serious mental health conditions. The project is also completing a joinder-wide needs assessment on the target population.
This will be a round table discussion of six youth and young adults from Youth Revolution. You will learn who these leaders are, some of their stories, and where they see this project going over the next five years.
Who Should Attend
Our speakers are youth and young adults with lived experience and professional experience as Certified Peer Support Specialists. This webinar will benefit youth, young adults, their families, friends, teachers, and others who provide support. Our discussion will also be of benefit to providers, professionals, social workers, educators, and anyone who is interested or cares about our youth and young adults dealing with mental health issues.
Rose Daniels, Youth & Young Adult Coordinator, Youth Revolution
Rose is currently the Youth Drop-In Coordinator for the Catholic Youth Center and the Youth & Young Adult Coordinator for the Youth Revolution (Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Healthy Transitions Grant). Rose grew up in Foster care, being placed early into the system at the age of one and adopted at the age of 12 after being placed in several homes. Her biological mother lost her rights due to mental health and substance abuse. Rose has endured many traumatic experiences due to these placements, which have been physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. These hardships have fueled her passion to build resilience for the youth in her community. At a young age, she was able to learn the value of mentorship, which has helped her become the strong individual she is today.
After her promotion to Youth Coordinator, Rose lost access to the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship, providing her access to her early childhood degree, causing her to pause her educational journey. Although discouraged, she decided to return to college to study Fine Arts. Her love for the arts and her community inspired her to start a business called Breakout Art Movement, where she focuses on bringing the healing power of poetry and other forms of creation to people of all ages. Rose Continues to empower the youth in her community through opportunities for leadership, mentorship, and expression. She is now the 3rd Vice president of the Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the NAACP, where her outreach efforts to the BIPOC community are elevated. She works closely with the community to create and empower the next generation of youth leaders, advocates, and activists for human rights. Rose’s passion for youth helps her recruit and develop young leaders, share their voices, and promote the value of a youth-driven system. Rose also provides one-on-one advocacy to youth involved in the systems of care and cultivates programming for the community to engage in conversations centered around mental health and wellness.
Kyle Dayton, Youth Support Partner
Kyle is the current youth support partner for the High Fidelity WrapAround Team that serves juveniles in the Luzerne County Juvenile Wellness (Treatment) Court. Kyle has assisted in organizing several school-wide mental health symposiums. Kyle enjoys helping others get involved in weight-lifting. He started the Luzerne County Community College lifting club to help others get involved in weight-lifting who do not currently know how to join a gym or have the means to join a gym. Kyle enjoys weightlifting, basketball, and coaching.
Darren Eckert, Certified Peer Specialist
Darren is a certified peer specialist for the Children's Service Center. He began in this role as part of the Juvenile Wellness Court, a co-occurring juvenile treatment court for Luzerne County. When a similar position opened on the First Episode Psychosis Team, HOPE (Helping Overcome Psychosis Early), the same program he successfully graduated from, he transferred positions. Darren now serves the population that he is truly part of.
Darren’s interests include music production, playing guitar, podcasting, and creative thinking. Darren acknowledges his recent accomplishments as graduating High School, becoming a Certified Peer Specialist, graduating HOPE, buying a car and starting his own podcast on “Recovery”. Darren is sharing some of his music as part of the Webinar.
Ashleigh Hillard, Certified Peer Specialist
Ashleigh has been a certified peer specialist with the Children's Service Center for the past three years. Her role is on the First Episode Psychosis Team with HOPE (Helping Overcome Psychosis Early). She began working on this team prior in a multipurpose role defined as “secretary”; however, when the certified peer specialist role became vacant, she stepped in and began the necessary training to become credentialed.
Ashleigh defines her motivation as witnessing the progress of the youth and young adults she serves. Knowing that their journey to wellness includes her is her reward.
Falon Nonnemacher, Certified Peer Specialist, Youth Revolution Advisory Board
Falon is currently a counselor at the Catholic Youth Center in the childcare programs and the Youth Drop-In Center. Falon previously held the role of a certified peer specialist in the capacity of the Luzerne County Juvenile Wellness (Treatment) Court. Falon became a certified peer specialist in 2021. She is a person in recovery. Falon aspires to become an Occupational Therapist. Falon enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, journaling, and advocating for youth/young adults.
John Prater, Youth Advocate, Youth Revolution
John is a Youth Advocate through Youth Revolution and the Catholic Youth Center’s Youth Drop-In Center. John currently works in the kitchen of his high school in the Wilkes-Barre Area. John also works summers and holidays in their kitchen at the Catholic Youth Center.
John enjoys culinary arts, learning about different cultures, social norms in different situations, business techniques, and mental health. John also enjoys learning new exercise techniques, workouts, and gaming.
John is the current Youth Council President of the Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the NAACP. He is the Founder of the local food distribution program, “For Kids, By Kids”. John was the 2022 Youth Leader of the Year within the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties System of Care. John attended the 2023 NAACP National Conference.
Sonya Price, Certified Peer Specialist / Psych Rehab Counselor, Step-By-Step
Sonya Price has worked in the human services field for the past eight years. She works at Step By Step Inc. as a Psych Rehab Counselor in a group home setting and supports clients striving to learn independent skills. Prior to this employment, Sonya worked four years as a Certified Peer Specialist at Children's Service Center. At Children Service Center, she gained experience in working with youth struggling with psychosis. Her tasks included communicating closely with a multi-disciplined team and advocating for, relating to, and inspiring youth towards their aspirations. Sonya excelled in building close relationships with the youth and their families and was acknowledged in 2019 as “Best Youth Advocate” by the Luzerne County System of Care. She also works hard to remain informed in her human service career and regularly attends diverse and educational trainings.
In addition to employment at Step By Step, Sonya recently accepted a job opportunity with the Food Dignity Project. She is part of a team that works tirelessly to address the increasing struggle against food insecurity. She plans to combine her knowledge of local agencies and social work skills to support the Food Dignity Project towards its goal of fighting hunger in Luzerne County.
Sonya earned an Associate’s in human services at Luzerne County Community College. She is working towards a Bachelor’s in Social Work at Misericordia University. As a student, she has completed over six hundred internship hours at the following local agencies: Luzerne County Children and Youth, Step By Step Inc., Domestic Violence Service Center, and New Roots.