Annually, MNYF member agencies bring youth and legislators together. Youth visit the State Capitol and learn while participating in the legislative process. With appointments scheduled in advance youth meet and talk with elected officials. RHY providers provide education and awareness through displays, handouts and discussion. The day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance and impact of the Homeless and Runaway youth services. The Dome Day luncheon includes RHY provider agencies staff, volunteers and youth, and Representatives, Senators, staff and clerks. Often member agencies are recognized on the Senate floor while in session. An exciting opportunity for youth to experience close up the legislative process in Michigan.
MNYF Annual Conference
Each year the MNYF organizes and facilitates a Conference filled with opportunities of training, technical assistance and networking for RHY provider organizations. The annual conference has been held in past years in Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Bay City, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City Michigan.
Training topics have included Cultural Competency, Group work with Addictive Disorders, Data Collection & HMIS, Career Counseling, Positive Youth Development, The Culture of HYR, Yoga, Ethics & Confidentiality, Human Trafficking Youth specific, Grief and Trauma Therapy, Suicide Prevention/Mental Illness, Harm Reduction, Effective Supervision, LGBTQ Best Practices and preparing for a federal audit/site visit. The MNYF is made up of a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Consistently these organizations work to share their expertise to build capacity and strengthen the best practices of services to HYR.
During the annual conference the MNYF recognizes individuals through Awards including the Rising Star, Staff Person of the Year, Life Time Achievement Award and the ever coveted Progressive Trophy.
Rising Star An individual who is passionate about RHY services and is viewed as likely to excel in the field. Up and coming leaders highly motivated demonstrating spirit through their advocacy and enrichment of services for RHY. Strong youth advocates who work strive to better the lives of youth and families.
Staff Person of the Year is an individual working within a member organization recognized for promoting and practicing a youth development approach when working with youth, families and their community. This individual contributes quality in all that they do and consistently strengthens programming through their actions and attitude.
Lifetime Achievement A special honor recognizing an individual within a member organization who has demonstrated longevity and made large contributions to the RHY field. These individuals serve as leaders within their organization while not necessary in a leadership position. These individuals consistently impact the movement of serving RHY through successful advocacy within and external of their organizations. These individuals are innovative thinkers who support the building of capacity and increased best practices for their organizations and for youth and families.
RAA – A Progressive Trophy shared annually.
An irreverent although coveted recognition of an individual whom works hard and works smart bringing a sense of humor into the work. These individuals bring laughter in spite of hard times and support the environment to persevere. They find the light in the darkest of situations always presenting with a relaxed and casual affect coupled with determination.
MNYF Youth Summit
The Youth Summit established in 2012 and hosted by member organization The Connection Youth Services is a Youth Development project created by youth for youth annually. In June, RHY provider organizations youth and adults came together in celebration, recreation and learning. A keynote speaker starts the day quickly united participants as they share stories of struggle and triumph offering the probability to overcome adversity. Activities have included a Drum Circle encouraging expression and bringing energy to the event; “Beyond Being a Bystander” creating an interactive discussion on effectively addressing bullying; SaYes Theater Troupe performing skits highlighting the pressures of bullying and peer pressure. Local talent often provide inspiration during the event with differing skills of music, rap and poetry. Through completed feedback surveys participants clearly take away new ideas, a feeling of strengthened energy and a desire to have more.