Amanda Park, President, Action Working Group Leader (Central Region)
Amanda Park is a highly motivated advocate that has experience across various state systems. After interning with an Independent Living Center, she became passionate about YOUTH POWER!’s cause. Amanda believes that all youth should have access to a quality and affordable education at both the secondary and post-secondary level. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Statistics after obtaining her Bachelor’s in Mathematics with honors from SUNY Cortland. When she’s not advocating, her hobbies include exercising, reading, and rooting for the New York Giants.
Joseph Munisteri, Vice President, Outreach Working Group Leader (Long Island Region)
Joseph Munisteri is a founding board member of YOUTH POWER! He is also cosplayer who brings awareness to various topics via activism. He is extremely active in his community in an attempt to make everyone’s lives more awesome. He hopes to one day write a comic called the Access Avengers. He also owns a Giant Papier Mache Hulk and always carries a sketchbook with him often asking others to draw a key to inspire others(these keys and a podcast about them can be found on his website www.unlockcreativity.org) and has presented at New York Comic Con and Syracuse University.
Marc Rosen , Treasurer, Special Events Working Group Leader (Long Island Region)
Marc Rosen possesses a critic’s tongue, a demon’s luck, and a cynic’s humor. He currently serves as Treasurer for The Bards Initiative (as well as co-founder), as Treasurer for YOUTH POWER!, and as a member of the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC). His works have graced the pages of numerous anthologies published by Local Gems Poetry Press, Autonomous Press’s Spoon Knife Anthology, the 2017 Poets’ Almanac, and his own book, Monster of Fifty-Nine Moons and Other Poems (Local Gems Poetry Press, 2016). He has also developed and mastered a method for leading groups through writing from their traumas, which he will soon begin offering as a training for education and mental health professionals, as well as peer advocates. He enjoys quiet evenings at home, spent reading, laughing at random stuff on the Internet, sampling the fruits of his slow cooker’s labor, and quietly plotting to rule the world from the shadows.
Blaise Bryant, Secretary (Hudson River Region)
Currently, I’m attending the New School Center for Media in Albany to become a radio broadcaster. Since September 2014, I’ve been working at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley in Troy as a Peer Advocate and Employment Specialist. I was also a Youth Transitional Coordinator at the Independent Living Center and became involved in both VOYA and RAMP which is how I found out about YOUTH POWER!. Some of my interests are advocacy, traveling, current events, news, and sports just to name a few. I also have a four-year-old seeing eye dog named Flash, who’s my eyes, independence, and best friend.
Doug Hahn (Western Region)
I was diagnosed with a mental health condition at a young age, and have received various levels of care in the past; my experiences were mixed but across the board, peer support was a driving force in my recovery. It inspired me to develop goals of my own: helping youth who are struggling, letting them know that their voice is valid and heard, and to help make peer support more available in the community while decreasing stigma. My mission is to use what I’ve learned from my struggles to help someone overcome theirs. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Kay Corbran (Western Region)
This is Kay and she is a new member of Youth Power’s Board of Directors. Throughout adolescence, Kay struggled developing friendships with her peers because they only saw her for her “disability,” not as a person. In high school, Kay realized that she needed to speak up for herself to make a change. So, she started doing presentations at school to voice her concerns, which changed her peers’ perspectives on people with disabilities. Recently, Kay has completed her Bachelors in Social Work and plans to pursue a career path in policy-making. She hopes to inspire youth to find their voice and encourage them that we can make a difference in the world.
Tony Turner (New York City Region)
Tony spent seven years in New York’s foster care system and is an excellent advocate and voice for foster youth and other youth who are involved with various child-serving systems. While attending Columbia University, Tony is employed as a Peer Specialist at the Mental Health Association of NYC. He has written articles for the New York Times and Huffington Post, and for the past six years been a journalist for Youth Communication Represent – a magazine for and by foster youth. Tony is a co-chair for the Youth Advisory Council at YOUTH POWER!, Board Member at YP!, president of the New Yorker’s for Children Youth Advisory Board, and a core member of Fostering Advocacy and Empowerment. Tony’s main career goal is to become Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. When not being a Superhero for youth in need Tony spends his time reading classic literature, listening to music, and meeting new people.