Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT)

YLAT is a joint project between Maine’s Youth in Foster Care, The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and the Muskie School at University of Southern Maine. YLAT is committed to improving the short-term and long-term outcomes for youth who are or have been in foster care.

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YLAT, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300, phone: 207-780-5861

Alumni Co-Facilitators

Dedicated YLAT alumni may co-facilitate district YLAT meetings. Alumni co-facilitators are identified as community leaders and serve as role models for YLAT youth, encourage positive relationships between group members, and foster an environment that promotes learning.

Alexander Buzzell 2019-Present

Alexander became connected to YLAT when he was 16 years old and feels empowered to stand up, identify things that he would like to see be different, and act to better himself and others with similar lived experiences through advocacy. 

Meaghan Collette 2019-Present

Meaghan became involved with YLAT to make a difference. "I was in care as a child and teenager and I think it is important for young people in care to feel connected and heard. The voices of youth make difference and will help shape the world that other young people will see later on down the road. I think that is really beautiful and I am excited to be part of it."

Chrystal Inman 2019-Present

When Chrystal was 13 years old she entered the foster care system. During her time in care things were not ideal, she moved several times and didn’t have the kind of support a young person should have. While times weren’t always the greatest, she did make many lasting connections. Chrystal wants to be involved in this work so other young people can have a different and better experience than she had. And she also wants to shed a light on the potential of all the young people who follow. Chrystal first began attending YLAT as a way to get out of the group home she was residing at, at 14 years old. Over time, YLAT became much more to her, and even now that her life is in a better place, she still wouldn’t want to miss out on a meeting. Currently, Chrystal spends most of her time working within her role as a Residential Counselor, at an agency working with adults with mental illness. If she’s not there, she’s likely found at Hannaford where she works part time, or she’s studying. She just started college in October where she’s beginning her journey into healthcare. Chrystal would also like to continue her work both locally and nationally to benefit Maine’s Child Welfare System.

Noah Patnaude 2019-Present

Noah is committed to YLAT and thrilled by the opportunity to be a leader and mentor for youth in care because much of who he is today comes from the long-lasting relationships he developed with peers and YLAT staff since he first joined at age 15.