Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Award

On May 25, 1996, Brad Levesque passed away after battling cancer for several years. Brad spent many of his teen years in foster care, all while fighting cancer. In his determination to not let cancer be his focus, Brad committed many of his years in care to help improve the lives of other teens in foster care.

Each year The Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Award will be given to a worthy youth or two in care who meet the criteria that Brad helped to develop…“Someone like me”, as Brad so aptly put it!

The recipient must be a youth in care between the ages of 15 and 21 who:

  1. Demonstrate active volunteer capacity (i.e. community service, teen conference planning, etc.)

  2. Are interested in pursuing education beyond high school

  3. Maybe medically/physically challenged

  4. May have resided in group/residential programs

  5. May have participated in outdoor adventure programs

2019 Brad Levesque Youth Leadership Awardees
Tiffani Melia

Tiffani Melia is a long time YLAT member and is currently enrolled in college at the University of Maine Farmington where she currently holds a 4.0 GPA! Tiffani continues to push herself to climb out of her comfort zone to use her voice to advocate for change in the Child Welfare System. Tiffani is a fabulous artist and writer. She cares about others, as seen in her actions at YLAT and with her peers. Tiffani is an active participant and leader in the Waterville YLAT meetings. She always greets new members with a welcoming smile. Tiffani is always willing to step up to help support and advocate for youth in care both locally and nationally. She is a member of the Teen Conference Planning Committee, MYTC, attends the PCG/Stakeholder meetings with OCFS and recently attended the FYA conference in California. Tiffani is an impactful speaker doing panels for new caseworkers and foster parents.

Tiffani plans on completing her Bachelor’s de-gree with the hope of continuing to get her Mas-ters in Art Therapy. Those that know Tiffani know that she will continue to change the world for years to come.

Morgan Beals

Morgan is someone who was very eager to tell her story of foster care and experiences in a group home. She had anger and sadness she wanted to turn into energy, reform, action and resolve. Morgan immedi-ately began attending YLAT meetings soon after meeting her transition worker, and she very quickly understood and adopted strategic sharing and advocacy tools. Morgan emerged as a young leader and quickly formed meaningful bonds and connections with YLAT alumni and staff. As Morgan learned skills quickly regarding public speaking, she began participating on panels for foster parents. By the time Morgan was 16 she enrolled in Driver’s ED classes and began her involvement with the TCPC and MYTC. Morgan is a born leader and a true advocate for herself and others. She is responsible, hardworking and funny! Her self-confidence is infectious and she is a role model to her peers. Morgan is a team player and tries to listen to others before reaching her own conclusions, even when she feels very personally connected to the matter. Morgan has been the President of her debate team for the past year and a half and her efforts led her debate team to the National championship. She is actively involved in JMG classes at her high school and participated in Maine LEAP. She also works part time at Applebee’s. Morgan attended the Gateway To Opportunity program in 2017 and helped create the YLAT recruitment video. In 2018, Morgan returned to the and had a summer work experience at IDEXX industries. Morgan is someone who knows who she is and she knows she is worthy despite the obstacles she had to overcome to get there.

Past Brad Levesque Award Recipients:

2018: Anna Chabot & Sophia Dunton · 2017: Jason Mulvey & Gianna Gaudet · 2016: Jacob Hills & Alexander Buzzell · 2015: Tia Knowlton-Basford & Isabelle Goodrich · 2014: Chrystal Inman & Kyle Snyder · 2013: Tyneshia Wright & Stephanie Gerard · 2012: Mariah Trimble-Smith & Casey Smith · 2011: Joshua Calcia · 2010: Sylvia Little & Shannon Jacobson · 2009: Victoria “Torry” Bernard · 2008: Vanessa Bridge & Paula Burrows · 2007: Chanthy Like · 2006: Kala Clark & Ashley Keiran · 2005: Johanna Rhodes & Brystle Noble · 2004: William Lane & Roxanne Carpentier · 2003: Edward Schnopp · 2002: Crystal Castro · 2001: Maria Gordon & John Rutterford · 2000: Jennie Hinckley · 1999: Christina Irvine · 1998: Jay Dymond · 1997: Corey McLaughlin · 1996: Leticia Jacques · 1995: Wayne Johnson · 1994: Brad Levesque

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