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Mission: Our mission is to empower and inspire youth and young adults in communities across NYS to create, develop, and collaboratively establish Youth Recovery Community Organizations while supporting and contributing to the growth of each individual’s recovery process.

Vision: Through the establishment of YRCOs, youth and young adults across NYS will be provided the foundation needed to be able to use their voice to advocate and educate others while growing in their own recovery process. Youth Voices Matter-NY believes that every young person has the right to recover and deserves to have the community resources and access to assistance to do so.

Established in 2017 as an ancillary of Friends of Recovery - New York, our mission is to empower and inspire youth and young adults in communities across New York State to create, develop and collaboratively establish Youth Recovery Community Organizations while contributing and supporting the growth of each individual’s recovery process.
As an ancillary of Friends of Recovery - New York, Youth Voices Matter is committed to building a “Youth Recovery Network.” We connect to other youth and young adults by sharing the gifts we’ve been given through the journey of our personal recovery. We accomplish this with empowerment education, and workshops and seminars. We empower young people with the tools, strength and resources to lead healthy and meaningful lives.

Our success in recovery, having overcome these adversities, has inspired us to become Youth Leaders within the communities we serve. We are personally driven to offer services to our peers and celebrate our successes with one another. We host fun, youth-driven events called “Pop-Ups” across New York State to share the gifts of recovery with our peers, families and local communities. By combining our efforts with other community stakeholders and providers, we have the ability to affect positive change in our communities. This joint effort of working together will amplify positive change in all our lives.
“Youth Voices Matter - NY” believes in the power of young people. Each of us possess special gifts and abilities. Although we recognize that life sometimes challenges us, we have each other for support. What we realize is when we join together, we can reshape the lives and build ones we were meant to live where everything is possible!

Built on this belief, we, the youth and young adults of New York, wish to make changes to better our lives and the lives of our families and communities. We will “pump up our voices” and raise awareness to fix the problems in our lives that keep us from reaching our full potential. From the assistance we accept from others, there are many possibilities towards achieving success when working with connections to resources within the community.

When any action is taken on behalf of youth, it is our hope reflect the core values, goals, and vision of our communities. Our mission is to empower the lives of young people in the State of New York as we develop a statewide “Youth Recovery Community Organization” that will assist young people to foster lives of meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

We envision the “leaders of tomorrow” becoming positive “change-agents” of today. Through the efforts of education, we are able to change society’s perception, invite other organizations, agencies, and providers to join Youth Voices Matters and engage in this collaborative process. As we address these concerns, we hope our efforts will provide a positive impact on the lives of young people.

We have four core values:
• Each community should decide on which areas of concern to address
• The power of reinvention has the capacity to restore the lives of individuals, families and communities
• We are capable and should be allowed to represent ourselves as young people in all endeavors
• Resources, services, and supports are crucial in promoting health and wellness in the process of achieving our full potential


RACHELLE BROWN (rbrown@for-ny.org)  New York City Region
In Rachelle’s words, “It is an honor as well as a pleasure to be a part of a wonderful organization leading the way and doing wonderful things in the community, such as Friends of Recovery-NY (FOR-NY).” For most of Rachelle’s life, and her professional career, youth development has always been a significant passion of hers. Rachelle grew up in Bronx, New York, and as such she understands what it feels like to experience communities riddled in substance use. She has witnessed first-hand how young people often do not know of, or have, positive influences and places to turn to. This is one reason why supporting, empowering, and guiding youth is tremendously important and meaningful to Rachelle. As a teenager, she attended John F. Kennedy High School and was a star basketball player. Playing basketball helped Rachelle discover her love for sports. After high school, she went on to graduate from St. John’s University with a degree in Sports Management. In addition, Rachelle is an advocate for youth and individuals from all walks of life; she is a person who enjoys building valuable relationships and connections that strengthen communities; and Rachelle is someone who will put forth maximum efforts to handle all of her responsibilities with the energy, compassion, care, and diligence that will continue to impact the lives and the communities we serve in a positive way.

LORI TEANEY (lteaney@for-ny.org)  Capital Region
Lori is the Capital Region’s Youth Recovery Program specialist for Youth Voices Matter-NY. In her own words, “I would like to say how incredibly thankful and excited I am to be starting this new position. I look forward to working with you all and to contributing to a part of the recovery movement in a vast way.” Lori is a young person in long-term recovery and what that means to her is that she has not taken a self-prescribed sunstance since September 6th, 2012! Something she’s learned throughout her recovery journey, which began at the age of 21, is that everyone has an individualized path to recovery; also, that her perspective on what recovery means has evolved with her as she has grown. Lori grew up in Columbia County and, as the Co-Chapter Lead for a non-profit organization known as Young People in Recovery (YPR) in Hudson, NY, was able to collaborate with young people in her community through volunteering outside of continuing her education, working part-time, and building her own recovery. Additionally, Lori held workshops encompassing education, employment, housing, as well as addiction and recovery messaging. Thus, she was able to present and speak to numerous institutions, including both middle and high schools, within the community by sharing her personal recovery experience with students. Today, Lori has equipped herself with vital resources and established an immense networking system to continue making the difference needed to provide recovery options for youth in our communities. She enjoys music, writing songs about her recovery process, and living in the present. Likewise, she enjoys capturing the beauty of sunsets and sunrises to share with others. Lori’s passion is speaking up and being the voice for both her younger and present self and for others to advocate for recovery resources needed in our communities.

CARLEE HULSIZER (chulsizer@for-ny.org)  Western New York
Carlee is a Youth Recovery Program Specialist for Youth Voices Matter-NY, a statewide youth and young adult recovery community organization. Youth Voices Matter is a branch of FOR-NY. She is a young person from Rochester, NY in sustained recovery. She began her recovery journey in high school, so she is sensitive to the barriers facing young people in recovery. In addition to her work with Youth Voices Matter-NY, she is heavily involved in her community. Carlee has volunteered with multiple grassroots organizations in the Rochester area and co-hosted a local recovery radio show. She has met with legislators, assemblymen and women, and other political leaders to change policy regarding addiction and recovery. She uses her lived experience to help other young people recover from substance use disorder.

Youth Voices Matter, Inc.
All of NYS

Youth Voices Matter, Inc.

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