Meet the YP! Network Leadership Council
Amanda Park, Chair, 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 Chair, 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 , Financial Liason, 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 (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
With all of these opportunities, she has realized her passion is to support youth with all mental health challenges who are learning the new mental health curriculum. With her story told throughout different outlets, she hopes youth can find power in sharing their own story because Amanda knows our stories matter!
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.
Alexis Kennedy is a very dedicated advocate for those who need a voice. She has struggled with her mental health for most of her life, but now uses her story to help others in any way she can. She has been involved with YP! for several years and is currently part of the YP! Services Advisory Council and the YP! Network Leadership Council. Alexis is currently a Youth Peer Advocate at the Mental Health Advocates of Western New York, where she facilitates support groups and attends many training’s and conferences to network with others, widen her knowledge within the mental health world and encourage peer support. In her free time, Alexis loves to create, making YouTube videos, various crafts, writing poetry and pursuing her love for photography whenever she can. If she’s not doing some type of art, you can find her cuddling with her psychiatric service dog and best friend, Kia. She’s not too sure what her future will hold, but her biggest hopes right now are to continue being the best advocate she can and to impact people’s lives in a positive way.