With so much progress to be made in promoting youth voice, we don't always take the time to celebrate the good that is done each and every day by incredible youth advocates working to redefine what youth voice looks like on the front line of mental health service delivery.
Please join Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon in congratulating our Peer Services Manager, Caitlin Baird for receiving the National Dr. Gary M. Blau Professional of the Year Award! This prestigious national award, named after the current Chief of SAMHSA’s Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, recognizes one professional for their outstanding and continued support of youth voice as evidenced by their efforts to ensure the full integration of youth voice into their work.
Caitlin and Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon were recognized in front of hundreds of the nation’s top leaders in Wraparound and Children’s Mental Health at the National Wraparound Initiative’s 2nd Annual National Wraparound Academy in Washington D.C. This honor is reserved for one of the tens of thousands of outstanding Wraparound professionals across the country. The award is a testament to Caitlin's incredible passion for and dedication to the young people of Oregon. Caitlin was quick to point out, that this award would not be possible without the support of our contractors and donors and the courageous youth who fight to survive and live more successful lives every day. In response to the award, her comment was: "I am very humbled to be honored with this award, and it is a privilege to work with dedicated community partners who are committed to system change."
Caitlin has been a staunch advocate for young adults and system improvement for many years. She continues to deliver what Bob Lieberman Executive Director of Kairos calls "YMO's Brand of Disruptive Innovation" in her system-changing peer work. We could not be more proud of Caitlin not only for receiving this honor but for her excellence day-to-day when no one is looking. In these private moments, Caitlin doesn’t hesitate to choose the more difficult, work-intensive path in order to help a young person survive.
Please join me in congratulating Caitlin by replying to this message, we will be present them to her during a celebration to later this month!
Let's keep showing the country that Oregon is second to none in its youth serving systems!
Proudly and with gratitude,
Martin Rafferty, Founder and Executive Director, Youth M.O.V.E. Oregon.