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Youth Advocate Wins PA NAMI Award

The PA Youth Advocacy Network is pleased to share that youth advocate Abby Rickin-Marks has been chosen as the recipient of the NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania's 2021 Youth Mental Health Leadership Award. We are so proud of Abby and her work to support youth voice in mental health. Abby will be presented the award at this year's Virtual Child, Adolescent, and Transition Age Youth conference on Friday, February 5.

Over the past two years, Abby has played a significant leadership role in guiding the work of the PA Youth Advocacy Network as a student leader. Through skillful, caring leadership of student discussions on difficult topics such as mental health stigma, suicide prevention, and inequality, Abby has demonstrated her ability to connect with students of all backgrounds and identify shared values and experiences to communicate to Pennsylvania policymakers. She facilitated meetings with two state legislators for students to share their concerns and organized an entirely student-led virtual workshop on discrimination in education. She also serves as a student advisor for UpStreet and chairs the teen wellness committee at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Abby has been a stand-out leader among all the students we've engaged in our youth advocacy work. Her warm and empathetic approach, her integrity, and her commitment to addressing injustices in our society will enable her to continue to do great things in the future.

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