Spotlight on...Megan Munroe, Youth Advocacy Manager
Hi Megan, thanks for sitting down with me so that we can spotlight your work this month. First and foremost, how long have you been working at Colorado Youth Matter?
I started working here in July 2012.
What were you doing before coming to work at Colorado Youth Matter?
Most recently, I graduated from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. While working towards my MSW, I had a lot of varying experiences. I worked at the Conflict Center teaching conflict management to monolingual Spanish-speaking adults and bilingual elementary students. I volunteered with immigrant rights groups, and helped support youth trying the pass the Colorado ASSET legislation. I also had an internship at a non-profit consulting firm, and focused most of my work there into organizing arts and cultural groups to form a coalition to advocate for more equitable grant funding structures for cultural non-profits and organizations.
I am also a Peace Corps alumna, serving for four years in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. My work there focused on human rights for sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS. I also implemented a comprehensive sex education program for youth.
What are 3-5 words to describe your personality?
Quirky, layered, unique
What is your favorite part of your job?
The relationships that I have with CREATE’s young people, helping them to explore their skills and abilities and develop into strong leaders, while feeling supported and recognized. It’s important to me to be a trusted person in these young people’s lives and to support and affirm them in their identity development. I want to help them work through their insecurities, as I missed having an adult to help me through that when I was growing up. And also very important, I want youth to feel like it’s cool to care about issues that affect them!
What is one thing you like to do outside of work?
Right now I’m involved in gender violence awareness activities; I’m particularly challenging myself to act in V-day performances – last year I performed in the Vagina Monologues and this year I performed in A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer. It’s a great way to be involved in this movement and I try to draw the connection between gender violence and comprehensive sex education when I can.
What is your favorite part of working with the Colorado Youth CREATE council?
Watching them learn and grow, build strengths out of areas that they didn’t even know existed, supporting them and encouraging them when stepping out into uncomfortable positions in the face of opposition or public speaking
Do you have any pets?
I have a blonde bombshell golden mix (pictured above) who I brought home with me from Ecuador. She comes to work with me often, and is a regular at the CREATE council meetings - look for her in our Facebook photos!
What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming months, both professionally and personally?
Professionally, I’m excited to start designing an advocacy/leadership program with returning CREATE youth that is entirely based upon the youth-adult partnership model. I want to strengthen our work and approach around advocacy and involving youth to a greater degree and position CREATE as the go-to youth network for feedback, suggestions and criticism around all things youth sexual health and teen parenting.
Personally, I will be doing lots of traveling in the upcoming months, to places like Canada, Alabama, Washington D.C., Italy and France. I can’t wait!