Megan Dvilinsky

2023 Nominee


Drop-In Center Coordinator

New Beginnings

Megan came to New Beginnings after serving as the Juvenile Restorative Justice Coordinator at Long Creek Youth Development Center where she worked for a number of years building out restorative practices with youth and staff alike within the Long Creek community. I was excited to have her join the team as we are working to build out similar practices and to create spaces where restorative conversations can occur. Megan realizes that for many of the young people we serve, as an organization working with unhoused youth, we might be the last place in the area where they are welcome and that this puts us in a unique position to show up for them in a way that utilizes exclusion as an absolute last resort. She has worked tirelessly to advocate for youth and to create space for them to address conflict and harm in a way that encourages accountability, while also offering support and most importantly open ears. She recognizes that the easiest way to deal with harm is to create rules and to utilize exclusion as a tactic to address harm and the associated challenges. All of these efforts are based in a trauma informed approach that seeks to acknowledge the realities and struggles of young people living outdoors, in shelters, and in homes not fit for habitation. The young people we work with need us to show up and to not give up on them. Megan is a constant in the lives of these youth and is always available to them in their times of need. I would like to suggest she is not only showing up for these youth, but more importantly offering them an option to the more traditional punitive structures utilized throughout our society. There is much work to be done, but I am so very encouraged by the work Megan does daily to think creatively as to how we might better serve young people in our community.