header includes circle logo and word collage

Zack Karenchak Policy and Program Development Coordinator, Youth MOVE Pennsylvania


Zack grew up in Elk County in northwestern Pennsylvania, a rural area known for having more deer than people.

As a teen, Zack experienced severe depression, along with terrible anxiety. Zack searched for youth groups that could offer him support with his mental health issues. He discovered these supports did not become available until the age of 18.

Zack’s mother is a sexual assault advisor and through her work, Zack became involved with a youth group, RIOT, which was rallying people to organize against rape. RIOT became an outlet for Zack, and he found that being useful aided him in getting control over his anxiety and depression symptoms.

When Zack went to college at the University of Pittsburgh/Bradford campus, he denied his mental health issues due to the stigma associated with the diagnosis. As he grew older, he realized he needed to acknowledge, accept and address his mental health needs.

Professional Experience

Zack participated in the development of Pennsylvania’s state proposal for a Systems of Care grant. Through this experience, he learned that there was no state-wide care group for youth and young adults that provides support and information. He and Corey Ludden were subsequently employed by the Youth Coalition Board to work toward formation of a multi-system youth group for Pennsylvania. During this time, the seeds were planted for Youth MOVE Pennsylvania which is now moving forward to fill the gap seen in providing a youth voice in multiple human service systems.

Master Trainer

In 2018 Zack became certified as a Master Trainer of the Young Adult Road Map program. The Young Adult Road Map program helps people in their teens and twenties navigate the everyday challenges of independent living. Training is designed to help social workers, counselors, case managers, peer support providers, and school behavioral health staff use interactive materials with transition-age-youth in one-on-one sessions or in support groups.

Zack is available to provide training for individuals to become a a Facilitator or a Coach of the Young Adult Road Map program. Get in touch with him for more information.

Zack Karenchak, zack@youthmovepa.org
Policy and Program Development Coordinator