Youth Power is the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and are seeking change. Together, we have decided to speak up about our experiences because no one knows what it is like for us better than we do. Through peer-to-peer mentoring, we empower young people to be active citizens, aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policy, practice, regulation and law. We are young people helping other people, ensuring availability of self-help and peer support while changing systems so that young people get the support they need with the respect and dignity they deserve.
Youth Power envisions a world that embraces diversity, encourages resiliency, is strength-based and has the ability to adapt. A youth-guided community in which young people are inspired, empowered and supported to make informed choices and advocate for themselves.
Leadership & Structure
The Youth Power Advisory Council
The Youth Power Advisory Council is the guiding force behind all of the network’s work and activities. All YP Council members are young adults with disabilities who may also have experience in New York State public systems. They meet regularly through conference calls.
We pride ourselves on being a peer run network. Families Together in New York State (FTNYS) employs youth and young adults with disabilities and/or cross-systems experiences to staff the Youth Power network. Employees operate as official representatives of YP of FTNYS, mentor young leaders, and coordinate network activities.
Youth Power’s current strategic plan includes the following goals
- To expand and strengthen the YP network while remaining youth run
- To successfully advocate for systems change to ensure better opportunities for young people
- To increase empowerment, skill building, leadership and advocacy opportunities for young people with disabilities and system specific labels.
- To improve quality of youth peer advocacy & involvement by offering technical assistance and training opportunities to young people and adult allies
- To practice and promote cultural competency and diversity