YOUTH POWER! aims to AMPLIFY-NY with regional youth leadership forums and supported leadership activities for young people to speak up, build skills, and prepare to take on leadership roles. This initiative brings the opportunities to YOUth and amplifies the YP! network to give the next generation of leaders the tools and support they need for success. Parents and caregivers also have the opportunity to attend a series of workshops entitled “Foundations for Leadership” to assist them in continuing to help set the stage for young people to Lead On.
The youth leadership forums and parent/caregiver workshops are FREE to attend.
This initiative is funded from 2017-2021 through a grant with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC).
Youth Leadership Forum and Parent/Caregiver Workshop Series
Youth ages 14-24 are encouraged to register for our FREE, unique, 4-day, 3-night event designed for YOUth to speak up, build leadership and self-advocacy skills and prepare to take on leadership roles with the support of peers along the way.
“As an 18-year-old with severe anxiety and being unable to drive, meeting similar people to me close to my age has been especially difficult. Through the Youth Leadership Forum, I learned about disabilities and different acts, but also made new friends. It also made me more confident when talking to people, especially people with authority, about what I need to be successful. After I signed up, I was extremely nervous, thinking people were going to be judgmental. Luckily, nobody was, which made it safe for everyone. As anxious as I was, I wouldn’t change my experience. I would highly encourage people to attend it because it is a wonderful event.” – R.P. YLF Alumni
- Participate in large and smaller breakout group sessions facilitated by peers
- Learn from guest speakers and panel presentations
- Enjoy structured, educational yet fun activities (we promise!)
- Connect with resources that meet the goals/advocacy activities that interest you.
- Attend optional evening activities (game night, karaoke, etc
Foundations for Leadership: A Parent/Caregiver Workshop Series
Young people and their parents/caregivers can greatly benefit from connecting with their peers in order to support their personal growth. Additionally, young people want to be heard by their caregivers and receive that support as they grow into young leaders and become more self-sufficient. Through this FREE workshop series that brings together both the family and youth perspective, we give caregivers the tools they need to support the young people in their care as a vital part of their transition team through teaching, modeling, and support. Lunch will be provided.
Parents/caregivers attend the workshop on the first and last days of the Youth Leadership Forum, providing them the opportunity to support their youth attending a new event and witness them graduate the forum with pride (if they are participating). The parent/caregiver workshop series includes both individual sessions and joint sessions with youth participants.YOUTH POWER! has partnered with Families Together in New York State, and INCLUDEnyc to develop this opportunity. Lunch will be provided.
About the Youth Leadership Forums (YLFs)
By utilizing the California model of Youth Leadership Forums as a strong base and adding some YP! flavor, young people across the state will have the opportunity to learn more about a variety of leadership topics. As with all YP! events, the forum will be a safe, youth-friendly environment with plenty of fun activities to compliment the wealth of knowledge being learned. This can include talent shows, dance parties, free time to mingle or relax, and more! Participants will also have the opportunity to connect with local resources at the resource fair and learn more about leadership opportunities or have a chance to advocate at the Leadership Luncheon.
Throughout the forum, young people will learn about:
- Disability History & Culture
- Strategic Sharing & Disclosure
- Wellness tools
- Leadership and Communication Skills
- Independent Living
- Financial Literacy
- Systems Advocacy
- Creating a Personal Leadership Plan
- And more!
These 4-day, 3-night forums are free to attend for young people ages 14-24.
About the Parent & Caregiver Workshop Series
Young people with disabilities and their parents/caregivers can both greatly benefit from connecting with their peers and having opportunities to support their personal growth. Additionally, we often hear from young people that they want to be heard by their caregivers and have them involved as a support as they grow into young leaders and become more self-sufficient. Through this workshop series, we give caregivers the tools they need to support the young people in their care as a vital part of their transition team.
YP! is partnering with Families Together in NYS, INCLUDEnyc, and Parent Network of Western NY to develop a series of workshops for parents and caregivers that bring together the family and youth perspectives. Focusing on teaching, modeling, and support, these sessions take place alongside the YLFs and throughout the community.
OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED
Planning Group: Leading the way in planning these forums is a peer-run statewide planning group. Youth and young adults with developmental and other disabilities ages 14-24 are invited to join this group to help design and carry out youth leadership forums across the state, starting with the pilot forum in the Capital District. This group meets 1-2 times per month. Young people who are interested in joining this group must
fill out the Planning Group interest form.
Click here for the planning group flyer.
Sustainability Task Force: In order to help this initiative continue to thrive, the sustainability task force works to build partnerships, share resources, and raise funds. This group is made of all stakeholders including youth, parents/caregivers, members from state agencies, and individuals who are familiar with fundraising, local private foundations, and recruiting sponsorships. This group meets once per month. Individuals interested in joining this group must fill out the Sustainabilty Task Force interest form.