Financial Aid

As a youth advocate, professional development is necessary to build a successful career path. Unfortunately, valuable professional development resources can be expensive. But, with a little digging or the right approach, you can find resources to help you pay for professional development opportunities such as the University of YOUTH POWER!.

YP! will have different scholarships available that you may qualify for. Please refer to the main UYP page for more information.

The Patricio “Pat” Figueroa Jr. Sponsorship
The New York State Independent Living Council, Inc. (NYSILC) supports young leaders by providing The Patricio “Pat” Figueroa, Jr. Sponsorship for young adults with disabilities to attend and participate in independent living related conferences and/or national disability and leadership trainings during each year of the State Plan. It is expected that sponsorships of up to $1000 each will be awarded to young adults with disabilities based on cost and need. Recipients will be asked to provide documentation via a NYSILC reimbursement form and complete a follow up questionnaire to summarize their experience.
Click here to learn more.

Service Dollars
Young people in waiver, vocational and other programs can ask to use their service dollars to attend UYP. Service dollars must be used to help a young person achieve the goals in their service plan.

Approaching Supervisors/Group Sponsorships
UYP is the premiere youth peer leadership conference that provides Youth Peer Advocates and change agents the opportunity to build skills and expand their professional network. We encourage young leaders interested in attending to speak with their supervisors to determine what funding may be available for employee professional development to be put towards UYP.

YOUTH POWER! also coordinates with organizations interested in sending multiple individuals or groups to attend UYP. For more information, please contact us at

Tips for Travelers

To book travel:

  • By train: and follow the prompts. Remember to print receipts and boarding documents.
  • By plane: and follow the prompts. Remember to print receipts and boarding documents.

Make your travel arrangements as soon as possible. If you are traveling by:

  • Car: Drive to the College of Saint Rose, Check in at Centennial Hall 930 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12203
  • Plane: Fly to Albany International Airport (ALB) (Will need to take cab to event location)
  • Train: Rensselaer, NY – Albany (ALB) 525 East Street Rensselaer, NY 12144 (Will need to take cab to event location)

Local Taxi Companies

  • Advantage: (518) 433-0100 (Accessible Transportation)-these taxis are also parked right outside of the Amtrak Train Station
  • Capital Land Taxi: (518) 452-8888
  • City Cab: (518) 465-5555
  • Duffy’s Taxi: (518) 783-8294
  • Yellow Cab: (518) 434-2222
  • CDTA STAR (Paratransit): (518) 482-8822

Depending on where you are coming from and your history with YOUTH POWER!, we may be able to coordinate travel if staff, board or special events members are coming from your region. You should not count on this option, though.

Items to Pack

  • Make sure your cell phone is on and charged and that you pack your charger
  • Laptop, paper, tablet if you have one
  • If you are being reimbursed by your organization or through a sponsorship, make sure you save all of your receipts (tolls, etc.) and track your mileage. You will need this to submit a reimbursement form.
  • State issued ID
  • Money for tolls and food

Campus Information

Find out more about the College of Saint Rose and use their interactive map by visiting this link.

UYP Student Life

During UYP!
During the event, we will be taking lots of pictures and using all our social media platforms using #UYP18. If you are able, don’t forget to join in on the fun by posting, tweeting and commenting. If you do not wish to have your picture taken, please let us know ahead of time, preferably the first day when you are checking in.

Resident Students:

  • Each floor has its own laundry machine and will be available all throughout the event
  • Each floor also has its own lounge, students can go there during their down time or if they need to work on something. These rooms have a white board, television, and comfortable seating.
  • The main lounge for after dinner activates will be on the 3rd floor of Centennial Hall. All UYP! Students have rooms on this floor.

Advice for Students:

  • Be you! Everyone else is taken.
  • Manage your time wisely. Don’t leave things for the last minute.
  • Walk around and introduce yourself. It’s not weird, everyone is looking for friends! Reach out and network!
  • Take in every moment, you never know which one could be defining.
  • You WILL make friends. So don’t worry, be yourself.
  • Join a regional team or working group. It is a great way to make friends, gain confidence and stay connected while changing the system after UYP! ends.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know how much fun you could have or who you can meet.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity because you never know where it may lead.

Ways to Get Involved:

  • Smile at everyone you pass on campus.
  • At the beginning of UYP!, hang out in a common area. You will begin to meet people and make friends.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for advertised events and other ways to get involved with YP!.
  • Go to the Student Fair!
  • Start a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class.
  • Try to make use of the services at the Student Fair.
  • Leave your door open while you are in your room.
  • Get to know your Resident Assistant and use them as a resource.
  • Ask questions, go to club interest meetings

Safety Tips

Being in a new area is always an adjustment, we’re especially careful with our safety when traveling someplace new or staying overnight. As reminders, below are listed some safety tips for everyone. Most of them seem obvious or “just make sense” but a tip sheet is always helpful.

Personal Items and Money Safety

  • Be aware of pickpocket situations — crowded areas such as train stations, elevators, etc.
  • Carry your wallets in your front pants pocket or;
    • Use bags, pocketbooks etc. that zipper well; keep pocketbooks on your lap when in restaurants, etc. Avoid putting your purse on the back of your chair or under the table. Carry your bag close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow. Avoid bags that clasp or snap shut.
  • Do not leave your purse or personal bag unattended in public areas.
  • The best time to use ATM’s is during daylight hours. Use bank affiliated ATM’s whenever possible instead of ATM’s in bodega’s or outside.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and avoid counting or displaying money in public areas.
  • Minimize the number of credit cards you carry.
  • Carry money for emergencies such as cab fare or quarters for phone calls.
  • Always carry a separate stash of cash so that if you do lose your purse/wallet you will have enough money to get home.

Walking On Campus Safety

  • Students need to be aware of their surroundings and walk with a positive bearing. If you use an electronic device such as an iPhone, iPod or MP3 Player to listen to music, keep the volume to a reasonable level so that you can hear what is going on around you.
  • On the street — travel in well-lit and populated areas. Avoid “short cuts.” If you must travel alone late at night, if you can, call someone at your destination to let him/her know you are coming and how long it will take you to arrive.
  • If a car approaches you and asks for directions, speak with the occupants at a safe distance from the car.
  • If you think that you are being followed, cross the street. If that person follows you again, re-cross the street. If you are still being followed, look for an open store etc. Begin to run and call out “FIRE!!”, or call out to someone on the street as if you know them.
  • Be aware! Recognize your vulnerability.
  • Report all suspicious persons, vehicles and activities to the Campus Safety Department immediately, by using any campus blue light phone or by dialing 8888 from any campus phone.
  • If you see someone being victimized, get involved and notify the Campus Safety Department.
  • Remember the location of emergency phones in academic buildings. Also, phones have been placed in various locations on campus. Inside building phones are silver in color. Outside phones are blue in color with “Campus Safety ” marked on the side. Blue light phones will display a blue light at the top.
  • Avoid the athletic fields and tennis courts after dark.
  • Do not accept rides from casual acquaintances.
  • When walking to your residence, have your keys ready in hand.
  • If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction. The vehicle will have to turn around in order to pursue you.
  • When getting out of a car, take a look around to make sure that you are not being followed.
  • If you find yourself confronted by an assailant you must remember that while screaming and struggling may in some instances frighten off the assailant, in other instances you may further antagonize the assailant and bring forth a more violent reaction. Above all you must keep your head and assess the situation before choosing your course of action. Whether or not the assailant is armed or has made threats against your life should be a determining factor in your decision. The key word in this type of situation is survival.
  • If, while waiting for an elevator, you find yourself alone with a stranger, let him take the elevator and wait for its return.
  • If you are on an elevator with someone who makes you feel uneasy, get off at the next floor.
  • Always stand near the control panel, where you have access to the alarm and floor buttons.
  • Emergency phones are installed in all passenger elevators. When you push the button, the phone will automatically dial the Campus Safety department.

On Resident Student Safety

  • Keep your doors locked.
  • If you lose the keys to your residence, have the lock(s) changed. On campus residents should notify Residential Life immediately.
  • Do not leave your keys unattended in public areas.
  • Require callers to identify themselves before opening your door. Campus and non-campus residents should require official identification from all repair or service personnel.
  • Do not let strangers in to use your telephone. Direct them to a public telephone.
  • Do not to block open doors to dormitories or other buildings or use of fire exit doors, it is in violation of fire code.
  • Do not allow strangers to follow you into your residence hall.
  • Have a safety buddy, possibly your roommate in case you need immediate assistance from someone other than staff/board.
  • If you’re leaving the campus, be sure to tell staff/board who you are, where you are going, when you’ll be back, if you are going with anyone.
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable, anxious or anything negative at a public session allow yourself some private time.
  • Don’t take drinks or anything else from strangers, even food.
  • Don’t ride with drunk or drugged drivers.
  • Don’t offer rides to people you don’t know.
  • Trust your instincts! if a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, get away as quickly as possible. Make casual eye contact with the person making you feel uncomfortable just to let him/her know you are aware of their presence. If you feel unsafe, seek safety and call for help.

Leaders’ Dinner

Every year our Leaders’ Dinner provides an opportunity for young people and state leaders to speak candidly about real life issues that youth face while in state systems.  It is intimidating for young people to speak frankly with government leaders and this dinner gives youth the chance to communicate in a relaxed setting.  We create an atmosphere of sharing and partnership that is comfortable for both youth and adults.

Coming Soon: Invited State Agencies.

Dress Code:
Business attire, by definition, means a conventional form of attire appropriate for nearly all formal settings that do not require a white or black tie. If you do not have a nice outfit to wear, bring your best pair of pants and we will provide you with a YOUTH POWER! shirt.

Table Assignments:
Our Goal is to have a unified approach to advocacy at the leaders’ dinner.  You are able to select your first and second choices for agencies you would like to sit with at the Leaders’ Dinner by completing a selection form.

Tips and Tricks for Young Professionals

Networking Tips for YP! Leaders:

  • Be comfortable with yourself and your appearance. Dress respectfully.
  • Make sure you have your index card with your top concerns so you can refer to them as needed.
  • Introduce yourself and where you’re from clearly and with confidence.
  • Ask the other person their name and where they are from, unless they are already telling you. Try to remember who they are and where they work.
  • Speak confidently, clearly and at a moderate volume. Don’t mumble.
  • Tell the person about yourself and what your issues/concerns are. You can also talk about why you became interested in advocacy and what positive changes you hope to make.
  • Stay focused on your points. If the conversation is straying from the topic and you feel you haven’t made your point yet, try to bring the conversation back to your point.
  • Ask questions if you need information about the work the other person may do or if you need them to clarify something they said.
  • When you are mingling with several groups of people, try to go from one group to another slowly and listen to the conversation before you join. Wait for a pause in the conversation and then enter into it.
  • Listen- Give the other person the opportunity to finish their thought as well as allow them time to breathe. Don’t jump in to respond unless you are sure the other person has finished speaking. If you are not sure, wait for a pause and ask them if it’s ok to say something.
  • Try to engage others at the table in the conversation if you feel you are saying something that you want to share with others.
  • Keep your body language positive- use your body to show that you are listening by sitting up, face the person who is speaking and nod at certain times to let them know you heard them.
  • Above all be yourself, know your issues, and be persistent.


For general event information including registration fees, please visit the main UYP page or click here.