YOUTH POWER! aims to AMPLIFY-NY with regional youth leadership forums and supported leadership activities for young people with disabilities 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 to assist them in continuing to help set the stage for young people with disabilities 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).
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!
At this forum, young people will learn about:
- Disability history, rights, culture, and self-awareness
- Leadership and communication skills
- Networking and public speaking
- Technology and resources
- Overcoming obstacles
- Assistive technology
- And more!
These 5-days, 4-night forums are free to attend. Young people ages 14-24 with developmental and other disabilities are eligible to participate.
The pilot forum will take place in the Capital District. Following the pilot, YP! will bring these forums across the state to ensure that young people have the opportunity to amplify their voices, build leadership skills, and become empowered with self-confidence and self-determination.
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 to Parent of NYS 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 interest form by clicking here.
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 interest form by clicking here.
Questions? Contact AMPLIFYNY@YOUTHPOWERNY.org or 518-432-0333 ext. 19.