NYS Youth Advocacy & Leadership Network

State Plan Goal 2 Objective 2
State Plan: Goal 4, Objective 1






Project Status:  Active


Grantee:  Families Together in New York State, Inc.

Funding Amount:  $233,000 per year

Grant period:  1/2017 - 12/2021


Youth with developmental disabilities have limited opportunities to develop leadership skills through traditional methods such as participating in school activities or mentoring experiences; and, they are often not given opportunities to develop or practice advocacy and leadership skills outside of the school setting. When opportunities to build self-advocacy skills present themselves, there are limitations to their effectiveness due to program inaccessibility and limited chances for youth to practice and apply skills they learn. Lack of advocacy training and awareness of youth becomes a concern when considering the increasing prominence of situations where youth life satisfaction depends on such skillsets.


This grant will develop a New York State Youth Advocacy and Leadership Network by replicating and enhancing the nationally recognized Youth Leadership Forum (YLF).  The project will develop and conduct enhanced training for youth with developmental and other disabilities and for caregivers, specifically provide advocacy and self-advocacy training and leadership development for youth with developmental and other disabilities and caregivers; and, provide mentoring and ongoing opportunities to practice advocacy and leadership skills.  Currently, 34 states are implementing a YLF leadership program.