YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews
Join #YPFreeToBe for a Pride Month Webinar June 21, 2017
 Pride month webinar. Join YP!'s Free to Be team to learn about pride month and how it affects everyone. Get involved in NY's new and only state-wide LGBTQ network.
If you haven't already heard, June is Pride month! Pride and the LGBTQ community are about much more than just parades and festivals. We gather to remember our diverse and incredibly important history, we gather to honor those we have lost, and we gather to be mindful of the work we still have to do.

YP!'s new Free to Be team realizes the importance and need for resources, peer support, and connections for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Free to Be is New York State's new and ONLY state-wide LGBTQ network.  

As members of the LGBTQ community ourselves, we invite you to join our Pride Month webinar on June 21 from 12 pm-1 pm. Come learn about the community's history, how it directly impacts your work, and discuss ways we can launch our network.

Get involved and amplify your voice! #YPFreeToBe
Register at
University of YOUTH POWER!  
silhouette of a student at uyp holding a sign
With final details falling into place, #UYP17 is right around the corner! One hundred young people from across New York State will be joining together June 24-27 in Albany for the premiere youth peer leadership conference.

This annual event continues to grow, with this year featuring more classes and activities than ever before!

This year we will also be celebrating the 10th Annual Leaders' Dinner, where young people and state leaders have the opportunity to speak candidly about real life issues that youth face while in state systems.

For more information on UYP, visit
Follow the action with #UYP17.
FACE NYC Open House
FACE logo - NYS with a face on the side.

Are you a young leader age 16-24?


Have experience in foster care? 

(including juvenile justice?)


Want to take action and change the system?

Come and see us at the FACE NYC Open House!
Get info on what Fostering Advocacy Change and Empowerment (FACE)  will be doing this summer to improve the foster care system in New York City, and find out how you can join/support!

When: Friday, July 7th, 2017, 4pm-7pm
Where: 242 West 38th St.  (6th floor)  New York NY 10018
or call  347-834-3774 for more information.

Welcoming the New VOYA Engagement Coordinator, Amanda Davidson
Amanda Davidson holding the hope board in the YP! office
Hello Everyone!

My name is Amanda Davidson and I am very happy to announce that I am the new VOYA Engagement Coordinator! As someone who has always wanted to make a difference in the world, I am very lucky to be working with such a dedicated and determined team that also has the same goal in mind. Discovering how YP! And VOYA works, it really made me feel like changing the system is possible. I have a lot experience with the Child Protective Services, Mental Health Services and also working with the youth who have been labeled and are seeking change just like I am.

This work captivates me because I have been one who was labeled and is searching for change in many aspects in the world and systems youth are involved in. Growing up with parents who provided everything and then on a flip of a dime they capsized my world upside down which was something I wasn't used to. I learned at a young age that my parents struggled with Substance Use, which made my life very difficult and confusing. I was labeled with depression and an anxiety disorder. I have been trying to deal with it in every way possible. Seeing how I was treated by the system made me feel as if I was an object or an outcast because I felt like nobody else felt how I did. However as I got older I really felt the need for the system to change on how they treat people just like me. With all of that said I finally got the break I've been looking for with YP! and VOYA.

The fact that I am able to share my experiences with people who have gone through similar situations makes my job as the VOYA Engagement Coordinator that much more worthwhile. I am very enthusiastic to be working with many young professionals and advocates to change the system! I hope I can meet all of your expectations and answer any questions you may have.  Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you as we make crucial changes in the world!
Amanda Davidson
Facebook: VOYA EC Amanda Davidson
YP! Seeking Applications for NYISA Coordinator
youth power now hiring banner
NYISA Coordinator

LOCATION: Best candidate in  New York State - Telecommute or Albany Office

PURPOSE: To establish and coordinate the  New York Institute for Self-Advocacy and Emerging Leaders Network for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 21 and above.

  • As someone who coordinates a self-advocacy network, the coordinator must reflect the self-advocacy community they represent. We are seeking individuals who identify as part of the disability community and as having an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Bachelor's preferred. Minimum high school diploma or equivalent is required.
  • At least three years of experience in a non-profit organization
  • Demonstrates ability to engage with diverse groups
  • Is experienced and demonstrates ability to speak with small and large groups of people
  • Highly organized and able to manage a workload with multiple deadlines
  • Able to travel in New York State
  • Advanced skills with software packages: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Go-To, and Google applications
  • Public policy/systems advocacy experience is preferred
  • Team leadership and facilitation skills
The Affordable Care Act and Home and Community Based Services
YP Youth Policy Update
By Melanie Hecker
On the campaign trail, one of President Trump's primary promises was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, informally known as ObamaCare. The Affordable Care Act carried many benefits, including:
  • Banning health insurance discrimination for people with pre-existing conditions
  • Allowing youth to stay on their parent's coverage through age 26
  • Requiring employers to provide health insurance
  • Getting rid of lifetime caps, or a limit on how much healthcare a person can receive in their lifetime
  • Expanding Medicaid so more people can use public health insurance


The proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act is called the American Health Care Act. The first version of the American Health Care Act was struck down in Congress, but a new version has just passed the House of Representatives and  will soon come up for vote in the Senate. There are a lot of very troubling aspects of this bill to the disability community:
  • Insurance companies will once again be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions
  • People will not be required to purchase health insurance (individual mandate), which means that it will be much more expensive for those who do purchase it
  • Employers will no longer be required to provide coverage for their employees
But perhaps the most troubling- and overlooked- aspect of all is the large Medicaid cuts that would result from the American Health Care Act's passage. This bill would bring about per capita caps on Medicaid, meaning each state could only receive a certain amount of money per person. With a limited amount of money, states would have to pick and choose what they needed to spend that money on. It is very likely that due to this limited money supply, there would be very large cuts to Home and Community Based Services.
Home and Community Based Services are services designed to provide support to people with disabilities in their own homes and communities without people having to be put in institutions such as nursing homes. In 2013 Home And Community Based Services prevented 3 million children and adults from having to enter nursing homes (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 2017). Unlike other Medicaid services, Home and Community Based Services are optional services: states can choose whether they want to offer them or not. States spend more on Home and Community Based Services than any other optional benefit (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 2017). When states face budget issues, Home and Community Based Services are often the first to receive cuts.
With funding cuts to Home and Community Based Services, it is likely that there will be long waiting lists and a reduction in services offered. Efforts to expand Home and Community Based Services may stop. Some states may even stop offering Home and Community Based Services entirely.
To protect Home and Community Based Services, young people can contact our New York State Senators and tell them to vote NO on The American Health Care Act.
To contact Senator Chuck Schumer, visit
To contact Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, visit
For more information on Medicaid, visit Autistic Self Advocacy Network's Self Advocates Guide to Medicaid at . For more info on the effects of an Affordable Care Act Repeal, see their ACA toolkit at . For more info on how Home and Community Based Services could be affected, visit
Disability Rights New York Public Forum Notice
Disability rights new york logo

On July 25-27, 2017, representatives from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Program will visit Disability Rights New York, the Protection and Advocacy system for the state of New York, in Albany.

SAMHSA/CMHS invites you to send written comments about the PAIMI Program services and activities conducted by Disability Rights New York.

Please email your comments to 
Link to PDF Copy Here

The views and opinions expressed in third party messages and external links included in this eNews are those of the organization or individual mentioned. They do not necessarily reflect the official positions of YOUTH POWER!.
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 who are aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policies, practices, regulations and laws.  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.  Nothing About Us Without Us!

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