YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews;
Central Region AMPLIFY-NY YLF Registration Deadline Approaching
Read below for opportunities for young people AND parents/caregivers in the central region!

YOUTH POWER!'s AMPLIFY-NY Initiative will host Regional Youth Leadership Forums (YLF) for young people ages 14-24 to speak up, build skills, and prepare to take on leadership roles. 

This peer-run forum brings opportunities to YOUth and gives the next generation of leaders the tools and support they need for success. The YLF is a safe, youth-friendly environment with plenty of fun activities to complement the wealth of knowledge being learned!

These 4-day, 3-night forums are  FREE  to attend and includes panel presentations, hands-on activities to practice leadership skills, and supported leadership activities. 

2019 Central Youth Leadership Forum: May 18-21, 2019 | Holiday Inn Liverpool | Syracuse, NY 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY 13088
Registration is LIVE!
  • It's a unique opportunity; have the chance to attend as one of 30 young people.
  • Be connected with an experienced advisor to complete a leadership project that interests you.
  • This event is FREE if accepted and includes your meals, housing, and transportation assistance.
  • In order to be selected you must:
    • Be in the age range of 14-24 (Youth under 18 must have guardian approval).
    • Live in New York State.
    • Show demonstrated leadership potential in your application (*now easier to apply!*).

Parents & Caregivers: Foundations for Leadership: Sat, May 18, 2019 11:00 am - 5:00 pm AND Tues, May 21, 2019 10:30 am - 3:30 pm | Holiday Inn Liverpool | Syracuse, NY 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY 13088
Foundations for Leadership (FFL) is a FREE workshop series where parents and caregivers learn tools and strategies for supporting the young people in their care as they develop into self-advocates and secure leadership roles.  FFL is connected to AMPLIFY-NY's Youth Leadership Forums (YLFs).  Caregivers attend the workshop on the first and last days of the YLF and participate in both individual sessions and joint sessions with youth participants.

Foundations for Leadership is a collaboration of YOUTH POWER!, Families Together in New York State, INCLUDEnyc, and Parent Network of Western New York.   Lunch will be provided on both days and transportation assistance is available.  

Register now online by  clicking here or download the paper application attached to this email.  Registration must be received by May 14, 2019

For more information about AMPLIFY-NY and Youth Leadership Forums, 
Roleplay Game Day for Autism Acceptance Month on April 27th!
Join us on a disability themed fantasy adventure! 
Fight ableism with magic and swords! 

Who:   Primarily youth (12+) with developmental or intellectual disabilities (But all are welcome to attend!) 

What:  Free food and fun at a fantasy Roleplay Game Day hosted by YOUTH POWER! 

When:  April 27th 2019 from 1:00-4:00 P.M. 

Where:  Albany Public Library - Large Auditorium 161 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210 (1st Floor)

Registration is required to be guaranteed a seat to play the game. 

Questions? Contact Zack Kilmer, NYISA Coordinator zkilmer@YOUTHPOWERNY.ORG or 518-708-3808
Nominations for the FTNYS Outstanding Youth Peer Advocate Award Due Friday 4/5
2019 conference banner. green and blue background with leaves on the bottom rights side and the FTNYS logo centered on the left. Text next to the logo reads _2019 Annual conference. Building Strong Roots for Success_ Integration for Family Wellness

Award Deadline Approaching! Submit your nomination for Outstanding Youth Peer Advocate Today!

Families Together in NYS will present awards to individuals and/or programs that have accomplished outstanding achievements on behalf of families of children and youth with social, emotional, behavioral health challenges and/or cross-systems involvement. These awards will be presented during the Annual Conference Reception which will be held on Sunday, May 5th, 2019. These awards include: Outstanding Family Peer Advocate, Outstanding Youth Peer Advocate, and Exceptional Service Provider.

We are calling on our partners and network to submit nominees for these awards, and for and Outstanding Youth Peer Advocate you work with!

To nominate someone for this award, fill out the form below by this Friday, April 5th, and send to Laurie Rivera at:
Fax: 518-434-6478

Don't forget to register for the conference coming up May 5-6, 2019. For more information, visit
NYISA Registration is Now LIVE!
NYISA logo 
Do you have a developmental or intellectual disability?
Do you want to learn skills to improve your community?
Are you ready to be a self-advocate and help train other self-advocates like you?
YP! Is partnering with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) to bring an exciting initiative; the New York Institute for Self-Advocacy. Funded by the New York Developmental Disability Planning Council (DDPC), this free 4-day, 3-night event will train young adults with developmental disabilities to advocate for themselves and their peers.
Participants will learn a variety of skills including public speaking, media literacy, networking, budgeting, and much more. Graduates will move on to the Emerging Leaders Network, taking what they learned and training new self-advocates across New York State.

This year's institute takes place August 3-6, 2019 in Troy at the Hilton Garden Inn. Young adults (21+) are encouraged to apply. The deadline for this year's application is July 1st, 2019.

YP! and the New York Institute for Self-Advocacy want you! Are you ready to be a leader in the developmental disability community?

Questions? Contact Zack Kilmer, NYISA Coordinator, at or 518-708-3808.
#UYP19 Save the Date!
Black background - UNIVERSITY OF YOUTH POWER_ in all caps

Mark your Calendars for 2019 University of YOUTH POWER!

  University of YOUTH POWER! is the premiere youth peer leadership conference modeled after a college experience. This conference provides Youth Peer Advocates and change agents the opportunity to build skills and expand their professional network. Young people ages 18 to 30 can register for this for-youth-by-youth social justice conference with a major of Peer Advocacy, Systems Advocacy or participate in the NEW Recovery Track with Youth Voices Matter. This conference will take place June 22-25 at the College of Saint Rose. 

Join us in amplifying the skills and professional networks of young leaders across the state!

Register as a Resident or Day Student: Resident students will be provided overnight accommodations in the apartment style dormitory as well as meals on campus and all classes/activities for $725. Young people may also register as a day student and receive all the same perks as students excluding the overnight lodging for $475. Online registration fees may apply. 

Scholarships will be made available when registration opens.
Visit for more information. 

Phone: 518-949-4338 

Building Youth Engagement and Empowering Organizations
time for change with blocks and chalk letters
"YOUTH POWER! prides itself on helping build youth voice within each community, region and throughout the state. In past years this culminated with a Forum being hosted within each region giving young people an opportunity to affect YOUTH POWER!'s scope of work and identify key topics for Regional Youth Partners to focus on in their respective regions. These events offered not only a chance to be heard but also learning and networking opportunities. As a Regional Youth Partner (RYP) I learned a lot at these events and really enjoyed the process of planning with my Regional Team and hosting diverse groups of young people to hear the great ideas they had. The feedback we received was utilized to create the YP! Priority Agenda and more. Although these events were great and well received as an organization  we have decided to make a change because we felt we could be doing more to help young people create advocacy projects within their own programs and communities. T his will allow for young people to be more directly involved in these projects, make it possible for people to see the direct results of their hard work and create a space for organizations to truly learn from the young people they work with.

With this belief in mind, in 2019 the Regional Youth Partners will be offering Focus Groups, with the goal being to help young people create their own advocacy projects in the community and also allow them to create change within any program they are a part of.  This information will duly assist YOUTH POWER! with creating their Priority Agenda and directing the work of Regional Youth Partners. I recently hosted my first Focus Group, which was requested by an organization seeking to kick off a Youth Advisory Council. We were able to aid them in creating the structure needed to sustain a YAC and get input on how young people wish to be engaged by the organization. This experience was beyond empowering for both the young people involved and the organization. From the feedback received the organization has already began creating change based on the recommendations; young people are now seeing how their voice can directly create change for themselves and others. On the other side the organization feels better prepared on how to engage young people and create more positive outcomes. After one Focus Group I really see the change we can make and how this new structure will allow us to empower young people and help organizations become more youth guided.

If you are a young person that wants the opportunity to be heard or an organization looking for the opportunity to better engage young people, contact your Regional Youth Partner to begin the process of planning a Focus Group."

Written by: Alex Frisina, Long Island (RYP) Regional Youth Partner 
Sign up for the YP! YPA Listserv!
Sign up for the YPA Listserv to stay up to date on all things pertaining to Youth Peer Advocates_ including_ upcoming trainings_ credentialing updates_ resources_ supervisor supports_ and professional development opportunities.
YOUTH POWER! would like to invite you to sign up for the:

Sign up for the YPA Listserv to stay up to date on all things pertaining to Youth Peer Advocates, including: 
  • upcoming trainings
  • credentialing updates
  • resources
  • supervisor supports, and
  • professional development opportunities
Youth Peer Advocate Leaders' (YPAL) Meeting (Central Region)
Join us on Apr 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM EDT for Youth Peer Advocate Leaders!
we want youth graphic
Supervisors of Youth Peer Advocates, join us as we come together for quarterly learning collaborative's to:

- Network... 
- Participate in training opportunities... 
- Share ideas, resources, and upcoming events... 
- Discuss strategies for successfully implementing youth peer advocate services... 
- ...and MORE! 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual meeting.

Give Your Feedback on YPA Readiness!
YOUTH POWER_ is seeking your feedback as we prepare for the integration of Youth Peer Advocates across New York State and services becoming billable in January 2020.      Your insights are valuable. In order for us to best support the needs of agencies_organizations_ we invite you to take this brief survey. Your input will help guide the development of tools_ guidance_ and support offered statewide.   www.surveymonkey.com_r_YPAReady
YOUTH POWER! is s eeking your feedback as we prepare for the integration of Youth Peer Advocates across New York State and services becoming billable in January 2020!
Your insights are valuable. In order for us to best support the needs of agencies/organizations, we invite you to take this brief survey. Your input will help guide the development of tools, guidance, and support offered statewide. 

Your feedback is due by April 5th!
$1,000 Educational Scholarship Could be Yours!
Families Together in New York State is excited to announce a $1,000.00 Educational Scholarship to be awarded at the upcoming  FTNYS Annual Conference held at the Albany Marriott on May 5th & 6th!

Click here to learn more about the conference Scholarship application can be found below Thanks to a generous conference sponsorship by  The Ammon Foundation, we are able to offer a one-time scholarship award to a young person  in addiction recovery who wishes to further their education! We could not be any more grateful for the opportunity to support one of our young leaders!

Ammon Foundation's mission is to empower individuals in addiction recovery  through combating stigma and providing strategic support to enable personal  success. We envision a world where all who have suffered from addiction are able to access and sustain long-term recovery.

Eligibility & Criteria:
  • Applicants must be in addiction recovery for a minimum of six months.
  • Eligible educational pathways include: GED/HSE, Certificate/Training Program, Vocational/Trade School, 2-year & 4-year. We are unable to provide scholarships for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree.
  • Household annual gross income should not exceed 250% of the federal poverty guideline. 
  • If living in a residential program, individual income must not exceed guideline. 
  • Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration.
If you are considering applying for this scholarship, you must: read and complete the following application >>  Click this link to apply.

  • Transcript/Acceptance Letter: If currently enrolled, transcripts from the last semester. If not currently enrolled, acceptance letter or description of program of choice.
  • Recommendation Letter: One academic or professional and one personal reference (someone familiar with your recovery).
  • Identification: Copy of driver's license or other government identification.
  • Financial Verification: Disbursement Information, Last paycheck, W2, or letter from employer verifying salary.
  • Disbursement Information: Department name, mailing address and any special instructions.
All supplementary materials required are due at the time of online application submission. Please make sure you have items ready for upload before beginning your online submission. If you are interested in applying and for any reason are unable or unwilling to apply online, please email: and we will be able to provide you with further instructions or a paper version.

Deadline to apply for the FTNYS Scholarship is: April 8th, 2019
*If you have more questions, please email Cortney Lovell at*

NYS Children's Health and Behavioral Health System Transformation Webinar Slides Now Available
various colored blocks stacked on each other that increase in height as you move from the left to right side. Text at top reads _resources_
Want to know more about the Medicaid transformation and how that impacts you? Check out the webinar below!

NYS recently held a webinar for young people and their families who are enrolled in Medicaid waiver programs to learn about the changes happening to the Children's Medicaid System and what that means for you, including additional opportunities coming your way. The slides from this webinar is now available and can be accessed here.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website or click here
Young Lawmakers helping Drive agenda in Albany
spread hope graphic
"The number of young people serving in the state Legislature has been skyrocketing, and they are having a significant impact on how the state handles everything from sexual harassment to economic development deals like the one offered to Amazon.

"New voices and new blood will mean that our issues will be incorporated into the agenda," said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Queens), who was elected in 2012 at the age of 26.
At the start of the 2009 session,10 lawmakers were younger than 35. Now there are 28, a near tripling over the course of a decade.

More than one out of every eight members is now younger than 35, 48 are younger than 40, and the 83 who are younger than 50 constitute nearly 40 percent of the 213-seat Legislature."

Read the full article HERE written by:  Bill Mahoney with
'19 Youth Global Service Day Albany County
2019 youth global service day. Please join the albany county dept for children youth and families_ youth bureau in partnership with the town of colonie youth services division in a fundraiser for the veterans miracle center. Youht will be collecting items varying from hand soap_ windex and white vinegar. Drop off location is 112 St St. lobby or on the day of the event. April 13th 2019 9am to noon. For more information contact_ NIcole Ward 518-447-4892 or
Please join the Albany C ount y Dept. for Children Youth and Families - Youth Bureau in partnership with the Town of Colonie Youth Services Division in a fundraiser for the veterans miracle center. 

Youth  will be collecting and dropping of items varying from hand soap, Windex, shoes, toothpaste and white vinegar. 

Drop off location is 112 State St. lobby or on the day of the event, April 13th 2019 9am to noon. 

For more information contact_ Nicole Ward 518-447-4892 or
Resources, Resources, Resources!
Pathways Webinar: 
From  Focal Point  2019 - Drop-In Centers as Low-Barrier Engagement Approach

Date/Time:  Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 1pm - 2pm ET

Pathways RTC's 2019 issue of Focal Point coming out in late April will focus on the evaluation of innovative transition programs across the country. For this webinar, they are going to focus on two examples of states' Healthy Transitions programs featured in the issue that are innovative in their low-barrier approach. Both Massachusetts, with its YouForward program, and Kentucky with its Transition Age Youth Launching Realized Dreams (TAYLRD) program, use drop-in centers as a way to engage transition-age youth and young adults. Join us for this webinar to hear more details about how these two state programs have implemented drop-in centers as part of their success.

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New Webinar Recording: Training and Skill-Building for Mental Health Providers
In this presentation, which was not aired previously, Janet Walker and Caitlin Baird outline the state of the science on training best practices. The webinar incorporates video (with special celebrity guest appearances) to help illustrate some key training principles.

Curious on where YOUR Youth Bureau is? Click below to navigate the NYS OCFS Youth Bureau Directory.

Join the OCFS Youth Advisory Board near YOU!

Youth Advisory Board:

The mission of the OCFS Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is to make a difference for youth in care by giving them the voice to help create positive changes in the foster care system. The board is comprised of up to 15 members who provide feedback on their experience in foster care and help shape state policies and initiatives. They are young adults from all around New York State who advise and collaborate with OCFS on policy topics related to foster care as they shape their transition to independence. YAB members have been speakers at venues such as the OCFS Homefinders Summit, the New York Public Welfare Association's annual conferences, and various speak-out events around the state.

Become A Youth Advisory Board Member
You are eligible if:
  • you are between the ages of 18 and 24;
  • you are a youth in foster care or a former youth in foster care
  • and you want to advocate for yourself and others!
OCFS is recruiting!  If you are interested in applying, please email . Office of Children and Family Services logo_ purple text with nys image to the left of the text
2019 CRPA Training Scholarships Available!
In partnership with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), FOR-NY is pleased to be awarding scholarships for training to become a  Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA)  and for CRPA Renewal training! 

Find more information regarding the scholarship on their

#StopTheShock! Take Action NOW!
ASAN - Autistic Self Advocacy Network logo
A Message From Our Partners at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network:
The disability community has been working for years to  end the use of electric shock torture at the Judge Rotenberg Center.

 Since an initial hearing on April 24th, 2014, the FDA has been slowly moving toward banning the GED devices used to shock disabled students at the JRC-but every step forward has required sustained pressure from our community. Thanks to your hard work in last year's successful #StopTheShock campaign, we are closer than ever to ending this abuse for good. In response to your advocacy, the FDA noted in their fall 2018 Unified Agenda that they intend to release the rule in 2019. This is a major step toward finalizing the rule, but our work isn't done. 

We'll be taking action on April 24th, the 5th anniversary of the FDA hearing on the harmful effects of the GED. We need you to join us to make calls, write emails, send letters, host events and spread the word. We're starting now. Check out our campaign page to learn what YOU can do to let the FDA know: we won't stop til they #StopTheShock!

Help stop the shock!
Follow Youth Voices Matter!
youth voices matter - new york under heart beat moniter line. underneath says pump up your voices all in black text and color.
Established in 2017 as an ancillary of Friends of Recovery-New York, Youth Voices Matter-NY is a Youth Recovery Community Organization (YRCO) made up of a collective of diverse youth and young adults in recovery, as well as members and allies from across the state. 

YVM-NY encourages multiple pathways to recovery and provides support to youth and young adults in finding and developing their personalized recovery process.  YVM-NY is sensible of the needs as well as the barriers to recovery that young people face on a daily-basis.

Four Core Values
1. Each community should decide on which areas of concern to address.
2. The power of reinvention has the capacity to restore the lives of individuals, families and communities. 
3. We are capable and should be allowed to represent ourselves as young people in all endeavors.
4. Resources, services, and supports
are crucial in promoting health and wellness in the process of achieving our full potential.


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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