YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews
LAST CALL: Seeking Applications for Youth Peer Services Training and Credentialing Coordinator
YOUTH POWER_ Now Hiring Banner

JOB TITLE: Youth Peer Services Training and Credentialing Coordinator

STATUS: Full-time, exempt salary comensurate with experience, benefits package

LOCATION: Best candidate in New York State, (Albany NY Preferred)

PURPOSE: To develop Youth Peer Advocate training modules and the process for credentialing in collaboration with the CTAC

  • At least four years of experience providing Youth Peer Services in Behavioral Health
  • Personal lived experience with behavioral health services
  • Demonstrated exceptional writing skills
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Experience providing training
  • Experience with meeting planning and facilitation
  • Strong organization skills. Attentive to details and keeping to timeline/work plan
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with diverse groups
  • Demonstrates ability to speak with small and large groups of people
  • Advanced skills with software packages: Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Go-To, and Google applications
  • Bachelor's degree preferred

Applicants must send a resume with a formal cover letter in order to be considered. The letter should indicate the title of the position that the applicant is seeking.

Mail to: YOUTH POWER!, Attn: Management Office, 737 Madison Avenue, Albany NY 12208,
Email to: 
Seeking Member Submissions for Annual Newsletter
Members Only Alert

We are seeking member submissions for the YP! Annual Member Newsletter. This year's theme is LEGACIES!

Submit art, essays, poetry, photos, or short stories  on what you want to be remembered for and how that impacts your leadership today. The deadline to submit is Monday, November 27, 2017. 

Send submissions with the subject line "2017 Newsletter" to: or mail to ATTN: YOUTH POWER! at 737 Madison Avenue, Albany NY 12208.

Questions? Contact or 518-432-0333 ext. 31.
Reminder: Western Regional Youth Forum on November 4th!
Join YP_ For this years Western Regional Youth Forum on Healthy Relationships and Wellness Banner
Do you have a disability or experience with services such as mental health, addiction, foster care or juvenile justice and are between the ages of 12-28? Then we want your quotes on what helps and what harms, so that we can bring what you have to say directly to those in power! 

Please join us for one of this years forums that will focus on Healthy Relationships and Wellness on November 4th from 1-4pm at the Steuben Arc (1 Arc Way, Bath NY 14810).  All attendees must register for the event. 


Questions? Contact Azaria Wittekind at or call/text 585-314-2452
Registration Open for Hudson River Regional Youth Forum on December 9, 2017
Stomp Out Stigma! A free gathering in which young people can learn about stigma, discrimination, and how they can collaborate to address these issues. Food and activities provided! Meet like-minded people in your area!
Who: Young people 12-29 impacted by mental health, disability, addiction, 
foster care, juvenile system, or otherwise labeled
When: December 9, 2017 from 12 pm-3 pm

Location: Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center, 300 Wall Street, Kingston

Contact Brennan Williams, Hudson River Regional Youth Partner
518-322-2096 | 
YP! Founder and Director, Stephanie Orlando, Receives the Leila Salmon Advocacy Award
Stephanie Orlando and her mother, Diane, posing with the award in front of the MHANYS banner
On October 18, 2017, partners and colleagues from around the state came together to celebrate the Mental Health Association in New York State's Annual Awards Dinner. Among the awards recipients was our very own Founder and Executive Director, Stephanie Orlando, who received the Leila Salmon Advocacy Award.
This award is given out to recognize an advocate whose dedication and leadership has made an impact on the availability, accessibility, and delivery of mental health services nationally on behalf of New York State. 

We are proud to congratulate Stephanie for receiving this well-earned recognition of her dedication and leadership. Governor Andrew Cuomo joined in congratulating the honorees, Stephanie Orlando and Ann Marie Sullivan, by sending a letter and commending "everyone present whose unwavering commitment provides opportunities that make a positive difference in people's lives."
Letter from Governor Andrew Cuomo recognizing Stephanie Orlando and Ann Marie Sullivan Building on her personal experience of having received children's mental health, special education, and residential services, Stephanie began her work with youth peer advocacy in 1998 in Buffalo, New York. In the years since, she has become a nationally recognized advocate for youth with disabilities. In receiving this award, Stephanie shared her experiences and how she found her place in the disability rights movement, as well as how serving on the National Council on Disability came from being a part of the national youth movement for people with disabilities.
"At first when I joined that, I didn't really know where I'd fit in. I didn't really know where someone with mental health experience and the type of struggles I had would fit in. Then I learned about the disability rights movement and how they talk about how it's not people with disabilities who are the problem, it's the access - the level of support that we are given to be independent and interdependent, which is something we also talk about in YOUTH POWER!.
I knew right then where I belonged in the disability rights movement. I didn't want to be placed in a residential facility and an institution, I wanted to embrace the Olmstead Act and really try and work for people to have the most inclusive settings that they could possibly be in in the community and really work towards that so people like me didn't have to end up in places like that because of our trauma and because of the things that happened to us."
YP! Staff at the awards dinner. From left to right, Bianca Logan, Stephanie Orlando, Elijah Fagan-Solis, and Brianna Valesey
Stephanie also challenged people to look behind to the people to bring up - not just to dictate what they should be doing but to celebrate their perspective and help them figure out what's next.
"There's this new generation coming.  If they weren't mentored, it's a huge difference - there is just closed lips, hard to get information, hard to collaborate. Hard to cover all the ground that's needed. We need people with lived experience to say what their experiences are like to policy-makers and others, and to become policy-makers...
I really empower you all to look to the next generation of young people, not just for their voice in the here and now, which is needed, but also for what they can do as adults...really value young people's perspective and expertise on what youth culture is, what's out there for young people in the here and now, and see what their potential is as policy leaders in the future."
Lastly, she encouraged people to look across for coalition building. Noting the importance of working across platforms so it's not just disability, not just mental health, but to the LGBT community and racial equality movements. "We don't fit in one box and nobody does, so let's all work together. Let's really build a movement that's stronger by learning from each other, fighting together for commonality, common rights, and really make sure that - as Justin Dart would say - Love for All, Justice for All, Lead On."

Congratulations, Stephanie!
This award is a well deserved recognition of the legacy you have formed with your passion, hard work, and drive as a leader within the peer movement.
YP! Vice President and Founding Member Joseph Munisteri Spread an Empowering Message at #NYCC
Cosplay and Disability panelists speaking to a crowd at NYCC
At the 2017 New York Comic Con, Panelists with disabilities shared stories and talked about how the cosplay community has helped them, how they've used their own experiences in cosplay to help make the world more accessible, and change the way disabilities are viewed. 
Panelists discussed topics such as diversity, accessibility, mental health, body image, and the "cripping" movement. Among the panelists was YP! Vice President, Joseph Munisteri. Read more about the Cosplay and Disability panel and how people with disabilities are working to make these events more accessible by clicking here.
Applications for AAPD Summer Internship Program Due November 6, 2017
Photo of the 2017 AAPD Summer Interns
AAPD's Summer Internship Program is a great way to advance your skills and connections in the national disability rights movement. Apply by November 6, 2017!

Since 2002, the AAPD Summer Internship Program has developed the next generation of leaders with disabilities and offered host employers access to a talented, diverse workforce. Each summer, AAPD places college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits, and for-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area. Each intern is matched with a mentor who will assist them with their career goals. AAPD provides the interns with a living stipend, transportation to and from Washington, DC, and fully-accessible housing.

At the beginning of the summer, interns participate in a 1-week orientation session to learn about AAPD and the disability rights movement, meet the other interns, and participate in a variety of engaging workshops and events. As part of the AAPD network, interns also receive opportunities to attend events on Capitol Hill, conferences, community events, briefings, and more.

For more information or to apply, visit
ASAN Announces 2018 Autistic Scholars Fellowship
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is excited to announce the third year of the Autistic Scholars Fellowship, a scholarship which provides 4  to 6 autistic students with a $5,000 tuition scholarship to promote autistic leadership and create systemic change on their college campuses. Fellows will be required to establish or participate in a leadership role within a disability rights student organization, work to promote Autistic culture and community, and take steps to improve disability accessibility and inclusion on their college campuses. Fellows are also expected to check in with ASAN on a monthly basis to receive support in achieving their advocacy projects. Applicants must be Autistic, be willing to publicly identify as such, and should have a strong interest in disability rights advocacy and activism.

Scholarship applications can be found here.   Completed applications for the January 2018 scholarship period are due on  Sunday, November 19th . Applicants will be asked to describe the current problems for autistic and other disabled students on their college campuses and to explain how their planned activities under the fellowship will enable them to address these problems. ASAN staff will review completed applications and interview a select group of students starting in December. ASAN expects to announce fellowship recipients of their selection by mid-January.

ASAN will look for the following indicators when screening applicants for the scholarship:
  • Strong interest in civil rights advocacy and activism for autistic people and other people with disabilities. If students are not yet involved in disability rights, involvement in or support for other causes can demonstrate potential for leading disability rights efforts.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the values of the neurodiversity movement.
  • A commitment to building Autistic culture and community on their college campus or in their local community, alongside a commitment to working with all autistic people in an inclusive and welcoming fashion.

ASAN is able to offer this program thanks to the support of a generous donor.

Questions about the fellowship program and the application process should be directed to Reid Caplan, Leadership Programs Coordinator for ASAN, at
Pathways to an Inclusive Future on November 6, 2017
Pathways to an Inclusive Future
From Access to Acceptance, Opportunity and Contribution

Hear a panel of professionals, youth advocates, parents, and educators with different perspectives tackle the complexities of inclusion - what it is, why it is, and what it could look like in the future. Education panel moderated by Alex Zimmerman, Staff Writer and Reporter, Chalkbeat. Access panel moderated by Chancey Fleet, Assistive Technology Coordinator, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library at New York Public Library.

Monday, November 6, 2017
6-8:30 PM
Refreshments at 5:30

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
One Intrepid Square,
(West 46th Street and 12th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036

Or by phone: 212-677-4650 ext. 21
(If you require accommodations, please register by phone)
Office Of Mental Health Commissioner's Town Hall Meeting
 November 8, 2017 1:00 pm 
Registration is now open for the OMH Statewide Virtual Town Hall featuring Commissioner Ann Sullivan, M.D.! The event will take place Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm. 

Register to learn more about the OMH vision for the future, including updates on the Commissioner's top policy and planning priorities presented at last year's town hall.

Comments and questions can be presented both online and in-person for those attending at OMH Central Office*.

If you require special accommodations or have questions, please contact Janise Carmichael at (518) 486-3293
Upcoming MCO Contracting Fairs
MCO Contracting Fairs:  Get the Plans' Understanding of the Youth Peer Advocate Role and Build Relationships

The MCO  Contracting   Fairs  provide a great opportunity to meet representatives from the Managed Care Organizations that cover your region, build relationships and ask your  contracting  questions. Additionally, the Office of Mental Health will present on "lessons learned" on  contracting  from the adult behavioral health transition to managed care.

Register now for a Children's Managed Care  Contracting Fair by clicking here!

The  contracting fair will be held in three locations.

Albany: November 6th, 9:30-12:30 pm

New York City:  November 8th,  9:30 am -12:30 pm
NYU Kimmel Center - Eisner & Lubin Auditorium (4th floor)
60  Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012
Register Here.

Rochester:  November 16th,  9:30 am -12:30 pm
Memorial Art Gallery
500 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14607
Register Here.

Light breakfast, coffee, tea, and water will be provided.

The Community Technical Assistance Center of New York (CTAC) and the Managed Care Technical Assistance Center of New York (MCTAC) are a training, consultation, and educational resource center serving all behavioral health agencies in New York State. They help agencies strengthen their clinical and business infrastructure through training opportunities focused on implementing evidence-based practices and addressing the challenges associated with the recent changes in regulations, financing and overall healthcare reforms.
Sign up to receive emails by visiting
New York State "Kids Count" 
Well-Being Indicator Updates!
The Council on Children and Families with the support of the Annie E Casey Foundation have released the 2017 New York Kids Count Data book.  This year there is a spotlight on addressing disparities. By visiting the NYS Data Book you can get statistics on what is happening in the lives of youth across New York State. Want to know the drop-out or adolescent pregnancy rates in your county? You can find information on those items and much more at:

Upcoming New York State Webinars on Kids Count are as follows:

The Mind Science of Bias, Its Impact on Systems & Our Role in Change:
November 28, 2017 1:00-2:00 PM

2017 NY Kids Count Race Disparity Data Book: 
December 12 1:00-2:00 PM

Emergency Management Access and Functional Needs Disability Awareness Training
NU Disability Emergency Awareness Training Logo
 Niagara University Disability Awareness Training has received a grant from the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to educate anyone involved in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery as it pertains to individuals with disabilities access and functional needs. 

NU has tailored a presentation that identifies the responsibilities of both emergency management personnel and disability advocates during and emergency. This program will introduce the four modules necessary for proper response that include Disability Awareness Training, the Americans with Disabilities Act specific to emergency management, emergency plan content, and Inclusive Planning and Active Participation.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 1PM - 4PM
Bisgrove Hall Academic Complex - Rooms 350-351
On the campus of Niagara University
A Parking Pass and Campus Map will be provided to registered participants.

Who Should Attend:
This seminar is open to any individual who has a role in emergency response and wants to have an understanding of disabilities so as to ensure a proactive approach in situations. This may include, but not be limited to, persons providing services in shelter/mass care congregate settings, disaster recover centers, disseminators of public information, or persons in a support role related to emergency preparedness/response, and disability advocates or those from the disability community that want to have an active role in the emergency process.

Topics to be Discussed:
  • Disability Awareness specific to Emergency Management
  • Access and Functional Needs defined to include Universal Design
  • Understanding how the whole community concept is imperative to proper response to individuals with disabilities and how to incolve them
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act relative to Emergency Management and Response
  • Community resources and other materials that assist Emergency Management in proper response
  • Disaster Preparedness and Planning
  • Inclusive Planning and Active Participation
  • NYC Lawsuit and its ramifications statewide
Costs: There is no fee for the course. Funding is provided by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

To RSVP: Please call 716-286-7355 or email by November 20, 2017.

If you need any accommodations, please contact Niagara University's Disability Awareness Training Program at (716)286-7355 or via email
Everybody Communicates: ASAN's New Toolkit on Communication Supports!
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
with the UCSF Office of Developmental Primary Care.

Everybody communicates - whether by using language, actions, gestures, facial expressions, sounds, or other means. People with disabilities need access to effective communication in order to be able to advocate for ourselves in all aspects of our lives - from health care, to housing, to everyday decision-making. Having access to the right communication supports can mean the difference between being included in our communities, or being locked up in an institution. It can mean being able to tell the doctor what's wrong, rather than having our health problems ignored. Everyone has something to say - and having the tools to say it makes our lives better.

As a self-advocacy organization, ASAN is working hard to make sure that however you communicate, your voice is heard.  This toolkit  will explain how to find the communication supports you or a loved one needs, get them paid for, and advocate for your right to effective communication. We hope that it can help you, your family member, or someone in your community - and if it does, we hope that you will share it, and help ensure that everyone has the tools they need to communicate.

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!

Like Us on Facebook Instagram  Pinterest Tumblr Logo youtube logo