KYEA: Educating, mentoring, and supporting youth with disabilities in KS
Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy
Kansas Youth Leadership Forum
Selects 24 Youth Leaders
KSYLF logo with dove
The Kansas Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (KSYLF) is gearing up for its seventeenth annual program. Twenty-four motivated young leaders have been selected to attend the 2017 forum. This year's KSYLF will be held July 11 - 15 at Washburn University in Topeka. The forum is coordinated by the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA), a youth-driven, non-profit organization that educates, mentors, and supports youth with disabilities in Kansas to be contributing members of their community.
The theme for this year's forum will be "U.B.U." (also known as "you be you"). This theme will focus on celebrating each individual and embracing every aspect of who they are as a person. Participants will learn the importance of being authentic and how this impacts leadership. The entire week will center on allowing each delegate to be who they are, including their disability, likes and dislikes, talents, personality, etc. Participants will also learn that they are a part of a bigger community- the disability community. While learning about their own leadership skills, they will also learn about many unique leaders, locally and nationally, who are a part of this community too. A diverse group of delegates were selected to attend the 2017 KSYLF, including students from a variety of cities in Kansas with a wide range of disabilities. Those students are listed below:

Carson Bishop, Overland Park
Nicole Burke, Junction City
Makil Coates, Wichita
Zakee Coates, Wichita
Daija Coleman, Atchison
Dylan Currie, Topeka
Duane Davis, Beloit
Seth Flowers, Topeka
Jorden Foster, Olathe
Shane Hamilton, Wamego
Ben Hermesch, Belvue
Kim Hill, Wichita
Makayla Hollerich, Beloit
Luke Krajicek, Salina
Jerieka Manis, Topeka
Rachel Mast, Olathe
Kathleen Mathews, Overland Park
Annette Patterson, Auburn
Emilia Prickett, Carlton
LeAnne Saulsbury, Lawrence
Ashlee Thao, Overland Park
Bailey Tinder, Basehor
Michaela VanDuesen, Belvue
Brandi Wohletz, Topeka

The KSYLF is an annual conference that is heading into its seventeenth year serving students with disabilities across the state. During the forum, delegates enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment! Through various large and small sessions, delegates are able to learn about and explore various topics related to leadership. They are able to set goals for the future and develop their very own Personal Leadership Plan. A trip to the Capital is always a highlight of the week, as well as a mentor luncheon where delegates are paired with an adult mentor from their community. Other fun activities include a recreation session, a real life fair, a barbeque, a talent show, and a dance, which is always a delegate favorite!
Visit our website to learn more about the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum and other KYEA programs!