YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews
Scholarship Opportunities for University of YOUTH POWER! Class of 2018
black background with red and white triangles scattered across the top of the image. White square in the center with a black graduation cap on the left side and a person holding a megaphone on the right side. Text reads_ UYP _18 Scholarship Opportunities are Here_ Check out our website for scholarship opportunities and deadlines_ Questions_ Contact_ Olivia Fried_ 518-949-4338_ uyp_YOUTHPOWERNY.org_ University of YOUTH POWER_ Class of 2018 _UYP18
University of YOUTH POWER!
Class of 2018
The College of Saint Rose
June 23-26, 2018 | Albany, NY
On June 23-26, 2018, YOUTH POWER! will be hosting the fifth annual University of YOUTH POWER!  (UYP), a for-youth-by-youth social justice conference that is modeled after a college experience. UYP is the premier youth peer leadership conference that 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 with a major of Peer Advocacy or Systems Advocacy. UYP will take place in Albany, New York, at the College of Saint Rose. Resident students have overnight accommodations in the apartment style dormitory as well as meals on campus.
Scholarship Opportunities:
NYC DOHMH Scholarship
NYC DOHMH is offering a limited number of scholarships for NYC young adults. This opportunity is a first come, first served basis. Please fill out the application by 5/25/18 at midnight to be qualified. For further questions, contact Nivea Jackson, or Abbe Duke,
NYS Systems of Care (SOC) Scholarship
NYS SOC is offering a limited number of scholarships for young leaders. Priority will be given to individuals from the counties below, but anyone across the state is encouraged to apply. Application closes 6/1/18. For further questions, contact Olivia Fried at 518-949-4338, or at
Chautauqua, Erie, Cayuga, Broome, Rensselaer, Orange, Rockland, Westchester
***Scholarship does not include travel to and from the event***
AMPLIFY-NY Scholarship
AMPLIFY-NY is offering a limited number of scholarships to young leaders across the state ages 18-24 with developmental and other disabilities. Application closes 6/1/18. For further questions, contact Olivia Fried at 518-494-4338, or at
***Scholarship includes support for travel costs to and from the event***
For more information regarding how to apply for UYP scholarships, see below:
To view UYP's 2018 Class Agenda,  click here!
To view UYP's 2018 Scholarship Opportunities,  click here!
For general questions about UYP, please contact
For questions regarding scholarships, please contact

Register for YP!'s Webinar on May 31st
Back to the Future: Mental Health Awareness
Text Reads_ YOUTH POWER_ Nothing About Us Without Us_ YP_ logo_ Back to the Future_ Mental Health Awareness Webinar

To plan for the future of mental health awareness and self-advocacy, we must first look to the past to see where we have been and where we are now.  Join us for an interactive webinar presented by the YOUTH POWER! team on May 31st at 12pm! Register below:

Want more information? Contact:
Olivia Fried
Join Us for A Foster Care Awareness
Event on May 30th
Text reads_ CHAMPS children need amazing parents

Foster Care Awareness Event | May 30th @ 12pm Albany, NY

Location:  Meet at LCA Pressroom (Legislative Office Building) OR the Great Western Staircase, if attendance is high enough.

At the press conference, the CHAMPS-NY campaign will be launched. CHAMPS is a national policy and communications campaign to ensure bright futures for kids in foster care by promoting the highest quality parenting. The CHAMPS NY campaign is co-led by the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy and Families Together in New York State (FTNYS).

To learn more, visit

For more details and updates, R.S.V.P. to
Two music stereos on the left and right side of a red hand holding a red microphone. Text reads_ YOUTH POWER_ AMPLIFY-NY
FOR YOUTH : 2018 Western YLF:
Saturday, July 21-24, 2018
Adam's Mark Hotel and Event Center | Buffalo, New York

YOUTH POWER!'s AMPLIFY-NY Initiative will host the 2018 Western Region Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for young people with disabilities 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! This 4-day, 3-night forum is FREE to attend and includes panel presentations, hands-on activities to practice leadership skills, and supported leadership activities. Future leaders do not want to miss this opportunity to build leadership skills and become empowered with self-confidence and self-determination!

  • 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:
  1. Have a developmental or other disability.
  2. Be in the age range of 14-24 (Youth under 18 must have guardian approval).
  3. Live in New York State.
  4. Show demonstrated leadership potential in your application (*now easier to apply!*).
  5. Complete the application and return it by June 17, 2018

Apply now online by clicking here. Download the paper application on our website.

*Online applications require that you upload the Application Signature Page attached to our website. 

For Parents/Caregivers :   Foundations for Leadership:
Saturday, July 21 AND Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Adam's Mark Hotel and Event Center | Buffalo, New York

Young people with disabilities and their parents/caregivers can greatly benefit from connecting with their peers in order to support their personal growth. Additionally, young people want to be heard by their caregivers and receive that support as they grow into young leaders and become more self-sufficient. Through this FREE workshop series that brings together both the family and youth perspective, we give caregivers the tools they need to support the young people in their care as a vital part of their transition team through teaching, modeling, and support. Lunch will be provided on both days.

Parents/caregivers attend the workshop on the first and last days of the Youth Leadership Forum, providing them the opportunity to support their youth attending a new event and witness them graduate the forum with pride (if they are participating). The parent/caregiver workshop series includes both individual sessions and joint sessions with youth participants. YOUTH POWER! has partnered with Families Together in New York State, Parent to Parent of New York State, and INCLUDEnyc to develop this opportunity.

Apply now online by clicking here. Download the paper application on our website.

Questions? Please refer to our FAQ found on our website at www.YOUTHPOWERNY.ORG/AMPLIFYNY.  If your question is not addressed there, please contact Elijah Fagan-Solis, YOUTH POWER!'s Statewide Emerging Leadership Manager at or 518-432-0333 ext. 19.
New York Institute for
Self-Advocacy Registration is OPEN!
A building skyline on the top of the image with the YOUTH POWER_ logo. Text Reads_ NYISA New York Institute for Self-Advocacy
NYISA is YP!'s initiative for  young adults (21+)  to learn self-advocacy skills such as civics, public speaking, budgeting, and much more. NYISA Graduates go on to the Emerging Leaders Network, where they take what they learned and teach other self-advocates across New York State.

The event is free to attend!

Deadline for this year's application is, July 1st, 2018.

If you are interested or for more information, contact the NYISA Coordinator, Zack Kilmer, at or 518-708-3808.

Welcoming the New NYC Regional Youth Partner, Denzel 'DJ' Wilkerson!
The NYC Regional Youth Partner DJ Wilkerson leaning against a YOUTH POWER_ wall.
Hey everyone! My name is Denzel 'DJ' Wilkerson and I am pleased to announce that I am the new Regional Youth Partner for YOUTH POWER! in New York City.

I heard of YOUTH POWER! while still being a YPA when I attended the University of YOUTH POWER! '16. Once there, I saw how important giving a voice is to the organization and I wanted to align myself with their efforts. Now that I'm here, I can use the extensive tool box YOUTH POWER! provides to help others find their voice similar to how I found my own.

Before YOUTH POWER! I was a Youth Peer Advocate at the Mental Health Association of New York City in 3 different Adolescent Skills Centers over the course of 4 years. I discovered my passion for advocacy when, for the first time in my life, I felt heard. I wanted to spread that sensation so, I became a YPA. As I progressed and learned, I noticed that I could take my experience even further advocating for even more people. I plan on using all I've learned and all I'm learning to help NYC get connected from inside, out and learn more on the way.

Thank you for inviting me on this expedition into advocacy and equality and I'm excited to see how we can make a difference towards a better tomorrow. I look forward to seeing that future while I'm here at YOUTH POWER!
Youth Policy Update: Mental Health Education in Schools
YP Youth Policy Update By: Brianna Valesey
On May 7, 2018 the New York State Education Board of Regents permanently adopted proposed amendments to health education that require schools to:

-include mental health and the relation of physical and mental health; and

-be designed to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity.

Implementation of mental health education in schools begins July 2018. Click here for the Mental Health Education one-pager. 

YP!'s Youth Engagement Specialist, Amanda Davidson, joined fellow council members on this date to amplify the voices of our network and present recommendations of the Mental Health Education Advisory Council to the NYS Board of Regents. The council recommendations highlighted several key factors to support a successful implementation of curriculum, including the need for overall school climate to be addressed and a focus on lifelong tools to support mental health as an integral part of overall health and wellness. For a one-pager on the council's recommendations, click here

A School Mental Health Resource and Training Center will be established and available to all New York State public and private schools at no cost for three years. This resource and training center will help schools identify and develop mental health curricula, support staff training, and assist with identifying local mental health services for students in need. The Resource Center will be established and maintained by the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS).
Click here for more information on the resource center.

As implementation begins, it is important that young people and their families are at the tables guiding this process. Schools are encouraged to find ways to involve all stakeholders in their community and we encourage young people and their families to speak up, speak out, and get involved with your school's implementation efforts. Your experiences are meaningful and your voice is important!

Calling All Disability Advocates: Legislative Disability Awareness Day May 30th
Text reads_ The New York State Assembly Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day Wednesday May 30_ 2018 Albany_ New York

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Legislative Office Building (LOB) | Albany, NY

Disabilities Awareness Day allows for advocates and people with disabilities to inform members of the Assembly and their staffs about important issues while striving to highlight their accomplishments. Information about the latest services, programs and technology will be available. There will also be important legislation involving disability policy presented before the assembly floor.

#YPInsider: NYISA Coordinator, Zack Kilmer, will be tabling at this event. We hope to see you there! 
Commissioner Sullivan sits down with Kathleen Liedka, a Parent Adviser out of our Central NY Field Office to discuss the important role families' play during the treatment of individuals with mental health diagnoses.
NYS Offic of Mental Health Commissioner Sullivan interviewing rent Adviser_ Kathleen Liedka.

On April 9th one of our very own Parent Advisors, Kathleen Liedka, sat down with the Office of Mental Health's Commissioner, Ann M. Sullivan MD, and discussed the importance of family involvement in treatment and the work Kathleen does. Kathleen went on to describe the roles of Family Advocates and Parent Advisors while explaining her own experiences as a parent who once went through struggles with her son without a Family Peer Advocate.

Kathleen is a proud mom of her 24 year old son who struggles with mental health challenges and substance use. At his age of 14 years old, Kathleen noticed concerning behavior and knew some of the things he was talking about in reflection to his body were obvious to him but not her. Realizing her concern grew more serious, she brought him to their doctors and they "physically couldn't find anything that was concerning" but that "they see where she was worried about a few different things."

After being handed a piece of paper with multiple psychiatrists' names on it, they both were struggling to grasp what was happening. The doctors explained that they had some mental health concerns that were going on. Later on they went home to find out that ¾ of the numbers were disconnected. During that period of time without any help she says "He had really, really been struggling, so I contacted my local county mental health crisis hotline number and I was put on hold, and I had to call back and someone answered me and transferred me to a voicemail." Sadly, Kathleen didn't know where to turn next.


To read more, click  here!
To watch the interview, click  here!
New York State is Handing Out
Free Air Conditioners!
An air conditioning unit in a window. For more information on Governor Andrew Cuomo's initiative, click  here !
FREE C.A.R.E. Packages for Transitioning Youth!
Text Reads_ Apply to the C.A.R.E. Initiative and we_ll give you a bin full of supplies. Mission Accomplished believes that all students should worry more about learning and less about school supplies. That_s why we want to provide you with a free bin fill with school supplies_ toiletries_ bedding and other necessities. Apply and get a bin filled with college essentials by visiting us atwww.matransitionservices.org_students or contacting Carmen at and 518-207-0209. Featured Sponsors_ CAP COM Federal Credit Union and Mission Accomplished Transition Services
Students, you respond to society's call to pursue higher education - college or trade school - but you may find you are struggling to buy the basic college and room essentials. Mission Accomplished is here to help! Join the College and Room Essentials (C.A.R.E.) Initiative by applying to receive a C.A.R.E. package that includes school supplies, bedding, and toiletries (a value of $400). 
Application Deadline:  11:59pm on May 25th
Eligibility:  All students who find the cost of tuition, books and other fees are creating a burden for you and your family, APPLY TODAY at
Questions:  Contact Coach Carmen at 518-207-0209 or
Teen Vogue Launches "Fostered or Forgotten" Series
A young girl looking down. Text reads_ Fostered or Forgotten.
Fostered or Forgotten is a Teen Vogue series about the foster care system in the United States, produced in partnership with Juvenile Law Center and published throughout National Foster Care Month.

Getting to the Heart of Motivational Interviewing Webinar
Text reads_ mctac The managed Care Techincal Assistance Center of New York_ ctac The Community Techincal Assistance center of New York_ Self-Learning Center
Getting to the Heart of Motivational Interviewing

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | 12:00 - 1:00PM
Presenters: Christine Toner and Naomi Weinstein

Motivational Interviewing is one of the most frequently mentioned techniques in the behavioral health world, but it is deceptively complicated. It is straightforward in concept, but can be challenging to practice correctly. Developing the skills for Motivational interviewing takes practice, supervision, and understanding that building motivation with a client comes in many forms.

In this webinar, Naomi Weinstein will facilitate a conversation with Christine Toner, to help participants learn about what MI is, and what it isn't. In this dialogue, participants will hear examples of MI from the mental health, addiction, and physical health worlds and also learn to avoid traps that even experienced MI practitioners fall into. We invite you to participate, no matter your experience with MI!

Seeking Feedback for the Family Driven Care Toolkit
Text Reads_ mctac The Managed Care Technical Assistance Center of New York_ ctac The Community Technical Assistance Center of New York_ Self-Learning Center
This Fall, CTAC is launching a Family-Driven Care (FDC) Toolkit, including a collection of resources and materials designed to expand and support the use of family-driven practices for both behavioral health professionals and the families they work with. 

They want your feedback now!

CTAC is seeking behavioral health agencies to pilot this FDC Toolkit and join three conference calls to learn about the tools, provide feedback on the tools, and discuss their experience using the tools over a few months trial period to promote the use of family-driven practices in their organizations. This is an opportunity for participants to expand and support family driven practices in their organization and for CTAC to get valuable feedback on the FDC Toolkit before launching our Family-Driven Care Initiative.

The Family-Driven Care Toolkit includes:

Family-Driven Care Materials for both Families and Organizations: The materials have been designed to inform providers and families of FDC practices and to assess an agency or program, or provider's current FDC practices: 

Tips for Partnering with Your Child's Service Providers: This handout provides ideas to empower caregivers and family members to collaborate effectively with providers.
Survey to Assess the Use of Family-Driven Care Principles: This survey is recommended for caregivers, clinicians, and supervisors to better understand how FDC practices and principles are being implemented. 
Family-Driven Care Organizational Self-Assessment: This survey provides agencies with a mechanism to evaluate their use of FDC in five different domains (Leadership and Governance; Workforce Development and Support; Service Planning; Service Delivery; and Family Peer Support) on a three-point scale.
Family-Driven Care- A Best Practice! (A Quick Reference Guide): This two-page handout is helpful for behavioral health professionals and covers the essential family-driven care competencies, family engagement, and resources.

For more information about participating in the Family Driven Care Initiative pilot, watch a brief presentation HERE!

If you're interested in participating, complete the brief "Intent To Participate" survey HERE no later than 5/31/18.

Pilot dates below (ALL noon-1pm):

Webinar 1: Pilot Overview and Participant Expectations on 6/22/2018
Webinar 2: Self-Assessment and Status Update on 7/18/2018
Webinar 3: Final Feedback and Recommendations on 9/19/2018

Please email if you have any questions or concerns about participation or any of this information.

Tips and Tricks to
Starting a Young Adult Council

People jumping in front of a multi-colored background. Text Reads_ Transitions ACR

Tips and Tricks to Starting a Young Adult Council

Presenters: Raphael Mizrahi & Tania Duperoy

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at  2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Description: Young adult councils are an excellent way of engaging young adults with lived mental health experience to help improve mental health research and services, but they are still underutilized. In this webinar, the value of young adult councils along with in-depth instructions on how to organize one within any organization that serves young adult clients will be explained. We will use the National Youth Advisory Board, a virtual young adult council of the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research, as well as other in-person councils as examples.

Register here!
Get Involved with National Campaigns!
Photo of megaphone with different social media symbols coming out
Social media is a great tool to bring awareness in our advocacy efforts.

Together, we can amplify our voices!

Below are the awareness campaigns for June. Team up to Speak Up and Speak Out! 

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (6/24-30) 
National Safety Month
Pride Month
PTSD Awareness Month

Want to get more involved in YP!'s Advocacy efforts?
 You can submit advocacy tips, articles, and more on topics that affect YOU! Team up with monthly, weekly, and national day campaigns and email submissions to!

Did we miss a campaign or resource above? Let us know
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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