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Learning from Young Leaders

by Mary Mazzoni on July 27, 2013

PYLN_Logo_FinalI’ve just spent three intensive days learning from young leaders.

These young adults love the lives they’re building for themselves. And they’re passionate about empowering their younger peers.

Do we truly want our kids to grow as self advocates, to live the lives they truly desire? Then, as parents, teachers, and mentors – we must learn from young leaders.

Listening and Learning

The voices of young leaders can be heard here at Life After IEPs via posts in the following sections:

I’m determined to re-double my efforts to feature more young voices as we move forward.  A new “Young Leaders” series will be added.

Here are some other websites and Facebook pages to follow:

Do you know of other sites and pages by and for young leaders? Please list them in the Comments section below so I can add them here.

Topics that Matter

The young leaders at the conference emphasized the importance of the following:

  • Learning about one’s disability and personal strengths early in life
  • Involvement in IEP and day to day decisions beginning in elementary school
  • Everyday opportunities to make choices
  • Exploring personal passions (through volunteering, recreation, study, etc.)
  • Understanding and growing more able to meet one’s own health and wellness needs
  • Experience setting goals, making plans, solving problems
  • Opportunity for relationships with other self advocates and adult mentors
  • Learning about disability history
  • Understanding rights and responsibilities (and how they change after graduation)
  • Meaningful leadership opportunities
  • Becoming familiar with post-high school accommodations
  • Learning how to use technology to increase independence

Expect more posts on these topics as we move forward.

Your turn

Are you a young self advocate yourself? Or – have you had the opportunity to learn from young leaders who experience disability?  Are there websites or resources you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

As our kids grow toward a self-determined future, let’s learn from young leaders who go before us on the journey.

Did you find this post helpful? Please share it. Thanks!

Graphic – Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (logo design by Chris Mielo)

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