Students with disabilities invited to apply for Youth Leadership Forum

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way is the site of the
19th annual Youth Leadership Forum

High school students with disabilities are invited to learn leadership, citizenship and personal skills at the 19th annual Youth Leadership Forum.

The Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment is accepting applications through May 30.

The Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) is designed for students with disabilities who want to be or are leaders in their schools and communities. The forum will be held at the Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way from August 4 to 9.

There is no cost to parents for their student to attend, and students do not have to be receiving services from their school districts to apply.

“The program provides students with a chance to practice their leadership skills in a safe environment,” said Julie Peddy, YLF co-chair. “Many students return the next year as counselors or guest speakers. Many also become successful, productive employees."

Eligible youth include:
  • Incoming high school juniors and seniors (as of July 1, 2019);
  • 2019 high school graduates; or
  • Students up to age 21 who are receiving transition services from their high schools.

"I was and continue to be mentored by leaders in our community, starting when I was a YLF delegate,” said Daman Wandke, CEO and founder of a business that helps organizations improve their website accessibility, increase their market base, and reduce their exposure to potential litigation. 
“As a disability advocate and entrepreneur, I know that mentorship and representation can impact the next generation of leaders in the disability community."

This year’s forum will feature a student store where students will gain experience in customer service, sales and merchandising.

Apply by May 30
  • Go to the GCDE website and select Youth Leadership Forum Application under Youth Leadership Forum, or
  • Contact Elaine Stefanowicz by email or phone at 360-902-9362.

To volunteer, apply by May 15
The YLF needs volunteer counselors, including two registered nurses. Go to the GCDE website and select Youth Leadership Forum Counselor Application under Youth Leadership Forum.

The Youth Leadership Forum is a cooperative project of the state Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues and Employment (GCDE), with support from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and individual donors.


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