Youth Leadership and Advocacy Expansion Project
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families learn leadership and advocacy skills. To do this, leadership development and advocacy skills training programs must exist in many different areas around the state. Because it is unlikely that any one organization can provide enough funding to meet the demand, it is imperative that organizations that offer this kind of training work with others. This type of collaboration can help to increase the number of identified leadership development and advocacy training programs that are able to provide culturally appropriate training for individuals with DD.
Expand a leadership and advocacy training program for youth with disabilities. Increase the capacity and impact of graduates of the Youth Leadership and Advocacy project through a Peer Mentoring training model.
Imagine Enterprises identified 13 youth referrals to serve as peer-to-peer trainers, with the goal of instructing additional youths to be peer mentors for other youth with DD. These referrals were prescreened to ensure they had an understanding and commitment to the peer-mentoring model. The referrals who went through the training were trained by three mentors. They found the training to be empowering and were excited to share their messages. The three mentors that conducted the training enhanced their skillsets by participating in the project. All agree that any peer-to-peer training can increase the opportunity to give a voice to those with disabilities through advocacy and successfully networking in their community.