Youth Advisory Council
Youth Advisory Council
The ILRC empowers youth with disabilities through our mentoring program, independent living skills trainings and Youth Advisory Council.
The ILRC Youth Advisory Council is made of 13-17 members of our community with disabilities between the ages of 13-25. The Council's goal is to represent the full spectrum of disability (physical, spinal cord, traumatic brain injury, vision, hearing, cognitive/learning and psychological).
Goals of the Youth Advisory Council
- Increase creativity, confidence and independence
- Build teamwork and cooperation
- Develop conflict resolution, time management and organization skills
- Build communication, public speaking and negotiation skills
Youth Advisory Council Events
- Monthly enrichment activities
- Quarterly field trips to local businesses
- Internship opportunities
- Transportation support for job shadowing opportunities
HOW YAC BENEFITS YOUTH
Making tomorrow’s leaders today
Forming a youth advisory council can be an important step for an organization’s commitment to youth development and youth leadership. By engaging council members in the creation and implementation of programs and services that affect other youth, your organization is establishing a framework of sustainable leadership that draws from and gives back to the community. In addition, youth create new networks and partnerships with adults and peers in their community, which provides them with greater support and allows them to impact more people with their ideas.
Being a YAC member has made me realize that I can do something bigger and better than anything I have ever done before with the support the YAC has given me. — Malaika Worsham, 16
HOW YAC EMPOWERS INDEPENDENCE AND BUILDS CONFIDENCE
As young people transition to adulthood, many desire opportunities to demonstrate that they are mature and independent. Providing young people with the opportunity to voice opinions about concerns that matter to them, and to participate in decision making can be empowering, and may inspire them to take on greater initiative. Young people can put their creative ideas into action when they have control over decisions and plans, no matter how big or small.
The YAC provides me with a specific and clear purpose and helps me figure out how I can take action, and how I can improve my ideas and projects in the future. — Liu Zhen Huang, 18
HOW DOES YAC CULTIVATE IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS
Career development for youth today is critically important, as the population of youth and the demand for more sophisticated skills is higher than ever. Young people are full of potential — they are informed, talented, and tech-savvy — but they may not be equipped to use their abilities to help other people. You can provide the tools and the confidence necessary for them to use these special skills for positive change.
Aside from increasing their creativity, confidence, and their sense of independence, being a part of a youth advisory council will also build valuable knowledge and skills. These include:
- Teamwork and cooperation
- Conflict resolution
- Time-management and organization
- Communication, public speaking and negotiation skills
In addition, having more exposure to the operations of your organization and to communicating with adults is excellent pre-professional preparation for future employment.
HOW DOES YAC BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY
The ILRC Youth Advisory Council raises awareness about issues affecting the community and youth. Our Council focuses on service and volunteerism to support existing programs and create new service projects, while increasing the number of youth involvement in our projects.
I strongly feel that being a part of the YAC has inspired youth in my community to get involved in service. Many of my peers have contacted me and asked, “How can I help?”... It’s great that my
community is gaining interest in service and I think with what I have learned from being on the YAC that I can help them find opportunities to volunteer. — Rachel Ley, 14
WHY A YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL WORKS AT THE ILRC
Having a youth advisory council enables The ILRC to better represent the people it serves and to inform a larger section of the community, employers, and partners. The ILRC forms stronger connections with the community’s youth and gains greater insight into the needs of young people. As a result, our programs reach wider audiences and make a more authentic impact. Today’s youth are eager to be involved in issue areas that are important to them. Their energy and fresh perspectives make for innovative new solutions.