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Youth Leadership Institute

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2018 Youth Leadership Institute Graduates
2018 Youth Leadership Institute Graduates

APIDC’s Youth Leadership Institute trains young adults to become advocates for APIs with disabilities. We seek participants from all backgrounds and ethnicities who have a passion for empowering APIs with disabilities.

The Youth Leadership Institute focuses on a combination of developing grassroots leadership skills and providing a safe space for mutual sharing and learning. Participants are selected from a broad variety of backgrounds who show a strong potential to become future leaders.

Details regarding the 2019 program will be provided as available.

Qualities of an Institute Participant

  • Have a strong desire to learn from others
  • Demonstrate an ability and willingness to share best practices and lessons learned
  • Be open minded to different ways of thinking
  • Have a desire to share their own story about their experience with disabilities
  • Be committed to implementing a community initiative 1 year within training completion
  • Be committed in staying in touch with APIDC

Program Components

  1. Interactive discussions on grassroots leadership, topics including:
    • API/Disability Rights History
    • Advocacy
    • Coalition Building
    • Communication/Networking Skills
    • Public Speaking Skills
    • Basic Employability Skills
  2. Opportunities to discuss how your involvement in the community and the issues that you wish to address or learn more about
  3. Free time to interact with other participants

Program Schedule

The training workshops will take place on three Sundays, with a full day of training each day. Full attendance at all three workshops is required. Following the training series, participants will have one year to utilize their learned skills to implement a disabilities initiative on their campus or in their community.

Dates for the 2019 session will be published as soon as available.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Show a track record of involvement in the disability community
  • Show an interest in advocating for APIs with disabilities
  • Attend college and have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent


Applicants for the program must submit the following:

  1. A completed application form. A link to the 2019 form will be provided as soon as available.
  2. A short essay, no longer than one single-spaced page. The essay prompt will be provided on the application form.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from adults who are not related to the applicant. Letters should address the applicant’s leadership abilities, character, and ability to handle situations under pressure.

Finalists will be invited to an interview with the selection committee.

Selection Criteria

  • Proven track record of participating in community activities
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and an interest in community service
  • Demonstrated ability to relate to people of other cultures and backgrounds
  • Expressed interest in developing and sustaining a community initiative
  • Leadership potential
  • Willingness to speak publicly
  • Energetic, positive attitude

We thank our generous sponsors:

Edison International, AT&T, and Special Service for Groups

Edison International Logo        AT&T Logo       Special Service for Groups Logo