South Carolina
Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Preparing and assisting eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to achieve and maintain competitive employment

Photo: YLF students surround Leesa Iseman, special education teacher at Newberry Elementary. They presented Iseman with boxes of supplies for her special education class and preschool class. They also wrote and illustrated cards addressed to Iseman’s students welcoming them to school this year. Logo: South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum (YLF)

Youth Leadership Forum

Leadership Training for Students with Disabilities

The South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for students with disabilities is an annual career leadership program for high school students who will be a junior or senior in the 2015-2016 school year or a 2015 high school graduate.

Goals2015 ApplicationPeer Mentor ApplicationPartnersContact Us


Photo: Keynote speaker Rafe Ellisor tells delegates how he created his current job.

Goals

Students selected each summer to attend the YLF learn about disability history, community and academic resources, career options and resources that can help them face challenges that arise in becoming participating members of their communities. By serving as delegates, students enhance and grow their leadership, citizenship, and social skills. They take part in activities enabling them to network, learn from each other and build lasting friendships.

The YLF, along with High School/High Tech (HS/HT), is a program working to improve the participation of youth with disabilities in employment related activities. YLF focuses on building self-esteem, developing personal leadership skills and preparing young adults with disabilities for life beyond high school.

Photo: A delegate exchanges business cards with photojournalist Brett Flashnick during a break.

What happens at the YLF?

Youth with disabilities will share their experiences with each other and learn about various topics, including:

  • What is leadership?
  • Self-advocacy
  • Developing and reaching my career goals
  • Life after high school
  • Preparing for college or work
  • Service projects
  • Leading in the community and career through lunch with local businesses

Apply to the 2015 Youth Leadership Forum

The 2015 SC Youth Leadership Forum will be held at Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina from July 8-10, 2015.

Photo: A delgate participates in YLF through interactive sessions.

Who can apply to attend the YLF?

To be eligible for the YLF, students must:

  • Have a disability and live in South Carolina
  • Be a junior or senior in the 2015-2016 school year or a 2015 high school graduate
  • Have leadership potential in school and the community

Does it cost anything?

There is no cost to delegates who attend the YLF.

How do I apply?

Entries must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2015.

Send your completed application and reference forms to:

South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum
c/o Laura Spears, YLF Chairperson

PO Box 15 (0118)
West Columbia, SC 29170

You can also email your completed application to the address listed in the application.

What’s the selection process?

Approximately 35 delegates are selected to attend the YLF. Additional information on the forum will be provided to those selected to attend.


Be a Peer Mentor

SC YLF is accepting applications for Peer Mentors.

What is a Peer Mentor?

A Peer Mentor is a person similar in age who can serve as a role model, a resource and a helping hand for YLF delegates. The role of a peer mentor is to provide support, encouragement, and information to YLF delegates, helping them to have a successful and beneficial experience in learning about self-advocacy and leadership.

Who can be a Peer Mentor?

To be a Peer Mentor, you must:

  • Be age 18-26 and have a disability.
  • Be a YLF Alumni or have prior experience as a Peer Mentor

Additional information

Peer mentors are volunteers and are not paid wages to assist with YLF. There is no cost to be a Peer Mentor (meals and lodging are covered), however, each Peer Mentor must provide his/her own transportation to Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina.

Download more information about Peer Mentor Roles and Responsibilities.

For additional information, please contact Laura Spears at 803-896-6574 or email us

How do I apply to be a Peer Mentor?

Applications must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2015.

Send your completed application to:

South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum
c/o Laura Spears, YLF Chairperson

PO Box 15 (0118)
West Columbia, SC 29170

You can also email your completed application to the address listed in the application.

..

For more information, contact

803-896-6574 • Email us

Partners

The SC Youth Leadership Forum is implemented by state and local partners, including SCVRD, Continuum of Care, PRO-Parents, South Carolina Assistive Technology Program (SCATP), Wil Lou Gray, the Developmental Disabilities Council, SC Department of Mental Health and ABLE-SC.