South Carolina
Vocational Rehabilitation Department

Enabling eligible South Carolinians with disabilities to prepare for, achieve and maintain competitive employment

Photo: Delegates and Leaders at the 2006 Youth Leadership Forum 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 2014-2015 school year or a 2014 high school graduate.

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


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:

  • What is Leadership?
  • Technology and Resources to Meet My Goals
  • Living on My Own
  • Reaching My Career Goals
  • Life After High School
  • Preparing For College
  • Leading in the Community and Career through lunch with local businesses

Apply to the 2014 Youth Leadership Forum

The 2014 SC Youth Leadership Forum will be held at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina from July 9-11, 2014.

Deadline for entries extended to April 30, 2014
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 2014-2015 school year or a 2014 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 30, 2014.

Send your completed application and reference forms to:

South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum
c/o Laura Spears (0101)

PO Box 15
West Columbia, SC 29171

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.

For more information, contact

803-896-6574 • Email us


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, SC Department of Juvenile Justice(DJJ) and ABLE-SC.