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.

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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, 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

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2015 YLF

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

Approximately 35 delegates will be selected to attend the YLF. Selected delegates will be notified shortly. Additional information on the forum will be provided to selected delegates.

Selected delegates must fill out and return a confirmation form.

Be a Peer Mentor

Peer Mentor applications are no longer being accepted for the 2015 YLF

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 and ABLE-SC.