Arizona’s First Youth Leadership Forum, a Huge Success

The Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council hosted our states first ever Youth Leadership Forum for Students who have Disabilities, June 23-27, 2014, at Arizona State University, in Phoenix. 21 youth participated, hailing from more than half of Arizona’s counties, representing diversity in disability and the cultures of Arizona. The volunteer staff of 15 was comprised of people who have disabilities, who will serve as mentors for each graduating Delegate for one year.

In addition to utilizing materials based on the California Youth Leadership Forum model, Delegates participated in 13 presentations provided by disability related organizations and community leaders, a tour of the Arizona State Capitol with an overview of the Legislative process, a Unified Sports basketball game with Special Olympics Arizona while at an accessible Fitness Center, an evening at the Arizona Diamondback’s baseball game, and a formal recognition banquet and dance.

The Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council is pleased to provide the community with a detailed report including survey information and general findings from AZYLF 2014. You can download the report in Text or PDF format. The information found in this and future Forums will help to provide youth from across the state with an opportunity to have input on the development of the next State Plan for Independent Living. Development of the new State Plan will begin in 2015.

Arizona’s Youth Leadership Forum is funded for the next two years as it is included in our State Plan for Independent Living. Plans for the 2015 Forum are already underway and we are looking forward to another great event. For more information about the Arizona Youth Leadership Forum, please contact the SILC office by calling (602)262-2900 or by sending an e-mail to Melissa Ann Santora (Link:
AZYLF: A to Z-It’s Your Life!