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Inaugural Colorado Youth Leadership Forum for Teens and Young Adults who have Disabilities

May 23, 2018

This July, the Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council (CSILC) and the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council are coming together for the Inaugural Colorado Youth Leadership Forum at Colorado State University.

Colorado Youth Leadership Forum flier image
Click to view en Español

This is an innovative, 5-day on campus conference for Colorado high school juniors, seniors, and young adults under 26-years-old with disabilities, as they prepare for and experience the transition to adulthood.

Students will serve as delegates from their communities and will work on cultivating their potential leadership, citizenship and social skills through experiential learning opportunities designed to help them identify and embrace their strengths while planning for the future.

The program will also connect the student cohort with successful young men and women who also have disabilities, “to help youth realize their ability, right, and obligation to pursue meaningful employment and contribute to society.”

We envision creating a forum that embraces the philosophy of independent living and teaches the delegates to understand, and not be ashamed of, their experiences as people with disabilities.”

Colorado Youth Leadership Forum curriculum will provide eight (8) primary training components:
  1. Principles of Leadership
  2. Experience of Disability
  3. IL Technology and Resources
  4. Living on My Own
  5. Reaching My Education and Career Goals
  6. Leading in My Community
  7. Personal Development Planning
  8. Preparation for Follow-up Mentoring

The Youth Leadership Forum is free for participants thanks to the lead organizations, fundraising, state agencies, and corporate donations.

The program is intended to serve youth who have a variety of disabilities and diversities. Therefore, Colorado youth who will have completed at least two years of high school by June, those who have recently graduated, or those who are young adults in transition, are encouraged to apply and will receive selection consideration. The Youth Leadership Forum accepts students with varying social-economic backgrounds and ethnicity from around the state. Find the delegate application here (Solicitud en español).

They are also accepting volunteer applications now! (Solicitud en español)

Other questions? Get in touch with the program’s Coordinator, Brenda, at

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