Youth Leadership and Development Skills Training Notes
for the Wisconsin Transition Initiative Youth Advisory Board
Presented by LeDerick Horne and Jonathan Mooney
November 29 – 30, 2006
Wintergreen Resort – Wisconsin Dells
Group Brainstorm – What is leadership or what are the qualities of a leader?
Fearless – not afraid to take a stand
Self-control – be aware of how to conduct yourself, you’re a role model
Strategic – leaders have a plan and goals
Vision for the future
Flexible – stay cool under pressure
***Guided by a sense of purpose and know how to get others involved
4 Types of Leadership Styles – Which one are you?
Supporter – likes to build relationships and make connections
Controlling – make sure everything gets done, good at making decisions
Analytical – likes details and information
Promoter – get the word out, motivating
3 A’s for Maturing Leadership Style:
Awareness – of leadership style. Have a personal awareness of your style and a sense of others’
Acceptance – of your leadership style. Be comfortable with it and accept others’ styles.
Adjustment – depending on the situation, you may need to adjust your style.
Be confident (you can build confidence by practicing and being sure you know your stuff)
Be yourself when presenting
Be credible (by stating your experience, credentials, and knowing your stuff)
Know your audience
Dress appropriately for the occasion
Use humor to relax
Use the unexpected to your advantage (for example, turn a problem with A/V into a humorous
situation to put everyone at ease.)
Arrive early and make sure your A/V equipment works
Be willing to listen to feedback and have a plan for improvement or evaluating if you’ve been
effective. If you aren’t willing to use the info – don’t ask.
Be relaxed – you may have or develop a ritual before you go on that will help you relax.
5 Principles of Communication:
1. Reflect on audience
Who might you present to (could be a big audience or one person)? How do you change your
presentation for the audience?)
How you prepare – it can change or evolve over time. Examples: memorizing, note cards,
outline, write it all out, etc.
3. Purpose of presentation
Need to know what you are trying to accomplish through your presentation. Are you trying to
persuade, motivate, anger, etc. You will deliver your message differently depending on what
you are trying to convey to your audience.
Know your content well.
5. Finding your voice/style
Do you like to have a lot of research in your speech or do you prefer anecdotal information?
Group Brainstorm – When do you feel disempowered as a youth with a disability?
During IEP meetings – too much focus on limitations
Lack of transportation and overall physical accessibility
Scheduling meetings that don’t fit into a youth’s schedule
Segregated education – being pulled out of class
Relationships with peers – when you’re the first one picked on in the classroom (by a
teacher or peers), you’re the first one picked on outside
Feeling hopeless about the future – need a model for role models (i.e. mentoring
Lack of education for teachers about what students with disabilities go through – most of
the time, teachers don’t even realize how they make you feel disempowered or how they
single you out. Need better pre-service training.
Not having support in being independent
Stuck on the medical model – need to focus on strengths
Don’t know how to speak up for yourself – need more self-advocacy training
Parents don’t have enough info – they need to know their rights too
Youth Leadership Roles
Youth as Planners – Example: New Jersey’s Dare to Dream (similar to Youth Leadership
Forums). Youth help plan and facilitate the event.
Youth as Trainers – Example: LeDerick worked with Dept. of Education to help plan inservice
trainings. Need to educate youth on a topic enough so they can help train by using the
information and their personal experience.
Youth as Evaluators – Youth have practical knowledge to share that others may not have
though of. Youth can evaluate brochures, websites, programs, etc.
Youth Summits – Example: Youth Leadership Forums. Youth come together to share
experiences, design conferences/trainings, facilitate activities at the summit.
Youth Advisors/Action Councils – Youth give advice to organizations who want youth input.
Youth as Funders – Youth go to organizations to speak about their personal experiences.
Youth as Policymakers – Youth influence and inform rules and guidelines and regulations.
WSTI Youth Advisory Board
To build a 5 year plan that helps guide the board
To do more community outreach
To help shape policy and practice
What do we hope to accomplish, as a board, in the next 5 years?
Make YLF part of the state system
Teach young people to be better prepared for transition (may be through trainings,
videos, webcasts, guide books, etc.)
Teach youth to be better self-advocates
Info/Resource sharing – there is no central, youth-friendly place to go for info – the board
could become the central resource, especially for youth
Board could provide outreach and mentoring (may want to help replicate the Peer Power
Mentoring Program around the state)
Create a DVD/video/web clip of the board members talking about their personal
experience and how they got involved on the board
Create a dynamic website – include list of e-mentors, clips of members doing things like
presentations – don’t have everything on it in writing
Work on legislation and getting youth to be prepared to be at the table and really
understanding what is happening
Board will present their personal story to teachers (through panels or individually)
Manageable Next Steps:
Info gathering to help inform a 5 year plan
Create survey to get uniform info from youth, teachers and parents about what could be included
in a 5 year plan. Youth would lead the activity.
Get information about the Forum for Youth Investment Group that Steve Gilles and Sue Allen
are part of. This group will be working on legislation for youth development that includes youth
with and without disabilities. The board needs to figure out the time commitment and if they
want to be involved. Jenny Gilles will represent the board at the Dec 18th meeting in Madison.
Get a blog or listserv set up.
Board members will have conversations with youth, parents, and teachers by mid-January and
will post their conversations to the blog. The board will then determine if a survey is still
Board members will be on panels for CESA presentations starting in the fall to talk about their