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 Leadership 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 Trustworthy Compassionate Empathetic Non-judgmental Vision for the future Positive Flexible – stay cool under pressure Unify people ***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’ styles. 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. Public Speaking Qualities: Be passionate Use gestures Be confident (you can build confidence by practicing and being sure you know your stuff) Be comfortable 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?) 2. Methodology 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. 4. Content 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? Disempowerment 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 Accessible curriculum 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 program) 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 Purpose: 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 needed. Board members will be on panels for CESA presentations starting in the fall to talk about their personal experiences.
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