YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this YP! Enews
Online Member Meeting This Monday
Statewide Youth Leadership Forum
July Regional Forums
NYC Call to Action!
State Plan for Independent Living
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Advocacy
End Stop and Frisk!
What we did in RAMP
Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support

Online Member Meeting!
June 25, 2012 5:00pm


YOUTH POWER! is hosting an online member event to help guide the state plan for mental health services. In collaboration with the Office of Mental Health, YP! will ask questions about things like, mental health services, peer support, employment, community, transitioning to adulthood and preventing substance abuse. Don't miss this opportunity to share "what helps and what harms." 


Connect via phone or computer with microphone.

To register for this event please contact Curtis and provide your full name, phone number and email address.
[email protected] 518-432-0333 X 27

YOUTH POWER! Members Only.

Help us to ensure the voices of youth and young adults are included in the New York State Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Services!


We would like to get as many members as possible to be present for this web meeting

Download the flyer here


  Only a few days Left to Apply!

 5th Annual Statewide Youth Leadership Forum!



 YOUTH POWER! is proud to say that we will be holding our 5th Annual Statewide Youth Leadership Forum on August 7-9, 2012.   


At this statewide gathering, we will be celebrating our transition to independence.  In 2012 YP! will become an independent organization run by young adults with disabilities.


As young people, we need to work together to ensure our rights are protected.  Whether we are in special education, mental health, foster care, juvenile justice or addiction services, we deserve to remain in our community and get the support we need with respect, dignity and human rights.


Together, we will sharpen our advocacy skills, build a stronger united network and have our voices heard.


Download the PDF or word application.  


If you are selected to attend this event, YP! will cover your travel, meals and hotel costs.


In order to be selected you must:

  • Have a disability.
  • Be in the age range of 16-28.
  • Youth under 18 must have guardian approval.
  • Must live in New York State.
  • Commit to helping a YP! Working Group, Board or a Regional Team for one year.
  • Complete the application and return it by June 30, 2012
Step up and join the leadership of one of the largest youth run organizations in the United States!


Long Island & Central Regional Events 
This July!


Long Island
The Long Island Region of YOUTH POWER! invites youth, ages of 13-28, for an evening of networking, fun activities, and open discussions on cross-system issues and topics such as: Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, Chemical Dependency, Foster Care, Disability, Education and more.  Plan to join us for the FREE Event.  Dinner included.  This invitation may be shared with those you know would be interested in attending. 

The Fourth Annual Long Island Youth Forum

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Hagedorn Family Resource Center

120 Greenwich Street

Hempstead, NY 11550


Show off your talent with a performance of your own

(Note:  not required for attendance)

To *RSVP complete the attached Registration Form and Code of Conduct Acknowledgement and send to

Desiree Moore at:  [email protected], Or via fax to 631-264-0762.

Long Island Forum Registration And Long Island Code of Conduct

Questions?  Contact Desiree at 631- 245-5289

Please RSVP on or before July 6, 2012

*if performing please complete the Performance Registration Form also - Performance Registration click here



It's time to SAVE THE DATE for the Central Regional Youth Forum for YOUTH POWER! The date to save is July 19th, 2012, from 2PM-6PM. The event will be located at the Q Center on West Genesee Street in Syracuse! Registration forms are attached below.

Here you can find the YP! Central Forum Registration 2012
Spread the word! This is an opportunity for youth to have their voices heard and to tell us what the feel isn't working in the systems that affect their lives!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Have a nice day,

Colleen Deitrich

Central Regional Youth Partner


PHONE: (315) 679-1476

EMAIL: [email protected]

Call to Action!



Be A Part of the Solution!
 Join the Citywide Oversight Committee Youth Advisory Council! 
 We are a group of young people committed to improving the lives of young people and their families. We are currently, recruiting YOUth between the ages of 16-28 with a disability or lived experience in either the foster care, juvenile justice, or mental health system. The Youth Advisory Council raises awareness of the perspectives, concerns and recommendations of young people who have had experience from one or more child serving system. This is a valuable opportunity for young people to build professional skills and to network. The council meets once a month from 6-8pm. 
 Stipends, Free Food and Metro Cards are Provided!!! 
Download the COC application here or read the flyer here
 For more info, contact NYC Regional Youth Partner at  (347)880-2735 or 
 *Application Deadline is JULY 13th, 2012

Give input to the State Plan for Independent Living


Share your thoughts on what is needed for people with disabilities to live in the community and direct their own lives.
Listed below is a link to an online survey which is part of a statewide effort to help better identify needs of people with disabilities for the upcoming Statewide Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) in New York for 2014-2016. This plan could result in targeted projects in your area focusing on the priority needs of people with disabilities. It is being sponsored by the New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC).

The survey should take less than ten minutes to complete. To thank you for your assistance with this, after completing the survey you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $50 Mobil gift card. Two winners will be randomly chosen.

Click on the following link to participate in the survey:


You will be directed to an initial screen informing you about your opportunity to enter in the gift card drawing at the completion of the survey. Click the "next" button to proceed. You will have fourteen questions that you can respond to by either click the appropriate number of choices or choice, entering text in a dialogue box, or selecting a choice from a drop down menu. For the last question (gift card drawing) which is optional, you can click on the "done" button to complete the survey. It will redirect you to a screen that will give you a choice to enter a sweepstakes or refuse the opportunity (no thanks). Click on the sweepstakes button and provide the necessary information to enter. If you are not interested, click the "no thanks" button to decline. If you are completing the survey from an ILC computer, then you would fill in the appropriate boxes in question # 15 to enter the drawing then click on the "done" button to complete the survey.


If you have any questions about the survey or any difficulty accessing the survey, please contact: Patty Black at NYSILC [email protected] or call 877 397-4126 (Toll free in NY State only) or (518) 427-1060 (Voice/TDD).

 Substance Abuse & Mental Health Advocacy

 by Ryanna Soule

Often times when a young person has a mental health concern that is not addressed or being appropriately treated, they turn to drugs to self-medicate. When a young person has both a drug problem, and social/emotional challenges this is known as a co-occurring disorder (COD). YP! has recently been involved with different projects and events that bring youth voice to the table regarding COD. As a young adult who struggled throughout my teens with a COD, I am very passionate about this issue. I am looking for other youth and young adults to join me in bringing issues surrounding co-occurring disorders, and substance abuse itself to the table!

Recently, I have been involved in two projects-in the first project I was a part of a committee organized by ASAP(Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers) to plan a Youth Summit. Having youth voice and involvement throughout the process was a new endeavor for the ASAP committee. All members of the team were very open to hearing opinions on how to make multiple things more youth friendly and not only did they listen-they acted on them. Some of the highlights of the Summit were a 'Mini world Café' where youth went to different tables providing valuable feedback to questions regarding prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery, there was also a panel that I, 2 youth and a parent sat on. During this panel, we were able to share with all 200 conference attendees our struggles, our fails, our pain, and our eventual rise to success and recovery. Our message was heard, and the numerous service providers in attendance were able to put a face to so many faceless nameless stories.


In the second project, I've been able to work with a great group of people from diverse agencies and backgrounds in creating a FIT (Focus on Integrated Treatment) Module entitled "Co-occurring Disorders in Adolescence" that will be available on the web to mental health, and substance abuse providers. The module was a joint project between the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services(OASAS), and the Office of Mental Health to help introduce new ways of approaching treatment for youth who maybe struggling with a co-occurring disorder. To get the final product it took many stages. This included participating in the COD Module Creation committee that brought up the important issues that we felt should be included and discussed in the module-from a youth, and parent prospective. A 'draft' of the module was then created. The draft was basically a template that didn't have much information-just place holders for where we'd be going next. Many people were interviewed for the module, and I am honored to say that I was able to share my story, and provide so much feedback into the project. The module has continued to be filled with information, interviews, and interactive activities to help put into practice what has been learned.


There are lots of different things taking place currently when it comes to substance abuse, which is overseen by the state agency OASAS. There are many youth who are currently in treatment, in recovery, or still struggling. All of your voices matter in helping to improve the system, and the services we receive. We, and state stakeholders need to hear from people who have actually been there. Please reach out to me if you are interested in working to bring these important issues to the table. I look forward to hearing from those of you who are interested!


Please Contact Hudson River Regional Youth Partner Ryanna Soule for more information [email protected]



End Stop and Frisk!

by Pauline Gordon

The NYPD's Stop-and -Frisk practices are causing a huge uproar. Many people that have been victims of Stop-and-Frisk practices have expressed that they were humiliated ridiculed and had their rights to privacy violated. Stop-and-Frisk gives police officers the right to physically stop, pat down and search a person for reasons of suspicion. Many New Yorkers have voiced their outcries of anger and concerns against Stop-and-Frisk.

Stop-and -Frisk has also been considered another tactic of racial profiling because minorities are often targeted. An analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2004. The analysis also show that people if the black and Latino communities are continuous targets of being Stop-and Frisked by police.

One of the troubling realties of Stop-and-Frisk is that through unreasonable suspicion, police are permitted to violate your human rights. Stop-and-Frisk violates our human rights because, under the Fourth Amendment in constitution which states that people have the right to be and feel secure. Search and Seizure must be based on Probable Cause. Probable Cause is logical evidence or facts. This is unjust because there are many occasions when people that are being Stopped-and-Frisked were found innocent. In 2002, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 97,296 times. 80,176 were totally innocent (


What we did in RAMP

by Zach Garafalo

 This past year, over 30 youth from Albany county participated in RAMP programming at two sites in the Albany community. In addition to weekly meetings, youth and mentors went to the Great Escape, a statewide gathering of youth in RAMP in Rochester, YP!'s Hudson River Regional Forum in Poughkeepsie as well as two events sponsored by FTNYS: the Legislative Luncheon and Conference. Attending these events is a privilege and factors that determine eligibility include active weekly participation, completion of goals, respectful behavior and a desire to learn more about policy and advocacy.


Each week, youth and mentors took part in activities meant to help them gain a better understanding about themselves, their disabilities, careers and independent living skills. We spent significant time learning how we learn, how to build a healthy support network of family, friends and other people in our lives, positive eating habits, developing a strong work ethic and using our individual leadership styles to achieve our goals.


Additionally, each youth made a resume, learned how to search for jobs, sharpened their interviewing skills, learned how to dress for success and the proper way to disclose a disability or request accommodations. We also learned how to manage money, build a personal budget and many other independent living skills.


Career speakers included representatives from the fields of radiologic technology, small business owners, athletic trainers, architects, nursing, video game designers, attorneys and politicians, software engineers and educators.


As we move toward the summer, expect to see Albany RAMP youth out in their communities shadowing adults in their fields of employment as well as participating in more relaxed peer support meetings.

A New Guidebook:

Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support

Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook was created by the National Center on Trauma-Informed Care. It is designed to help make trauma-informed peer support available to women who receive or have received services in behavioral health or other human service systems.  It is a resource for peer supporters in these or other settings who want to learn how to integrate trauma-informed principles into their relationships with the women they support or into the peer support groups of which they are members. The goal is to provide peer supporters-both male and female- with the understanding, tools, and resources needed to engage in culturally responsive, trauma-informed peer support relationships with women.


Please visit this link to download the guide.

YOUTH POWER! is the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and are seeking change.  Together, we have decided to speak up about our experiences because no one knows what it is like for us better than we do.  Through peer-to-peer mentoring, we empower young people to be active citizens who are aware of government operations, their rights and the ability to use their voices to influence policies, practices, regulations and laws.  We are young people helping other people, ensuring availability of self-help and peer support while changing systems so that young people get the support they need with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Nothing About Us Without Us!