YOUTH POWER nothing about us without us YP!

In this eNews
Scholarships and Registration Now Available for FTNYS Annual Conference
FTNYS Conference Banner
Youth and Family Scholarships Now Available!

Youth and family members now have an opportunity to apply for scholarships to the Families Together in NYS Annual Conference. Join over 400 representatives from family peer support providers, family advocates, and family members, youth and professionals at this statewide event. YOUTH POWER! will also once again be hosting the youth track and annual speak-out. 
Deadline to apply is March 10, 2017.

For more information or to apply, visit: 

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities also available
Warm Welcomes to the New Central Regional Youth Partner, Mica Gonzalez
Headshot of Mica Gonzalez standing in front of a graffiti painted wall
Hello Everyone,
I am excited to announce that I am your new Central Regional Youth Partner! Before coming to YOUTH POWER!, I worked for various agencies that all served youth. I have experience working with individuals with disabilities, mental health recipients, juvenile offenders, LGBTQ+ youth and many more populations. I am very passionate and dedicated to the work that I do. Most importantly, I take interest in this work because I am a person who is labeled and seeking change. 
Growing up, I faced much adversity. At a young age, I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. The treatment that I received for my seizures severely complicated things with my mental health. So much so that I was psychiatrically hospitalized on many occasions. This was only further complicated because no one could agree on what my diagnosis was so I often felt that I did not "fit in". Additionally, finding and receiving support was troublesome for me. I constantly felt ignored and invalidated because I did not have very many supports. This was damaging to me and ultimately created a lot of the trauma that I was facing. I always told myself, "When I grow up, I want to be the person that I needed when I was younger". 
I am so eager to start working with everyone and learning how we better amplify youth voice. Just like you, I want our stories to be heard and seen so we can create even more passion in our community. I truly believe in the power of youth-guided care and I want youth to feel empowered and valued as they work hard and share their story. We have a lot to learn from each other and it's important that we work together to do so! Today, I can proudly say that I am now the person I needed when I was younger. As your Central Regional Youth Partner, I want to help you be that person that you need so you can be successful and empowered, too.

To connect with your new Central RYP, contact Mica through email, phone, or Facebook.
Call/Text: 315-679-1476
ASAN Releases New Toolkit on Getting Through to Your Elected Officials
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Right now, many people are getting involved in political advocacy for the first time. People are going to town hall meetings and making phone calls to their members of Congress. They're writing letters and using social media to organize advocacy groups.
This new wave of political advocacy is incredible. And people with disabilities need to be a part of that. That's why ASAN is pleased to announce a new series of plain language toolkits. These toolkits focus on the basics of civic engagement. Civic engagement means actively participating in our democracy. In a democracy, regular people choose, or elect, who gets to be in government. The people we elect should listen to our concerns and advocate for us in the government. But when they don't do that, we have the right to make our voices heard. In short, civic engagement means:
  • learning about how the government works, and
  • making sure that the people we elect to government listen to us.
The first toolkit is "They Work For Us: A Self-Advocate's Guide to Getting Through to your Elected Officials." This toolkit is about:
  • who our elected officials are, and
  • what strategies self-advocates can use to get our voices heard by the people we elect to represent us.
To view and downloard the toolkit, please visit:
Transition Age Youth Institute:
Call for Presentations
Transition Age Youth Institute Banner
You're Invited to Submit a Proposal!
Call for Presentations
September 26-27, 2017   | The Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, NY

The 2017 Transition Age Youth Institute offers professionals in the field of rehabilitation the opportunity to:
  • enhance knowledge through interactive discussions in critical areas such as CTE & employment, inclusion, life-enrichment, literacy and managed care;
  • reflect and deliberate on the challenges and rewards of innovative designs and youth service delivery models;
  • collaborate across all stakeholders; and
  • share, capture and take back experiences, strategies and informational tools that will successfully move transition services forward.

Topics of Interest
The Institute Collaborators seek presentations that address the following topics:
  • Emerging Trends and Practices with School Systems
  • Community Inclusion Strategies
  • Partnerships and Collaborations - Who With and How is it Being Done?
  • Developing Transition Plans & Practices
  • Peer Advocacy and Mentoring
  • WIOA and Youth Focused Opportunities
  • Transitioning Youth from School to Other Services
  • Respite for Youth
  • After-School Supports for Youth with Disabilities
Submit Your Proposal Today
Deadline for Submission:
Friday, March 31, 2017

New This Year - Submit a Proposal Electronically! 
Multiple Options for Submitting!
Click the link above to learn more!

Logos_ NYSRA_ MHANYS_ LDA_ NYS Coalition for Children_s Behavioral Health_ YP__ FTNYS_ NYATEP
ASAP NYS Annual Conference:
Call for Presentations
You are invited to submit a session proposal for the Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Providers of NYS (ASAP) 18th Annual Conference. This year's conference will be held September 17-20, 2017 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, in Buffalo, New York. 

The 18th Annual Conference theme is:  
"Prevention, Treatment, Recovery: Our Value Proposition"

The proposals will be scored on the following criteria: 
  • Relevance to Conference Theme
  • Relevance to Selected Track
  • Emphasizes promising or best practices and integration in the behavior health field
  • Utilizes originality or innovative and emerging practices and program design
  • Advances the knowledge and skills of today's and tomorrow's workforce and contributes to workforce development
Ready to submit? Please click here!
If you have attended an ASAP conference in the past (as a speaker, or attendee), enter your username (email address) and password on the left hand side of the screen where it reads "Login to Existing Account". If you have not registered with us in the past, please click "Create an Account for Submission" on the right hand side of the screen. If you need assistance as you go through the online process please call 1 (866) 374-6338. 

Proposals are due no later than March 27, 2017 11:59pm EST. In order to be considered, please be sure that all fields are completed during your submission. 

All completed proposals will be submitted for consideration by ASAP's 2017 Conference Program Committee. You will be notified the status of your submission by April 12, 2017. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Speaker Coordinator, Marissa Streun at or
(518) 399-7181.
Get Involved with National Campaigns!
Photo of megaphone with different social media symbols coming out
Social media is a great tool to bring awareness in our advocacy efforts.nationalcampaigns
Together, we can amplify our voices!

Check out the campaigns below for more information on how you can team up to Speak Up and Speak Out! 

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
National Kidney Month
Women's History Month
Juvenile Justice Month of Faith and Healing

Autism Acceptance Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and Alcohol Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Want to get more involved in YP!'s Advocacy efforts?
 You can submit advocacy tips, articles, and more on topics that affect YOU! Team up with monthly, weekly, and national day campaigns and email submissions to!

Did we miss a campaign or resource above? Let us know
Call for Artists! Mental Health in Color Event
Colorful photos of paint_ brushes_ and colored pencils on a table

Call For Artists!

The Youth Transitions Collaborative is searching for artists to perform and present their work regarding mental health within communities of color as part of their 
Mental Health in Color series.

Who: All artists are encouraged to apply. Whether you are just starting out or have been creating for years, apply today!

What: Call for Submissions - Community Arts Event

When: Deadline to apply is March 24th. The event will be held May 3rd at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street, NW, 6:30-8:30 PM.

Where: Apply online at

All selected artists will receive $100 for their participation.
Erie County Youth Peer Advocate Training
Mental Health Association of Erie County_ Inc. Logo

Being the Best Youth Peer Advocate You Can Be!
Finding Success in the World of Work
Facilitated by Karl Shallowhorn

When: Friday, March 17, 2017 from 2:00-3:30pm
Where: 999 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209

Please rsvp to laney@eriemha or by phone to Jenny at 888-1242 ext. 313
NYSED Seeking Input on School Quality and Student Success Indicators

NYSED has released a Survey of Possible School Quality and Student Success Indicators. The purpose of the survey is to gather public comment on potential Indicators of School Quality and Student Success for inclusion in the State system for determining school accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NYSED developed the survey after seeking input from teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and other stakeholders. 

How to Respond to the Survey
The  survey is available here . Translated surveys in Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic are also available.
NYSED is accepting responses to the survey through March 20. NYSED will review the survey responses and provide an update to the Board of Regents at its March and April meetings.  Based on the survey results, and in consultation with the State's Committee of Practitioners and the ESSA Think Tank, the Board of Regents will determine which indicators should be included in the state's draft ESSA plan.
Winter Regional Open Meetings on ESSA
NYSED will provide an additional opportunity for stakeholder and public input at a series of winter regional open meetings from  February 27 through March 17. Individuals who wish to attend these meetings can find information about the dates, times, locations, and other pertinent details on NYSED's ESSA website .
An update on the feedback gathered from the public at the regional meetings will be presented to the Board of Regents at its future meetings.
More information about ESSA, the potential indicators of success, and the survey is available in NYSED's ESSA news release .
The views and opinions expressed in third party messages and external links included in this eNews are those of the organization or individual mentioned. They do not necessarily reflect the official positions of YOUTH POWER!.
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!

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