YouthACT Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible to join YouthACT?
  2. What is youth transition?
  3. Who is an ally?
  4. Who is an adult partner?
  5. What is the role of the sponsoring organization?
  6. Are parents/guardians allowed to apply as an adult partner and can members of the team be related?
  7. What type of experience do I need to apply for YouthACT?
  8. Should YouthACT projects only focus on youth with disabilities?
  9. Why does YouthACT require at least one youth to have a disability or chronic health condition?
  10. When will I find out if I have been accepted into YouthACT?

Return to the YouthACT Main Page


1) Who is eligible to join YouthACT?

YouthACT is open to youth with disabilities or chronic health conditions and youth who are allies of the disability community between the ages of 12 and 25 who are interested in partnering with adults and organizations to improve the transition process for youth in their communities.

Caring adults with a background in youth development, experience working with transition-age youth, including youth with disabilities, and a desire to partner with youth to improve transition outcomes are also encouraged to apply as the adult partner for a team.

Supporting organizations willing to partner with youth, support the youth and adult partner, and commit to increasing youth voice and leadership within their organization should apply as well.

2) What is youth transition?

Youth “transition” is the process and period of change that youth go through to become adults. Transition typically occurs between ages 12 and 25. During transition, youth need a variety of opportunities and supports to learn and develop skills and experience, set and achieve goals, and make personal decisions about school, work, and life. Many organizations and government agencies are responsible for helping youth transition to adulthood. This includes schools, employment and training programs, afterschool and recreation programs, health and mental health services, housing programs, disability services, courts and juvenile justice agencies, and child welfare and foster care programs.

3) Who is an ally?

For the purposes of the YouthACT Teams, an ally is a youth who does not have a disability or chronic health condition but is interested in partnering with all youth in their community, including youth with disabilities and chronic health conditions, to improve leadership opportunities for youth.

4) Who is an adult partner?

An adult partner is an adult who is willing to share responsibility and decision-making with the whole YouthACT team. YouthACT aims to increase positive youth-adult partnerships where young people and adults work together, share power and leadership, and support and learn from each other to build stronger communities. All individuals in the partnership have the opportunity to engage in planning, decision-making, and action consistent with their own interests and skills.

5) What is the role of the supporting organization?

The sponsoring organization commits to effectively increasing youth voice and leadership while engaging youth as leaders and partners to improve transition outcomes. The sponsoring organization will also provide various forms of support to the youth and the adult partner. Such support can include, but is not limited to, connections to other community partners, meeting space, office supplies, and communications.

6) Are parents/guardians allowed to apply as an adult partner and can members of the team be related?

YouthACT is a youth-driven effort intended to support youth in developing their own identity, and as youth move toward young adulthood it is important that they expand their support networks beyond their immediate family. Parents, guardians and other relatives therefore may not apply as an adult partner or sponsoring organization, and the two youth members also may not be related. We hope that the youth’s experience partnering and working towards a goal with a variety of unrelated adults and young people will help them become more comfortable as self-advocates and more confident when they enter the world of work and begin to interact with co-workers who may be very different ages and have very different experiences.  We hope that the skills and experiences gained through YouthACT can be shared with family members throughout the youth’s involvement in the initiative.

7) What type of experience do I need to apply for YouthACT?

Youth need to show a strong interest in and potential to be a leader. Also, they must demonstrate a passion for improving their community and a need for or ability to benefit from further training and development in becoming a stronger youth leader.

Adult partners need experience in youth development, as well as experience working with and sharing in decision making with transition-age youth, including youth with disabilities.

Sponsoring organizations need to be youth-serving organizations with interest in increasing youth voice and leadership opportunities within their organization.

8) Should YouthACT projects only focus on youth with disabilities?

Not necessarily. YouthACT Teams may focus on issues impacting all youth or issues impacting youth with disabilities and their transition to adulthood.

9) Why does YouthACT require at least one youth to have a disability or chronic health condition?

YouthACT requires that at least one youth have a disability or chronic health condition to ensure that youth with disabilities are included as leaders, along with their allies, who partner with adults and organizations to improve opportunities for youth to succeed in life.

10) When will I find out if I have been accepted into YouthACT?

Applicants for YouthACT can expect to hear whether or not their application has been accepted in the early fall of 2015.

 

Return to the YouthACT Main Page

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