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Monday, July 21, 2014 - Friday, July 25, 2014
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

California State University, Sacramento
6000 J St,
Sacramento, CA

`Apply Today! This is a wonderful opportunity for youth with disabilities. Applications due by February 28, 2014.

Attention High School Juniors & Seniors!!

The Youth Leadership Forum Invites You to Apply to

the 2014 Youth Leadership Forum for Students with



1.    What is YLF?

  • YLF is an exciting five-day leadership program that provides information on everything from assistive technology to resources that can help you as you transition to college, employment, and independent living.  At YLF you will create a “Personal Leadership Plan” to help you reach your future education and career goals. You will be able to meet and interact with leaders in the state and nation – celebrities, politicians, entertainers, and other role models from the “disability community.”  You will also make lifelong friendships with other students from all over the state, and connections with mentors with disabilities who can support you!
  • The forum will take place July 21-25, 2014, in Sacramento, California. Student delegates and volunteer staff stay in the dorms at California State University, Sacramento. If you have never experienced a university campus before, this is a great opportunity to do so!

2.    Who can attend?

This amazing opportunity is only available to:

  • High school students in the 11th or 12th grade (during the 2013-2014 school year) with a disability.  This applies to graduating seniors. Some age and grade exceptions may be made (including high school sophomores and students in the adult transition or 18-22 programs).
  • Individuals must have a disability; this includes a wide variety of disabilities such as learning, visual, mobility, mental health, developmental, intellectual, hearing and autism.
  • Those who have demonstrated leadership potential in school and in the community.
  • Students that live in California.

3.    How are students selected?

  • Once applications have been submitted, finalists will be contacted by telephone to arrange a personal interview.
  • Local interviews will take place either by phone or in person during March and April 2014.
  • The Student Selection committee will make final selections by early May.
  • All applicants will be notified through mail.
  • Approximately 50 students will be chosen to attend.

4.    What happens if you are selected to attend YLF?

  • Students will be asked to fill out a confirmation form and provide additional information.
  • The YLF staff will then send more detailed information about the Forum’s schedule and activities in July.
  • All appropriate expenses will be paid by the Youth Leadership Forum. This includes travel, lodging, food, and accommodations such as sign language interpreters, personal care attendants, and alternate formats.

5.    What happens after you attend YLF?

  • Alumni, or graduates of YLF, are strongly encouraged to share what you’ve learned at YLF with your high school by giving presentations, encouraging other students to apply for future YLFs, and talking to your friends about your YLF experience.
  • All alumni of the YLF program are eligible to join YLF Alumni (YLFA), a group devoted to furthering the leadership skills of future youth with disabilities across California.
  • Overall, YLF will prepare you to be a stronger leader and give back to your community.

6.    How do you apply?

  1. Visit to download the application. E-mail the completed application, essay, and letter of recommendation to The signature page (last page of the application) should be signed and mailed to the address below.

Youth Leadership Forum

California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities

721 Capitol Mall, 6th Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814

  1. Applications must be submitted electronically or may not be accepted. Also, incomplete applications may not be accepted.
  1. If you are assisting a student with the application, please be sure they are clear on what YLF is and why they want to participate.
  1. Complete applications must include:
  • Application pages 1 thru 7 (e-mail)
  • One letter of recommendation (e-mail)
  • Essay responses (e-mail)
  • Signature page (postal mail)

7.    What’s the deadline to apply?


  • Completed application packet must be e-mailed by February 28th, 2014, and the signature page must be post-marked by February 28th, 2014!

8.    Who do you contact for further information or questions?

Please feel free to contact us by:

  • E-mail at: or
  • Telephone: Voice (855) 894-3436
  • For relay services call 711

Here’s what a few YLF Alumni have to say about their experience at YLF!

“YLF was the first time I was ever exposed to positive role models with disabilities, which completely gave me a new perspective of my life.”

“I have gotten so much information, enlightenment if not more. I am grateful to have this experience because I know it is super competitive. I am honored. My parents and family are proud. I am grateful to the staff that helped me. I have soaked it up like a sponge, and I will squeeze it all out when I get home!”

“I came to YLF and I was like, what am I getting myself into? I was not aware of this community and how closer we all are. YLF is a family, we are a family. I had no idea that there are so many different ways and different programs to be involved in. I am inspired to take charge and try to get things fixed and done right in my community. I will not let my music stay inside me, I will let it out!”

“The lessons I have learned at YLF, and continue to learn through the [alumni network] have allowed me to develop and succeed, not just as a person, but as a person with a disability.”

“I attended YLF in 1995. It was a life-changing experience. What I learned at YLF made me expect more of myself and challenge society to see disability as a natural part of life. This resulted in launching my career in public policy and advocacy, and it would not have happened if not for the California Youth Leadership Forum.”