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  • Wed, 10/14/2015 - 14:26

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    On November 29, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, which later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). With the passage of this landmark piece of legislation, the United States opened public school doors to millions of children and youth with disabilities. IEL believes that access to quality inclusive education is a right for all young people. Additionally, IEL has a long history of supporting youth as they transition to adulthood. For youth with disabilities, a core competency in the youth development process is gaining an understanding of disability history, culture, and disability public policy issues as well as their rights and responsibilities. In recognition of the opportunities provided by IDEA, IEL is collecting stories from students, out-of-school youth, teachers, school administrators, and others who have been personally impacted by IDEA. These stories will be published on the IEL website and shared through social media. IEL encourages creativity in format, media, and content. Stories can be in written, graphic, or video form. Videos should be no longer than three (3) minutes and written submissions should be no longer than 500 words. All pictures should include captions. Submissions are due November 6, 2015. With every submission, please be sure to include your full name, current city and state, a clear photo, and a signed copy of this publicity release. Submissions and questions can be sent to finkd@iel.org. For examples, visit IEL's ADA Generation web pages.

  • Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:43

    Humanim RAMP Coordinator Taavon James and RAMP National Coordinator Ebony Watson pose for a photo at the White HouseTaavon James, Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) Coordinator at Humanim, Inc. in Baltimore, MD, did double duty at the White House. James participated in a panel discussion on the benefits of mentoring individuals of color with disabilities. His remarks focused on the career-focused mentoring activities that he has been providing in the RAMP and the unique aspects of serving young people of color who may still be coming to terms with their own disability. This dialogue was a part of the African American History Month event at the White House and included co-panelists Taryn Williams, Youth Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy; David Johns, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans; Odunola Ojewumi, Founder of Project ASCEND. The moderator was Patrick Cokley, Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor and Moderator of the Lead on Update. Both Williams and Cokley are former IEL staff members.

    James was also invited to participate in the launch of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. This event brought together individuals and organizations across the country to discuss strategies to support young men of color that will keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system. The initiative will consist of two phases. First, businesses and foundations will join together to test strategies aimed at ensuring youth arrive at school ready to learn and reducing negative interactions with the criminal justice system. Second, the president will launch an internal administration effort to rigorously evaluate what programs are successful at supporting young minority males.

  • Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:39

    Dana Fink testifies at Senate HELP Committee hearingIEL's Dana Fink testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) at their roundtable hearing entitled "Promoting College Access and Success for Students with Disabilities." The roundtable examined barriers to access and completion for students with disabilities and ways to support their success through the Higher Education Act reauthorization. The Committee asked Fink to talk about her experiences as she transitioned from high school in Georgia to the University of Illinois; provide detail on the physical and programmatic access barriers that she experienced on campus, as well as the supports and services she used and valued; and provide policy recommendations. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 27 at 10:00am. Archived video of the hearing and information about the other witnesses is available on the Senate website.

    Read Fink's full testimony here.

  • Tue, 02/25/2014 - 15:35

    Dante, an alumn of Youth Services' RAMP site in Windham County, Vermont has been highlighted in an online article by Parent Express of Windham and Chesire Counties.

    Career mentoring program builds skills, connections

    Dante spent the summer and fall getting to know his future professional colleagues.

    A young man with big plans, Dante, 16, was employed by the Youth Agriculture Project, a program of the University of Vermont Extension, and got to know Red Russian kale, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini and raspberries.

    Read the full story here.

  • Fri, 01/24/2014 - 14:37

    Microsoft Logo (a red, green, blue, and yellow box stacked in a square with gray text)Microsoft has announced the launch of the Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship intended to empower and enable high school students with disabilities to go to college, realize the impact technology has on the world, and target a career in the technology industry.

    The scholarship launched Friday, January 17, 2014 and includes a goal to increase enrollment of persons living with a disability in higher education and, in the long term, decrease the unemployment bias for disabled persons.

    This new program was started by, and is supported by, Microsoft employees who will select promising high school seniors who require financial assistance in order to enter and successfully complete a vocational or academic college program. This non-renewable $5000 scholarship will be paid to the recipient’s Financial Aid Office by the Seattle Foundation on behalf of the DisAbility Employee Resource Group at Microsoft.
     

  • Thu, 01/16/2014 - 16:11

    Cover Image of The Mentoring EffectThe Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring was commissioned by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership with support from AT&T, and written by Civic Enterprises in partnership with Hart Research. This report is informed by the first-ever nationally representative survey of 1,109 young people ages 18-21 on the topic of mentoring, as well as a literature and landscape review with insight from a variety of key leaders in business, philanthropy, government, and education.

    Read The Mentoring Effect.

  • Thu, 11/14/2013 - 15:29

    Report Cover: "A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform" - A man with a briefcase walking down a gray hallway with closed doors.Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the bipartisan introduction of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act and the release of a new report from The Leadership Conference outlining a comprehensive policy agenda to ease the re-entry process entitled A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform: "Today’s introduction of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act is another undeniable sign of bipartisan momentum for criminal justice reform. The lead sponsors of this bill, Senators Portman and Leahy and Representatives Sensenbrenner, Davis, Bachus, Scott, Coble, Fudge, Chabot, and Conyers, come from different sides of the aisle but all understand that these reforms to our criminal justice system are both morally right and financially sound.

    The Second Chance report outlines a policy agenda for easing the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals into society, leading to a nation that’s safer, more economically sound, and more humane. A prison system that focuses primarily on punishment, rather than rehabilitation—and creates barriers to family unification, employment, education, and civic participation—makes it increasingly difficult for people to reintegrate into their communities. Passing the Second Chance Reauthorization Act is among a number of concrete policies outlined in the report that our nation can implement with bipartisan support. All we must find is the will to do so.”

  • Tue, 11/12/2013 - 11:44

    Cover: "RAMP Final Report 2009-2012: Career-Focused Mentoring for All Youth" (contains images of 1) male youth and female adult standing back to back, 2) group shot of youth visiting NASA, 3) female high school graduate  in cap and gown with female adult, 4) three male youth building a small robot, 5) three female youth standing with three female pharmacy professionals, and 6) a male youth and male mentor stand in front of the White HouseRAMP began with a National Mentoring Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in October 2009. This report includes a review of why mentoring matters, local and national RAMP activities making an impact in youth's lives, an overview of the RAMP model and program components, local and national youth performance data and demographics, profiles of the each RAMP site, and a reference to RAMP's foundational resources.

    Read RAMP Final Report 2009-2012: Career-Focused Mentoring for All Youth.

  • Fri, 10/25/2013 - 11:32

    Youth Services and the RAMP program in Windham County, VT have been featured in an article in the Brattleboro Reformer: Mentors sought for 'commitment' to kids.

    RAMP mentor Brian Schmidt (right) shows Leland & Gray RAMP students and mentors the work that he has done on his Model A Ford while talking with them about his business, ICS Auto Restoration. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)TOWNSHEND -- As the owner of ICS Auto Restoration, Brian Schmidt isn't interested in late-model cars.

    A 1929 Model A Ford is more his speed.

    "I don't like working on new cars, so all the cars I work on are very old," Schmidt said. "And I work by myself."

    But on a recent afternoon outside Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend, Schmidt had a few "helpers" in the form of students enrolled in RAMP -- otherwise known as the Ready-to-Achieve Mentoring Program.

    Schmidt is just one of the mentors providing guidance and encouragement to RAMP students at three Windham County high schools. And he believes he's benefiting from the experience, too.

    "It's well worth the commitment," Schmidt said. "It's really not a

    RAMP mentor Brian Schmidt shows Leland and Gray RAMP students the work that he has done on his Model A Ford while talking with them about his business, ICS Auto Restoration. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)
    lot of time to commit in the grand scheme of things."
    RAMP administrators are hoping more adults are willing to make such a commitment to students at Leland & Gray, Brattleboro Union High School and Bellows Falls Union High School.

    The after-school program, run by Brattleboro-based Youth Services, was launched in 2009 and now serves more than 30 students mostly aged 14-17. The focus is on kids who are "needing extra support," said RAMP Director Michelle Bos-Lun.

    Read the full article!

  • Thu, 08/29/2013 - 14:53

    Right Turn Logo: three dimensional arrow curving to the right. Text: Right Turn - Empowering Youth; Transforming CommunitiesAre you looking for a way to improve your work with court-involved youth through better connections to career information, education, and their community? Then consider being a part of the Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn), a high-poverty, high crime communities grant. Participating sites will utilize the Right Turn Career-Focused model to provide 100 youth per year: workforce development, education and training, case management, mentoring, community-wide violence reduction efforts, post program support and follow-up, and restorative justice. Sites will receive a research-based career development model, practical strategies, implementation materials, and technical assistance from experts in juvenile justice, mentoring, disability, and career development, as well as $290,000 per year to enhance their current work.

    The Institute for Educational Leadership’s Center for Workforce Development (IEL/CWD) was awarded an “Intermediary Organizations Serving Juvenile Offenders in High-Poverty, High Crime Communities” Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (SGA/DFA: PY-12-03; CFDA: 17.203) to implement the Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative. Right Turn will adapt the Guideposts for Success for Transition Age Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, the three career development phases from the Individualized Learning Plan demonstration project, and lessons learned from the existing Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program for court-involved youth to provide opportunities to juvenile ex-offenders who are returning to and currently residing in high-poverty, high-crime communities. IEL/CWD will work with five local sub-grantees in at least two states. IEL/CWD is currently seeking applications from interested sites.

    Applications are due September 23, 2013 and can be downloaded at rightturn.iel.org.

  • Mon, 08/05/2013 - 15:12

    The Institute for Educational Leadership-led National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) has announced a free professional development opportunity for youth-serving systems and organizations. A limited number of applicants will be able to increase their staff’s skills, gather new strategies, and improve services to youth for free.

    As part of NCWD/Youth's Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Professional Development Demonstration and Evaluation (YSP/KSA Demo), selected sites will receive four free full-day trainings in the core competencies that youth service professionals need to work with all youth; content-rich materials and resources; and pre- and post-training technical assistance from experts in youth development, workforce development, and disability.

    With support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), NCWD/Youth seeks to demonstrate the value of and grow a professional development system for youth service professionals to improve program quality and service delivery for all youth, including youth with disabilities. Participation is free, however each site’s lead organization must be committed to professional development and evaluation, provide 25 – 30 trainees, engage two partner organizations, and meet other eligibility requirements (see application). Lead organizations will receive a small stipend to cover administrative costs. Applications are due August 31, 2013.

    For more information, visit the webpage or contact Patricia Gill (gillp@iel.org, 202.822.8405 x154).

  • Fri, 07/26/2013 - 07:09

    Zoe Gross (3rd from left) speaks at the White House Jul 2013 Champions of Change panel, moderated by Rebecca Cokely (left), also featuring Zach Garafalo (3rd from right), and Lydia Brown (far right)To commemorate the 23rd Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the White House honored eight “Champions of Change,” young people with disabilities who are having a significant impact on their communities. The Champions of Change participated in an engaging panel about issues affecting this generation of disability rights leaders. The Institute for Educational Leadership's (IEL) Center for Workforce Development (CWD) is proud to be connected with many of these emerging disability community leaders as they work across systemic and institutional boundaries to improve programs and services for people with disabilities.

    Zoe Gross, a current Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at IEL spoke about her work organizing the Disability Day of Mourning, an annual event that remembers people with disabilities who have lost their lives at the hands of their family members or caregivers.

    Lydia Brown, a former IEL Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow, discussed the improvements for people with disabilities she is making on her college campus and in her home state of Massachusetts where she has made efforts to close the Judge Rotenberg Center.

    Zach Garafalo, the Assistant Director of YOUTH POWER! spoke about his work with IEL’s Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) a career-focused mentoring program for youth involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. .

    The panel was moderated by Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director of the National Council on Disability whose time at IEL helped form the basis of many of the youth-led materials and trainings used by the Center for Workforce Development. Cokley created the Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellowship program and the National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth while at IEL.

    IEL is proud of these next generation disability community leaders and looks forward to more incredible work from all of the Champions of Change!
     

  • Fri, 07/19/2013 - 08:31

    Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez makes remarks after the announcement of his Senate confirmation. President Obama looks on in the background.On July 18, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Thomas E. Perez to be the nation's 26th Secretary of Labor. Perez has spent his entire career in public service, and will join the department on July 23, wrapping up his tenure as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. He previously served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which enforces workplace safety laws, wage and hour laws and a range of consumer rights laws. Perez was a principal architect of a sweeping package of state lending and foreclosure reforms to address the foreclosure crisis in Maryland. President Obama nominated Perez to be Secretary of Labor in March. In Maryland, the president said, Perez "helped implement the country's first statewide living-wage law, because he understood that a minimum wage should be a wage that you can live on."

    Read the President's Statement.

    (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Mon, 07/15/2013 - 15:59

    Logo (green, purple, and grey text): Youth Transition Collaborative: Because the future needs everyone

    On July 12, the Youth Transitions Collaborative (YTC) released the results of its recent survey of over 1000 individuals with disabilities. YTC calls it “the first survey of its kind to study the political impact of this large community of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers.” According to the U.S. Census, roughly one in five Americans has a disability.

    The survey highlights the views of an emerging generation of advocates and voters with disabilities who may be more engaged in the political process than previous generations. The survey found that people with disabilities are as politically diverse as the general populace and are not single-issue voters. Still, voters with disabilities across political affiliations—especially young voters—are likely to vote against candidates who support reducing or eliminating services and supports for people with disabilities.

    The development of the survey was led by the YTC’s Advocacy Working Group, which includes the American Association of People with Disabilities, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, The HSC Foundation, Institute for Educational Leadership, National Council on Independent Living, and United Cerebral Palsy.

    Read the full YTC press release or executive summary of the survey.

  • Fri, 07/12/2013 - 10:13

    Logo: IEL with an arch over letters; Institute for Educational Leadership; Leading Across BoundariesThe Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the new position of Director of Institutional Advancement and Communications. Working with the IEL Leadership Team, this multi-faceted position has the Director responsible for a) coordinating and implementing IEL's development plan; b) guiding communications with external stakeholders and constituencies; c) planning and managing key IEL-wide events, including 50th anniversary activities in 2014; and d) assisting with IEL Board Committee management.

    Read the full job description.

  • Mon, 07/08/2013 - 10:44

    Issue Brief Cover - Connecting At-Risk Youth to Promising OccupationsThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and Mathematica released a brief entitled "Connecting At-Risk Youth to  Promising Occupations." examines promising occupations for at-risk youth that offer reasonable incomes and could put them on a path to becoming independent adults. Key features are used to identify promising occupations, and based on that, the brief highlights health care and construction. The brief also discusses a number of work-based learning and career pathway programs, including ACYF's Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program.

  • Tue, 07/02/2013 - 09:19

    Cover for "Pathways for Youth: Draft Strategic Plan for Federal Collaboration." White background with blue horizontal ribbon.The Forum for Youth Investment, in partnership with the National Collaboration for Youth, the American Institutes for Research, the Campaign for Youth, and the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, is convening a webinar for the public to learn about plans by the Obama administration to support comprehensive efforts for youth, especially disconnected youth. The webinar will focus on the need for coordinated federal polices to support comprehensive, place-based interagency efforts to enable community partnerships to have a stronger, positive collective impact on young people's lives.

    Martha Moorehouse, a recipient of the Ready by 21 Policymaker of the Year Award and chair of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, and Sarah Oberlander, who leads the Working Group's production of FindYouthInfo.gov, will present Pathways for Youth, the working group's draft strategic plan for federal collaboration, and invites participants to provide feedback.

    Kathy Stack of the White House Office of Management and Budget and Johan Uvin of the U.S. Department of Education will present the latest work from the Interagency Forum on Disconnected Youth, which they co-chair. Last year, on a webinar hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment, Stack asked participants to help shape the federal government's work through a Request for Information (RFI) about disconnected youth. Hundreds of organizations and individuals responded. Stack and Uvin will discuss what was learned through the RFI and the next steps they plan to advance this work. They invite your feedback.

    Webinar Dates:

  • Thu, 06/20/2013 - 13:36

    The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) honored DC YouthLink with the 2013 Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awardee for the Northeast Region. DC YouthLink a partnership between the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS); DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation; East of the River Clergy, Policy, Community Partnership; and Progressive Life Center.

    NCJA chose DC YouthLink because it is innovative and able to document concrete results in addressing crime-related issues in the District. DC Youthlink connects DYRS youth who are in the community to services and supports to help them succeed, including job training and mentoring; protects public safety by engaging court-involved youth in structured activities in the community; and invests in and builds upon the strengths of community-based organizations to serve youth near their homes.

    More young people committed to DYRS received a professional certification, earned a GED or high school diploma, entered college, and got a job in fiscal year 2012 than ever before. At the same time, re-convictions among DYRS youth fell 13 percentage points from FY 2008 to FY 2011. Re-arrest rates fell 15 percentage points during the same time. In DC YouthLink’s first three years, over 1,000 youth have received services that range from school support to substance abuse interventions. DC YouthLink now serves half of the overall DYRS population.

    RAMP is one of the programs that DC YouthLink operates, in conjunction with the Institute for Educational Leadership and funded through a Second Chance Act Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

  • Wed, 06/12/2013 - 09:22

    On June 6, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership’s (IEL) Center for Workforce Development a $5 million, 39-month grant to serve juvenile offenders in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

    In the next six months, IEL will competitively select five community organizations or partnerships in at least two different states to implement the proposed Right Turn program, based on decades of IEL’s work promoting improved services for at risk youth, including youth with disabilities, youth in juvenile justice, and other disconnected populations.

    The Right Turn initiative will adapt IEL’s Making the Right Turn: A Guide About Improving Transition Outcomes for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System, the Guideposts for Success youth transition framework, the three career development phases gleaned from the Individualized Learning Plan research and demonstration project, and lessons learned from the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP).

    Right Turn will serve 1000 juvenile offenders, 25% of which will be youth in confinement. Sites will work with youth to provide them with comprehensive reentry and transition services, including connection to educational opportunities, mentoring, soft skills and independent living skills development, work skills and workforce development opportunities, community violence prevention, and more. After a six-month site selection and project planning period, IEL will serve youth beginning in January 2014.

    Read the full USDOL press release.

  • Mon, 05/06/2013 - 10:35

     

    The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), announced that the agency has completed its reorganization. He shared this news during his keynote address to the membership attending the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s annual conference.

    “We believe that our new structure allows us to better integrate our research, policy, program, and capacity development activities to support the field and our partners,” said OJJDP Administrator Listenbee. “I expect that this reorganization will position us to more effectively and efficiently serve the youth and families of our nation.”

    All OJJDP mentoring funds are now administered through the Youth Development, Prevention, and Safety Division under the Deputy Administrator for Program.s

    Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Organizational Chart

  • Mon, 04/15/2013 - 11:55

    National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability Logo (blue text on white background): Navigating the Road to Work. Stick figures walk along road to stylized city in the distance.As part of their individual development, today's youth need to learn and understand how to take action for themselves as they transition into adulthood. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) developed a series of "Youth in Action!" tip sheets aimed at helping youth learn and think about important transition issues. 

    While these tip sheets are designed for youth to read and use, they are also helpful tools for family members, educators, and youth service professionals to use in discussions with youth. NCWD/Youth is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.

  • Fri, 04/12/2013 - 12:26

    The U.S. Department of Labor issued Training and Employment Notice (TEN) No. 31-12 on the release and availability of the Employment and Training Administration's First Step: A Youth Practitioner's Guide to Supportive Services. The guide is intended to help youth service professionals better understand and connect to a wide variety of essential, youth-oriented supported services, including child care, housing assistance, and health and mental health services. . Supportive services can be essential to the success of youth enrolled in employment and training programming. Organizations often are not equipped to provide the services necessary to address a young person’s every need. Developing intentional partnerships with private and public sector agencies increases the resources available to meet the needs of youth.

  • Wed, 02/20/2013 - 12:16

    New Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) brochures are now available online! These documents include an 8.5" x 11" three-fold brochure for general audiences and a 14" x 11" bi-fold brochure targeted to employers.

  • Wed, 02/20/2013 - 10:31

    The U.S. Department of Education posted a Public Input Notice (PIN) inviting interested persons and organizations to provide input on a new competitive grant program, Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE). The purpose of this program is to fund model demonstration projects in States to promote improved outcomes for children who receive SSI and their families. Under this program, projects must form strong and effective partnerships among state agencies responsible for programs that play a key role in providing services to child SSI recipients and their families and provide coordinated services and supports designed to improve the education and employment outcomes of child SSI recipients and their families.The Department will hold public webinars. Visit the PROMISE webpage for more information.

  • Fri, 02/08/2013 - 16:22

    The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), in partnership with the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN), and other organizations focused on employment of youth and young adults with disabilities, launched a newly reorganized Youth to Work Coalition (YTWC) website. The purpose of this website is to house resources that help link employers and schools to resources for work-based learning experiences for youth with disabilities. The resources are organized across 8 work-based learning experience (WBLE) categories: (1) career exploration, (2) job shadowing, (3) job sampling, (4) service learning, (5) internships, (6) apprenticeships, (7) paid employment, and (8) mentoring. Within each WBLE category, resources are organized for the following audiences (1) schools, (2) businesses, (3) youth service professionals, (4) families, and (5) youth with disabilities.

    In January, YTWC launched its 2013 webinar series, a recording of which is available on their website.

  • Fri, 02/08/2013 - 16:16

    The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities for students with disabilities. In addition to explaining those legal obligations, the guidance urges school districts to work with community organizations to increase athletic opportunities for students with disabilities, such as opportunities outside of the existing extracurricular athletic program. Students with disabilities have the right, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, to an equal opportunity to participate in their schools' extracurricular activities. A 2010 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that many students with disabilities are not afforded an equal opportunity to participate in athletics, and therefore may not have equitable access to the health and social benefits of athletic participation. Read the full press release here.

  • Tue, 01/29/2013 - 14:02

    Because Campaign Poster:  Young Woman at Work ("Because a mentor believed in my potential...")

    To help millions of people recognize what they can do to make a difference in the lives — and future careers — of young people with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Labor's Campaign for Disability Employment has released a new video public service announcement titled "Because." The PSA features real people with disabilities — not actors — who are pursuing and realizing their goals and passions as a result of the support they received from everyday people in their lives. Because nearly 1 out of 5 Americans has a disability, the PSA is intended to replace myths and misperceptions about disability employment with new views of what people with disabilities can do.

    "Many people who achieve success and have found satisfaction in their careers have done so because one person believed in them and urged them to set their expectations high," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "This PSA challenges viewers to rethink their ideas about what people with disabilities can achieve and consider what they might do to encourage young people with disabilities to pursue their personal and career goals."

    The PSA is being distributed to more than 1,400 television, including cable, English- and Spanish-language stations.

    Because Campaign Poster: Young man with lacrosse gear ("Because my coach pushed me...")

    "Because" is the latest product of the Campaign for Disability Employment — a unique collaboration of leading business and disability organizations with the Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy that promotes the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities. Campaign members include the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Job Accommodation Network, the National Business and Disability Council, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management, Special Olympics and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

    To download the PSA and posters or learn more about the Campaign for Disability Employment, visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

  • Wed, 01/23/2013 - 15:16

    On January 15, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) launched a new career-focused mentoring program for high school students with disabilities. The program, called Competitive Employment Opportunities (CEO), will connect high school students with disabilities to professional mentors who work in a range of competitive occupations. The CEO program will focus on providing students with career exploration, soft skills training, goal-setting support and paid internship opportunities. Approximately 20 students will participate in the program.

    “This new program will engage our students with disabilities in a new way, and provide them with opportunities for real on-the-ground job experience. This program also supports our strategic goals by engaging students through interesting opportunities and preparing them for college and career. I’m very excited to see this program in action,” says D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “The CEO Program is integral to ensuring not only that our students with disabilities get the best education possible, but also that they are prepared to compete in the new economy that is emerging in the District of Columbia. Every child in D.C. deserves the chance to learn the skills they need to enjoy a life of working to support themselves and contributing to their community.”

    The CEO Program design is based on best practices identified by the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, both housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership. DCPS will gauge the success of the program based on increased student confidence and increased ability for students to display skills such as professionalism, communication, time management, budgeting and problem solving. The success of the program will also be gauged based on higher rates of student employment and students clearly defining postsecondary goals and next steps.

    Read the full DCPS press release.

  • Thu, 08/23/2012 - 13:15

    Graph: Disability Prevalence and the Need for Assistance by Age (available on p. 5 of the Census report)The U.S. Census Bureau has released updated statistics on the population of people with disabilities in the U.S. According to the new figures, 56.7 Americans (18.7% of the population) have some type of disability. Of this number, an estimated 38.3 million (12.6%) have a disability characterized as "severe." These numbers reflect incidence of disability across all age groups. One in ten transition-age youth (15 to 24 years old) has a disability.

    The findings, which are contained in a study based on the Bureau's 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation, also provide estimates on the prevalence of different types of disability:

    • Vision impairment: 8.1 million (3.3%);
    • Hearing impairment: 7.6% (3.1%);
    • Difficulty walking or climbing stairs: 30.6 million (12.6%), including people who use wheelchairs (3.6 million) and canes, crutches, or walkers (11.6 million);
    • Difficulty lifting or grasping: 19.9 million (8.2%); and
    • Cognitive, mental, or emotional impairments: 15.2 million (6.3%).

    The Bureau's report, "Americans with Disabilities: 2010," also covers distribution by age and gender and provides estimates on various economic factors, including employment rate, income levels, program participation, and health insurance coverage. The report and related information are available on the Census Bureau's website.

  • Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:58

    NYLN Logo: Blue Handprint - National Youth Leadership NetworkThe National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is accepting applications for our Governing Board (GB). NYLN is a youth-led organization that works to build power among people with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 28 years old. The NYLN promotes youth leadership development; values inclusion, interdependent support systems, and disability pride; works to create access to the resources youth need to be leaders; supports work being done by youth activists with disabilities on the local level; trains youth with disabilities; and connects youth leaders with opportunities to serve and be active members of their communities.

     

    GB members are NYLN’s organizational leaders. They make decisions for NYLN and are often the leaders in NYLN projects.  Examples of GB responsibilities include serving on at least one committee; representing NYLN in coalitions and at conferences; building collaboration with other organizations; recruiting new members; and finding ways for NYLN to be active in your local community. Serving on the GB involves an average of two meetings a month. Meetings happen by phone or in an online chatroom. GB members spend about 15 hours a month on NYLN. GB members must be between 14 and 28 years old; have a disability; live in the United States or its territories; have a passion for social justice; and believe in and practice full-inclusion.

    Click here to learn more and apply!

  • Mon, 08/06/2012 - 10:47

    Text in a blue circle: "Only 29% of young Americans believe they have a say in government."More than a year ago a group of remarkable young people came together to advocate for a new addition to government: youth leadership. Their proposal was to create a Presidential Youth Council that would advise the President and every federal department in the Cabinet. Now, the Campaign for the Presidential Youth Council has officially launched and is gaining traction with the support of more than 100 leading youth-focused organizations. Read on to learn more about this exciting initiative and the latest developments in the Campaign. The Presidential Youth Council, comprised of young Americans ages 16-24, will advise the President on the perspectives of youth, offer suggestions on how to make federally funded youth programs more efficient and effective, and will create shared recommendations on issues that will affect the long-term future of our country.

  • Wed, 07/11/2012 - 14:56

     

    A RAMP youth celebrates with the crowd at her high school graduation ceremony.Three of the original RAMP participants with Youth Services in Bellows Falls Union High School graduated on June 14th.  They received a celebratory send-off at the last RAMP session of the year as well as a gift certificate from the RAMP staff and mentors.  "We are so proud of them!  Graduating was a real accomplishment and we see great things for their future,” said Kathy Waters, RAMP Director. 

    Two RAMP alumni smile together on graduation day.

    One graduate, Christina Theethe, has summer employment at Harlow Farms set up through the RAMP program.  Another, Shawna Coutu will be attending Vermont Technical College in the fall and Ricky Adams is still sorting out his next step.

    Two of these students, Shawna and Christina, represented the Windham County RAMP at the annual RAMP conference in Washington D. C. And all three of them had the opportunity through their participation in RAMP for the past two years to explore college and career paths through site visits, learn workplace skills and develop their own career goals.

  • Wed, 06/20/2012 - 10:26

    The Campaign for Disability Employment’s 2012 “What can YOU do?” Video Contest challenged the general public, youth, and employers to produce disability employment awareness videos that reflect the diversity of skills people with disabilities offer, challenge common misconceptions about disability and employment, and reinforce the “What can YOU do?” initiative’s core message that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. The CDE’s national “What can YOU do?” initiative reinforces that people with disabilities want to work and that their talents and abilities positively impact businesses both financially and organizationally.

    Contest winners were selected in three categories; General Public, Youth, and Employer. Judging was based on originality, content, reflection of campaign themes and categories, production value, impact, and accessibility. Three first place winners—one in each of the General Public, Youth, and Employer categories—will receive an *Apple® iPad®, while two runners-up each will receive $250.00, courtesy of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®). Winning videos will now be used in support of the CDE’s national effort to increase the employment of people with disabilities.

    Click here to learn more and watch all three winning videos.

     

  • Tue, 05/29/2012 - 08:21

     

    The White House and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Summer Jobs+initiative has announced nearly 300,000 summer jobs and other employment opportunities for youth and a new online tool to help youth access opportunities. The initiative has secured additional commitments from 95 companies and nonprofits, three cities, two federal agencies and the White House to provide 110,000 new summer jobs and other employment opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth this year. Employment opportunities include 90,000 paid jobs and thousands of mentorships, internships and other training opportunities. The administration will also launch the Summer Jobs+ Bank, a new online search tool to help connect young people to jobs, internships and other employment opportunities this summer and year-round.

    Read the news release from U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

  • Tue, 05/29/2012 - 08:21

     

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the launch of its first disability-related application challenge, which is designed to generate innovative tools that will improve employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. The goal of the app challenge is to promote recruitment resources for employers, develop job training and skill-building tools for job seekers, facilitate employment-related transportation options and expand information communication technology accessibility. Awards with cash prizes — totaling $10,000 — will be given to the top three submissions. Contestants must register for the contest on the Challenge.govwebsite and submit their apps by August 23, 2012.

    Read the full news release.

  • Fri, 04/20/2012 - 10:53

    Screenshot of ERCPCP's blog entry on RAMPWork of the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program in the District of Columbia (RAMP-DC) has been highlighted in a recent blog entry by one of the lead partner organizations, East of the River Clergy, Police, Community Partnership (ERCPCP).The blog entry tells about the site's youth kickoff, first mentor training, and plans for the coming year. The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded a three-year Second Chance Act grant to the Institute for Educational Leadership and its partners ERCRCP and Progressive Life Center at the end of 2011. RAMP-DC works in collaboration with the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, serving youth six months prior to their release from the New Beginnings Youth Development Center and for six months after they return to the community.

    Read ERCPCP's blog entry now!

  • Fri, 04/13/2012 - 15:56

    Stephanie Orlando Smiles Before Speaking from a Podium Near a Vase of Flowers.The National Council on Disability (NCD) -- an independent federal agency that advises the president, Congress, and other federal agencies on the policies and programs that affect the lives of people with disabilities -- welcomed Stephanie Orlando to the agency. On July 5, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Orlando to NCD. She was confirmed by the United States Senate March 29, 2012.

    Orlando works for YOUTH POWER!, a program of Families Together in New York State. YOUTH POWER! is the state coordinating entity for RAMP in New York State, and Families Together in Albany County is one of the three New York RAMP sites.

    NCD's Chairman Jonathan Young hailed Orlando's confirmation saying, "Once a recipient of children's mental health, special education and residential services herself, Ms. Orlando has grown into respected advocate for youth with disabilities. Her previous work with NCD as the Chairperson of our Youth Advisory Committee and the valuable work she's done since have demonstrated her commitment and skill in championing equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities – particularly the next generation. We enthusiastically welcome Stephanie to the National Council on Disability."   

    With the addition of Stephanie Orlando, the NCD Board now consists of: Chairman Jonathan Young, Vice Chair Janice Lehrer-Stein, Gary Blumenthal, Chester Finn, Sara Gelser, Marylyn Howe, Matan Koch, Lonnie Moore, Ari Ne'eman, Dongwoo ("Joe") Pak, Clyde Terry, Dr. Fernando Torres-Gill, Linda Wetters and Pam Young-Holmes.

    After receiving children’s mental health, special education and residential services herself, Orlando has become a strong advocate for youth with disabilities on county, state and national levels. Beginning in 2006, she served a term as Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Committee to the National Council on Disability. Orlando serves on the New York State Commissioners’ Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children & Youth, the New York State Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, the New York Mental Health Services Planning Council, and the Board of Directors of the Children’s Mental Health Coalition of Western New York. She received the Diana Vietz Award in 2008 from the National Council on Independent Living, the mpower Award in 2006 from Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) and the 2004 Erie County Executive Award for Disability Employment Awareness Month. Orlando earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2005 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

  • Wed, 04/11/2012 - 10:00

    RAMP National Director Patricia D. Gill explains the RAMP Individualized Mentoring Plan to Chairman Graham.The Institute for Educational Leadership's (IEL) RAMP National Director Patricia D. Gill offered expert testimony on the importance of career-focused mentoring for at-risk youth before the District of Columbia's City Council Human Services Committee on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012.  During a DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) budget oversight hearing, Ms. Gill explained the importance of structured mentoring activities and outlined IEL's Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP)TM.

    DC Councilmember Jim Graham, Chair of the Human Services Committee, responds to Gill's testimony and praises IEL's RAMP Individualized Mentoring PlanIn Fall of 2011, IEL was awarded a Second Chance Act mentoring grant by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)to work with DYRS and its two key community mentoring partners, East of the River Clergy, Police, Community Partnership (ERCPCP) and Progressive Life Center (PLC) to implement the career-focused mentoring program in the District of Columbia. The project allows ERCPCP and PLC to implement the RAMP model transition program with youth in DYRS's detention facility, the New Beginnings Youth Development Center. RAMP-DC works with youth six months prior to release from the facility and six months after they return to their communities.

    Cover: RAMP Individualized Mentoring Plan (text and tables in blue and orange)

    At one point, Committee Chairman Jim Graham (D-W1) waved the RAMP Individualized 

    Mentoring Plan and Weekly Goal Tracking Sheet, proclaiming his admiration for the tools, created by IEL, that identify specific goals and developmental outcomes for mentoring.

    The RAMP model has brought additional structure and a career preparation and exploration focus to DYRS's mentoring services and the work of ERCPCP and PLC. RAMP-DC leverages city funds with federal resources that support connection to a broader mentoring network, materials, technical assistance, and structured, research- and practice-based materials to improve positive outcomes for youth.

    Read Gill's testimony here.

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  • Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:47

    Logo: Challenge.gov - Government Challenges, Your Solutions (blue stars in a circle around  blue, red, and yellow intersecting arcs)The U.S. Department of Education launched the National Education Startup Challenge, inviting students to develop an innovative solution to an education problem and design a blueprint for a new company or organization – a startup – to deliver that solution. The National Education Startup Challenge provides an opportunity to highlight the leadership abilities and entrepreneurial energies of today’s youth. Students from across the country have until May 1, 2012 to submit a business plan and a video pitch for a for-profit or nonprofit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of four topics:

    1. Middle Grades Matter –Helping middle school students transition to high school and stay on track to graduate.
    2. Skills, Skills, Skills –Providing students in rural, urban, and/or high-poverty communities with opportunities for internships or other work- and community-based learning experiences that help them develop skills for success in postsecondary education, 21st century careers, and civic life.
    3. Education Pays –Making it easier for students and families to find and select high-quality, affordable postsecondary programs – whether colleges, universities, or career training programs – that provide good value.
    4. Finishing Faster –Increasing the likelihood that postsecondary students complete their degrees, and decreasing the time it takes them to finish, such as by improving and speeding up remedial education.
  • Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:08

    by John Martin, CNN

    While it has been argued that science, technology, engineering and math may open the door to more job opportunities, it seems that fewer women are pursuing those courses of study, at least at the nation’s community colleges... [Read the full blog.]

  • Mon, 03/26/2012 - 10:54

     

    Practice Brief Cover: Career Exploration in Action (blue banner with NCWD/Youth Logo)The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) released a Practice Brief entitled “Career Exploration in Action.” This brief is part of a series of publications called Innovative Strategies Practice Briefs. Each brief highlights strategies for implementing a specific practice gleaned from Innovative Strategies from NCWD/Youth-identified promising and exemplary programs. All of these programs and strategies are available online in an easy-to-use searchable database.

    This latest brief describes strategies and resources that youth programs and school systems use to engage all youth in exploring various career options. All youth need career exploration opportunities to identify how their interests and skills relate to various careers, learn what education and training is needed to pursue careers of interest, and make informed decisions about their future. Some types of career exploration activities include career-related guest speakers, workplace visits and tours, job shadowing, career fairs and career days, and career-focused mentoring.

    NCWD/Youth is a project led by the Institute for Educational Leadership.

  • Tue, 03/13/2012 - 14:18

    Logo: image of White House with text "The White House Internship: A Public Service Leadership ProgramThe White House Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities.

    The White House Internship Program’s mission is to make the “People’s House” accessible to future leaders from around the nation.

    Eligible applicants can include undergraduate and graduate students, recent college graduates, and high school seniors enrolled in and anticipating attending a college, university, or community college.

  • Tue, 03/13/2012 - 12:39

    Four youth landed summer jobs after skills developed during RAMP this year. Congratulations! 2012

    Congratulations to mentees in the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) at Walter L. Cohen High School for turning a mock job fair assignment into a reality. This RAMP site is operated by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center's Human Development Center in New Orleans, LA.

    Keith, Davon, Yashonda, and Louis are all gainfully employed since learning how to complete job applications, how to successfully perform in job interviews, and how to dress for success for interviews and the workplace. The RAMP mission was to provide meaningful practice of each of these skills for students. The students’ mission was to follow-through by applying their new skills in the real world. These four students did that and are now gainfully employed in our community. Their victory proves that setting goals and putting the necessary effort into achieving those goals pays off. Congratulations to these four students!

  • Thu, 03/08/2012 - 10:05

    After a $1.5 billion summer and year-round youth jobs bill was not in Congress, President Obama called upon the nation's private sector to create a quarter million job opportunities for youth by this summer. The White House branded its youth summer jobs initiative as Summer Jobs+ 2012, which is housed at the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

    Thirty-five companies, including some in the technology industry, have pledged support. leading the White House to create an opportunity called SummerQAmp, an opportunity for youth and young adults to gain entry-level experience in the technology industry with quality assurance positions, which are pivotal in the development of smart phone apps and other software. During SummerQAmp internships, youth will gain a  fundamental understanding of how software works and receive access to educational resources to assist them in preparing for a potential career in software development.

    Learn more at...

  • Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:42

     

    The partners of the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), in collaboration with Concepts Inc., are creating a new public service announcement (PSA) focusing on the contributions by youths with disabilities.

    In 2009, CDE launched the award winning “I Can” PSA highlighting the skills and abilities of employees with disabilities. CDE and Concept Inc. are currently seeking youth participants with disabilities to be featured, and possible scenes in the PSA include:

    • A child (elementary school age) who is blind or has an intellectual disability
    • A child (middle or high school age) with a disability who participates in a sport
    • A child (middle or high school age) with a disability who is involved in student council or other leadership activities
    • A child (middle or high school age) with a disability who is involved in theater/drama
    • A high school student or young adult who works in a non-office environment (workshop, auto shop, retail)
    • A young adult who works in a science-oriented environment (lab, hospital, medical office)
    •  

    Young adults and youths with disabilities interested in participating in this opportunity should have their parents or guardians (when applicable) contact Concepts, Inc. Representative Rebecca Skipper at rskipper@conceptspr.com or 202-316-8290.  

  • Fri, 02/24/2012 - 10:37

     

    The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy released a cluster of activities related to workplace soft skills called "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success." This curriculum focuses on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the curriculum is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. Several RAMP sites helped pilot and inform the curriculum. These sites included Cerebral Palsy of Colorado in Denver, Florida Crown Workforce Development Board in Lake City, and the Independent Living Resource Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville.

  • Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:44

    The president launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This campaign will include efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math. Learn more at the White House website!

  • Mon, 10/10/2011 - 10:58

    Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM as it has become known, is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme, "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities," focuses on improving employment opportunities that lead to good jobs and a secure economic future for people with disabilities — and America. This theme emphasizes the dividend we all gain by increasing employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

    Read more the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy press release, which includes a video from Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy.

  • Wed, 07/06/2011 - 13:04

    Stephanie Orlando, Director of New York-based YOUTH POWER! speaks at a podium near a floral arrangement.President Obama announced his intent to nominate Stephanie Orlando to serve on the presidentially appointed National Council on Disability (NCD). Orlando works for YOUTH POWER!, a program of Families Together in New York State. YOUTH POWER! is the state coordinating entity for the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program in New York State; and Families Together in Albany County is one of the three New York RAMP sites.

    NCD is a small, independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of fifteen Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees , an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff.

    Orlando is the Director of YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in New York State, a statewide advocacy network comprised of young people who have disabilities and experience in state child-serving systems. After receiving children’s mental health, special education and residential services herself, Orlando has become a strong advocate for youth with disabilities on county, state and national levels. Beginning in 2006, she served a term as Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Committee to the National Council on Disability. Orlando serves on the New York State Commissioners’ Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children & Youth, the New York State Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, the New York Mental Health Services Planning Council, and the Board of Directors of the Children’s Mental Health Coalition of Western New York. She received the Diana Vietz Award in 2008 from the National Council on Independent Living, the mpower Award in 2006 from Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) and the 2004 Erie County Executive Award for Disability Employment Awareness Month. Orlando earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2005 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

    Read the White House press release here.

  • Wed, 07/06/2011 - 10:53

    Cover of Walter L. Cohen High School's "Health Sciences Annual" featuring four photos of youth in academy and extracurricular settings.The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program operated by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center's Human Development Center (LSUHSC HDC) in New Orleans, LA was featured in Walter L. Cohen High School's Health Sciences Annual. Cohen High School is one of two schools in New Orleans in which LSUHSC HDC operates RAMP. Cohen High School is an Academy of Health Sciences, where students graduate with certification and endorsements in the pre-medical, nursing, sports medicine, nutrition, and first responder/EMS fields. The Health Sciences Annual is a yearly student-written publication highlighting health care-related programming at the school. RAMP youth at Cohen wrote the article.

    Read the article "Programs and Partnerships: RAMP and SOS on LSUHSC HDC's website.

  • Tue, 06/07/2011 - 10:12

    IHEP Brief Cover: The Role of Mentoring in College Access and Success (logos and text)The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) released a brief entitled "The Role of Mentoring in College Access and Success." The brief, authored by the Pathways to College Network (an IHEP program) and the National College Access Network, aims to serve as a tangible resource for individuals from college access programs, youth development organizations, and advocacy.

    In identifying the role of mentoring in college, the brief provides a set of effective practices—grounded in research—for professionals at the K-12 or higher education level who are interested in starting mentoring programs or improving existing efforts. The brief addresses topics related to program planning; mentor recruitment, training, and matching; and monitoring program effectiveness.

  • Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:30

    Staff of the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) in Albany, NY, which is operated by Youth Power – Families Together in New York State, will be recognized by the New York State Office of Mental Health, Division of Children’s and Families (OMH) for their hard work and innovation in promoting children’s social emotional development through RAMP. RAMP Coordinator Zach Garafalo, youth and families involved in the program have been invited to speak at the OMH award ceremony and celebration on May 9th, 2011. May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and the first week of May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

    Many youth in the RAMP program have mental health needs as well as other disabilities. Based on the NCWD/Youth’s Paving the Way to Work career-focused mentoring guide and Guideposts for Success framework, RAMP provides high tech, career-focused group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring for youth with disabilities involved with or at-risk of becoming involved with the juvenile justice system. RAMP operates in 12 sites nationwide under the leadership of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) Center for Workforce Development with funding from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

  • Fri, 05/20/2011 - 15:26

    The RAMP site operated by Families Together in Albany County, New York has an employer partnership that was recently highlighted in the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth's Blog. The partnership is with the entertainment software firm Vicarious Visions. In addition to providing a mentor, and worksite and career exploration activities, Vicarious Visions is providing technical assistance to Albany youth creating a video game as their end-of-year project. Read the blog at www.ncwd-youth.info/blog/?p=136 .


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