YDAS Emerging Young Leaders Program

– The YDAS Emerging Young Leaders Program is a leadership building
program for teenagers, with disability, any type of disability, it’s by the Youth
Disability Advocacy Service. And we’ve just run this
program to kind of upskill them and give them more formalised
leadership training. – The goal of the program is
to equip them with the tools, the confidence, the knowledge,
they need to increase their careers, their
education, their volunteerism, whatever they want to do, it’s all about their
personal goals as a leader. – Well, what do you want
to do in the future? And how can we set you up for that? what’s so special about this program is that it gives them the
skills and empowers them, and then let’s them do what they want, which I don’t think many programs do. – This Emerging Young
Leadership Program is for people with disability and we
made sure it was designed by and with people with disability, young people with disability
have made this program then get to be the
beneficiaries of it too. – As an educator, I think
the program has been really positive, providing an opportunity for our students to flourish and to be able to network
and make those connections has been really important. Our students need to have a voice. and it obviously helps them as they become young
adults in the community. Independence for our students is probably one of the key factors in
them becoming young adults. – When I was first told about it, I was not really expecting
this. I was expecting, here’s what you do,
what ideas do you have, and then just go off and do it. But I didn’t think we’re
going to come back here and do it for like four
weeks but I’ve enjoyed it. – The first week, I really
noticed the different types of communication,
like you know sign language and devices. And I just really understood
and I just feel like as the weeks have gone
by, It just really hit me that many people have many
ways of communicating. – The program started in cooperation with the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The Duke of Edinburgh
is a very common Award around the world. So they wanted to work with YDAS to make The Duke of
Edinburgh more accessible. YDAS also thought well,
leadership is really important for for young people with disability to start taking those roles as they grow. And as they kind of
infiltrate society and lead, and so it was a bit of a
combination of those two coming together and both both would get the outcome they were after. – I had a couple of wow
moments with our students actually sharing with the
other members of their group, which was really special, I think. It’s been really terrific that
the environment has made them feel quite comfortable where they can, you know, have a voice. – The Emerging Leaders Program
taught me a lot of things that I need just in life. And it also taught me how to advocate for myself and others. – As a leader, it’s all about others and is not about the
leader, him or herself. – My best leadership skill
is to support other people, after the workshop, I’m really interested in doing Child Protection. – What I’ve learned here
for the last four weeks, I’ll definitely use in
the future and present – Before the program, I
never thought of Advocacy as a career, and now I
kind of know a little bit of my career path
which I want to take. – It’s gonna give me confidence to go out there, and put my mind to things
that I’m passionate about. – I’m really excited to
see what this program goes. I think it’s for all young people who identify as living with a disability or with a difference. So I think that opens up so many doors as to where it can be applicable, whether that’s, you
know, specialist schools or schools that maybe have
a higher quota of students with disabilities. There’s just so many
ways it can be applied and it’s really exciting to think about where it could go from here.

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