SKIL was created by; is driven by; and is focused on persons with disabilities, their families, and communities. We provide Advocacy, Education,and Support with Customer Controlled services to break down and remove existing barriers and bridge social gaps to ensure and preserve Equality and Independence for all.


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KANSAS YOUTH EMPOWERMENT ACADEMY ASSISTING DISABLED YOUTH

by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker

The mission statement for the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA)  is “to educate, mentor, and support youth with disabilities to be contributing members of their community.”

The organization, established in 2005, works to empower and support youth with disabilities throughout the state. “What that means is we provide different programs and different services to help them learn about their disabilities and learn about possibilities for their future,” explains Program Coordinator Carrie Greenwood. “We do goal setting and make them aware of resources that are available to them. We help them to be proud of who they are as a person with a disability.”

KYEA introduces the youth to other people with disabilities who are working and leading successful lives in order to demonstrate the opportunity potential for their future. The age range for the disabled young KYEA assists range between the ages of five and 25.

Some of the programs KYEA offers are the Faces of Change program, the Empower Me series workshop, and most notably the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum. The first Youth Leadership Forum was held in California in 1992. The first Kansas Youth Leadership Forum was held in the summer of 2001. The forum is a motivational five-day conference containing 25-30 high school juniors and seniors with disabilities who come together to learn about leadership, advocacy, and goal setting.

This year’s Kansas Youth Leadership Forum will be held on July 9-14, 2018 at Washburn University in Topeka. High school students interested in attending can find out more information at the event’s website (http://www.kyea.org/upcomingksylf).