KSYLF 15 Press Release


The Kansas Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (KSYLF) is gearing up for its fifteenth annual program. Twenty motivated young leaders have been selected to attend the 2015 forum. This year’s KSYLF will be held July 14 – 18 at Washburn University in Topeka. The forum is coordinated by the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA), a youth-driven, non-profit organization that educates, mentors, and supports youth with disabilities in Kansas to be contributing members of their community.

The theme for this year’s forum will be “LEAD: Do It With Purpose!” Participants will learn the importance of not just leading as a young person with a disability, but having a true purpose behind that leadership. Delegates will learn that leadership is not about being in the spotlight, but rather having the motivation to make a change within their own lives and the lives of others. They will explore their reason for wanting to be a leader, as well as their individual abilities and experiences that contribute to their leadership potential. Ultimately, the delegates will be encouraged to make a difference as leaders in their communities and in our state. A diverse group of delegates were selected to attend the 2015 KSYLF, including students from a variety of cities in Kansas with a wide range of disabilities. Those students are listed below:

Ian Andrews, Leawood
Xeiver Capps, Hutchinson
Mitchell Earley, Prairie Village
Jake Gibson, Scott City
Ammaarah Haq, Lawrence
Andrew Holland, Lansing
Joshua Hunnel, Lawrence
Patricia Jarvis, Baldwin City
Joshua McReynolds, Kansas City
Jessica Miller, Lawrence
Molly Ogden, Lawrence
Olivia Ramirez, Lawrence
Brittany Reynolds, Topeka
Nikki Robbins, Tonganoxie
Maribel Saenz, Tecumseh
Amber Shade, Emporia
Amara Shull, Cottonwood Falls
Margaret Sitz, Dodge City
Cassandra Thonus, Lawrence
Matthew Whaley, Lawrence

The KSYLF is an annual conference that is heading into its fifteenth year serving students with disabilities across the state. During the forum, delegates enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment! Through various large and small sessions, delegates are able to learn about and explore various topics related to leadership. They are able to set goals for the future and develop their very own Personal Leadership Plan. A trip to the Capital is always a highlight of the week, as well as a mentor luncheon where delegates are paired with an adult mentor from their community. Other fun activities include a recreation session, a real life fair, a barbeque, a talent show, and a dance, which is always a delegate favorite!

For more information about the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum, please contact Carrie Greenwood, Program Coordinator, toll free at 866.577.5932 or via e-mail at carrieg@kyea.org. More information can also be found on the KSYLF section of the KYEA website at www.kyea.org.

The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy is made possible through a grant from Kansas Rehabilitation Services.

To learn more about KSYLF, visit the KSYLF section of our website.