TROY—Forty high school students with disabilities will get lessons in how state government works and take part in team-building and leadership exercises as a part of the Alabama Governor’s Youth Leadership Forum at Troy University, June 7-11.
Some 40 volunteer staff members made up of TROY students and former YLF student delegates will join 15 health professionals, hearing-impaired interpreters and instructors on the Troy Campus for the event.
The Forum is co-sponsored by the University’s Institute for Leadership Development, the Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation, the Alabama Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Montgomery Center for Independent Living, the Alabama Department of Education and Troy University.
The Forum will include large- and small-group discussions of topics ranging from self-support to the challenges of leadership.
“We focus on teambuilding, relationship skills, and teaching them how to be advocates for themselves and others with disabilities,” said Dr. John Kline, the Institute for Leadership Development’s director. “One of our goals is to show these young people they can achieve things even with a disability. Some of these students have never been away from home before; this is a great opportunity for them to have new experiences.”
In addition, Troy University First Lady Janice Hawkins will lead participants in a discussion of proper table etiquette during a luncheon beginning at 11:40 a.m. on Monday in room 119 of Jack Hawkins, Jr. Hall.
On June 10, delegates will travel to Montgomery to meet with Legislative leaders at the Alabama State House, tour the State Capitol and meet with Gov. Bob Riley. From there, delegates will attend a Mentors Luncheon at the Retirement Systems of Alabama’s Activity Center where they will hear from guest speakers who have overcome the challenges of disabilities.