PROJECT NAME: Peer Leadership Program (PL)
PROJECT LOCATION: Western Massachusetts
Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc. (PYD), which empowers youth with physical, sensory and learning disabilities to reach their personal, educational and career goals by providing one-to-one and group mentoring programs where adult mentors with disabilities act as positive role models and provide support, understanding and guidance.
FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy
POPULATION SERVED: Youth with disabilities between the ages of 16-24
SERVICE TYPE: The PL Program provides opportunities for young adults with disabilities to develop leadership and job readiness skills through involvement in group mentoring and after school community service.
Established in 1998, the PL Program is based on Peer Leaders who participate in training sessions that feature team building activities, skill development and panel discussions on topics such as leadership, conflict resolution, effective communication, advocacy, disability awareness and independent living. All Peer Leaders learn the value of community service and contribute a significant amount of time to PYD programs and outside projects that will have a meaningful impact on the community. As inspirational youth leaders, Peer Leaders emulate the role modeling mission pioneered by PYD’s adult mentors.