Montana Youth Leadership Forum (MYLF) will be held again this year July 18-22. We are expecting a record high of 25 students this year, with one from Ravalli County. The students have the opportunity to spend one week free at Carroll College in Helena, MT, with other students with disabilities from across the state, learning valuable resources and leadership skills. One of the days is spent at the state capitol learning about government and spending some time with actual legislators before taking the afternoon in session debating a mock bill.
This opportunity is open to high school students with all types of disabilities across the state, so please make sure to get your or your young person’s application in for MYLF 2012, which will be available online following this year’s forum at www.montanaylf.org.
The MYTransitions project has set a date for their annual transition conference. Save the Date for Nov. 9, 10 and 11 in Great Falls. For more information contact June Hermanson at 406-442-2576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the legislature’s cut in funding for the MYTransitions project, we will be holding an online auction on Nov. 4, 2011 in order to benefit the project and their goals, which include a statewide transition conference, a statewide transition website and Disability Mentoring Day. Some items that the project has secured already include MacKenzie River Pizza Coupons, Wolf framed photos, a Charlie Russell World Print, Hand-made jewelry and a Cancun trip. We would appreciate any items that you may have come across that you would feel comfortable donating to the auction. There are donation/sponsorship forms available upon request for items donated to the project. Some ideas that are good sellers include Montana Grizzly items, football tickets, Montana State Bobcat items, gift cards to chain restaurants and the like. If you are artistic, handmade items such as wood carvings, furniture, quilts, afghans and scarf/hat combos are also great additions. Contact June Hermanson for more information.
Another successful year has been completed! We had the privilege of teaching Building Advocacy and Learning Leadership Skills at Big Sky, Hellgate and Sentinel schools in Missoula, Frenchtown and Florence schools. We also gave mini-presentations to Alberton School and Arlee School! This Fall we will start up with a new crop of students at all of these schools, as well as adding a Stevensville School to the list! If you would like to see a presentation or get information at your local school, please contact Mike Beers at (406) 728-1630 or email@example.com.
On May 10, 18 YODA members got together for a Nerf “capture the flag” team-building event. A few of the youth helped in the planning process and we had a great time. Chris Clasby from Montech hooked up a Nerf gun with a sip n’ puff so a youth who could not grip the trigger could use it. On June 29 the group got together and watched the documentary Murderball, which is about a wheelchair rugby team.
The Youth Task Force now meets every second Tuesday of the month at 4:00 p.m. We are trying to improve youth transition outcomes statewide. If you would like to join this call please contact Mike Beers at (406) 728-1630 or Mary Olson at
On June 16, Jude Monson, Darren Larson and Cara Wherley started their first summer school class at Big Sky High School. We are teaching a disability awareness class. We will focus on disability awareness and attitudes toward disabilities and meet with the students every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. until July 7.
Cara Wherley, Youth Specialist