On March 22nd, ECNV proudly hosted the I Am Self-Advocacy Program Showcase, a virtual event that allowed those in attendance to learn what the program is all about from the youth and young adults that participated in the pilot program.
The I Am Self-Advocacy Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Program is for youth and young adults with disabilities, ages 16-22. The program allows participants to explore their abilities and discover their power to create change, speak up for themselves, and plan for future employment in a fun learning environment with their peers. During the span of 8 weeks, the participants discussed topics integral to self-advocacy such as self-awareness, disability awareness and self-determination, disability rights and responsibilities, how to be assertive, and how to engage allies and be an ally to others. Lea Kundratic and Tracee Gardner also discussed the future plans for the program, including the upcoming spring session beginning on April 4th.
During the showcase, program alumni discussed their advocacy journey, described what was learned from the program, what goals they currently have, and how they are using what they learned in their daily lives. Alumnus Veronica Boshkin from the Fall Session and Jack Erickson from the current, Winter Session, joined Lea Kundratic and Tracee Garner to answer questions on their experiences in the program sessions, as well as talked about how they are doing presently. Lead Co-facilitator for the program, Lea Kundratic said that “The I Am Self-Advocacy program is designed to help students learn advocacy so they can help themselves but also so that they can empower others.”
The Spring Session will start April 4th. If you have a young adult/youth that is interested in taking part, please contact the Program Coordinator, Hannah Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ECNV’s office number at 703-525-3268.