Youth Topical Calls

Youth Topical Calls

APRIL Youth Peer to Peer Mentoring Topical Trainings

APRIL understands that across the country youth and young adults is the hot topic. Many Centers for Independent Living and Statewide Independent Living Councils are unsure how to get youth involved.  This year we have asked our youth expert mentors to present on topics that could assist your goals of starting a program or growing the existing youth involvement you may already have. 

Every other month we will have one mentor present on a topic that is often discussed in our Youth Peer to Peer Mentoring for $25 per site per training.  The mentor will present for the first 30 minutes, and then the next 30 minutes will be an opportunity for an open discussion amongst all callers on that topic.  During that time, we can brainstorm, share experiences, and ask questions while we learn from each other with the guidance of our mentor. We understand that not everyone is at the point in their CIL or SILC to have a Youth Peer to Peer, but we want to support and assist the best way we can with these calls. 

 We hope that you will join us and if you would like more of an individual experience or training you can contact our Youth Programs Coordinator, Sierra Royster at 919-567-3602 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Strengthening Youth Involvement in Your CIL
December 6th, 2017 3:00-4:00pm EST (2:00pm CST, 1:00pm MST, 12:00pm PST)
Presenter: Grant Heffelfinger
$25 Per Site


Having trouble keeping youth involved in your CIL programming? Are you struggling to keep the youths’ attention? This session will equip you with strategies to hosting a youth-friendly environment/event at your CIL. Attendees will be able to develop the skills needed to naturally include youth with disabilities in programs, services, and issues that are important to the youth. There will be examples of events that have worked well that included youth with disabilities at other CILs. This webinar will help CIL staff get the youth passionate about the issues that affect them!

Individual Registration

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Save the Date for the 2018 Schedule  2:00-3:30pm EST (1:00-2:30pm CST, 12:00-1:30pm MST, 11:00am-12:30pm PST)

  • February 7th, 2018- Sierra Royster and Paula McElwee -Youth Service Making Sense of the FAQ
  • April 4th, 2018- Dustin Gibson -The Impact of School Suspensions
  • June 6th, 2018– Zach Garafalo and Melissa Ann Santora Youth at the Table and Active SILC Members
  • August 1st, 2018- Charlie Walters-Balancing Systems Advocacy Efforts with Self-Advocacy Skill Development in K-12 Education
  • October 3rd, 2018- Susan Cervellera-Disability History
  • December 5th, 2018- Grant Heffelfinger-LGBTQ+ Community

Member Rates: Annual Rate (registering and paying for all 6 trainings in the series): $180
Per Training Rate: $35

Non-Member Rates: Annual Rate (registering and paying for all 6 trainings in the series): $250
Per Training Rate: $50



Youth Peer to Peer

APRIL Youth Peer to Peer

Overview and Application

How to Apply:

In order to receive a Youth Peer to Peer for your CIL, SILC, or YLF you can complete the application and submit it to Sierra Royster, Youth Programs Coordinator.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 919-567-3602



Overview of Mentoring


If chosen for a mentoring, provided through ILRU and the IL-Net the entire $2500+ fee of the Peer Mentor expenses including travel are covered for 3 mentoring’s a year; or vice versa- the mentee (your) travel expenses to the mentor's site would be covered.

What is included?

What to Expect

  • A Peer Mentor, chosen by you because of skills and/or experiences similar to your requests, will make a two-day, on-site visit to your CIL to work with you, staff and/or board or council and then follow up through teleconferencing, email, or video chat for at least 1 year while you work through your goals set with the mentor.
    Peer Mentees would gain free access to the Youth Talk call series for the 1 year following the mentoring.
    Project Background
  • The idea of the Youth Peer-to-Peer project was first developed by the attendees of the 2009 APRIL Youth Pre-Conference in Puerto Rico and in 2010, the youth provided their first Youth Peer Mentoring to one CIL in Indiana. The Youth-Peer-to-Peer project is similar to APRIL’s CIL-to-CIL and SILC-to-SILC mentoring projects, except it was developed and ran by youth rather than Executive Directors. Also, youth from around the country collected resources they and others had been using in their programs. These materials and new ideas that come from you all as you receive mentoring’s or as you want to contribute can be used in future mentoring sessions with Centers who want to develop or modify their own youth programs.


Sponsors and Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our sponsors. We believe this project helps facilitate the growth and improvement of youth transition and related services at CILs, and empowers rural youth with disabilities to get more involved with APRIL and lead the Independent Living Movement in the future.

This project was developed by a group of dedicated APRIL youth members. Below are the individuals who were responsible for the beginnings of the Youth Peer-to-Peer Project, and their organizations:

  • Mike Beers – Summit Independent Living Center
  • Chiaki Gonda – formerly employed at, Research and Training Center on Independent Living
  • Carrie Greenwood – Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy
  • Alex Jackson – formerly employed at, Disability Resource Center
  • Mary Olson – formerly employed at, Summit Independent Living Center
  • Sierra Royster – formerly employed at, Alliance of Disability Advocates
  • and Kathy Hatch, former Training and Assistance Director at APRIL

This project is sponsor by:

  • Independent Living and Research Utilization (ILRU)

Start up funders included:

  • Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas
  • Easter Seals ProjectACTION
  • Association of the Program for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)


Meet the Mentors:

Below is an image with all of the trainings that have completed thus far.

APRIL Youth Map Final