Blazing the Trail: A New Direction for Youth Development & Leadership

Wednesday, August 15, 2007- Friday, August 17, 2007
Location: Arlington, VA


Please join us for this national invitational summit taking place in the Washington, DC area. Participants in Blazing the Trail will have the exciting chance to identify strategies for improving policy and practice in the youth development and leadership (YD&L) field. We know that it is essential for all youth, including youth with disabilities, to have opportunities to access and participate in a range of positive youth development and leadership activities in order to become contributing members of society. The purpose and goals of the YD&L Summit are to:

  • Increase knowledge and awareness of the value of youth development and leadership across multiple constituencies, systems, and sectors;
  • Develop strategic partnerships between governmental agencies and non-governmental entities such as foundations and non-profit organizations to support youth development and leadership activities;
  • Increase access to and support the growth of youth development and leadership for all youth, including youth with disabilities; and
  • Foster greater inclusion of youth with disabilities, including those with mental health needs, in mainstream youth development and leadership programs.

Blazing the Trail is being sponsored by the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and multiple other federal youth-serving agencies and non-profit organizations, as well as the Mitsibishi Electric America Foundation and the HSC Foundation.

What You Need to Know
All YD&L Summit activities will take place at the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia, 22202) conveniently located minutes from downtown Washington, DC and Reagan National Airport. A block of rooms has been reserved at the special YD&L Summit rate of $162/night for August 15-17, 2007. In order to receive this rate, hotel reservations must be made by Friday, July 13th. The hotel has a number of accessible rooms available for participants. Please request an accessible room, if needed, when making your reservation. The requests will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Participants are expected to cover the costs of their own transportation and hotel stay. Limited scholarship assistance is available to encourage participation of a variety of individuals, particularly youth and family members. If you need assistance, you will have the chance to inform us of this during the online registration process.

Registration Information

Online Registration is now available at the Blazing the Trail website.  Registration is due June 29, 2007.  On the website you will also find instructions on making hotel reservations and information on scholarship opportunities. Once live, please check the website regularly for updates to the agenda, preparatory material, and related resources.

If you have questions, please email Barbara Kaufmann.