Emerging Leaders Northwest Sponsors Youth Led Transition Activities

A Project of the Oregon Institute on Disability & Development at OHSU (UCEDD)

November 3, 2011

Emerging Leaders Northwest (ELNW) at the Oregon Institute on Disability & Development at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), UCEDD, is a youth led resource center for young people with disabilities ages 13 - 30 which provides training and resources on leadership, independence, graduating from high school and going on to college, self-advocacy, employment skills and living a healthy lifestyle.  Youth leaders facilitate training for their peers and act as mentors. Youth leaders also gain valuable employment experience by participating in internships in business and non-profit entities.  During the five years since its inception ELNW and its partners have trained over a thousand youth with disabilities and placed twenty-five youth with disabilities in mentored employment internships.

Youth leaders and community partners present a wide variety of social, training and mentoring activities designed to promote leadership and independence in youth with disabilities throughout the state of Oregon.

Youth with disabilities ACT NOW!

Emerging Leaders Northwest has formed ELNW Players, a youth-led, fully inclusive theater company for youth and without disabilities.   Through partnership with theatrical professionals, technicians, students and disability service providers, ELNW Players will present established and original productions as a way of learning their craft, developing independence, leadership skills and meeting new friends.

Youth with and without disabilities will participate in all aspects of production from playwriting to the final curtain.   ELNW Players Production Team includes youth leaders with and without disabilities as well as disability service providers and theatrical professionals.   The team is currently planning our initial production set for the fall of 2012!  

In partnership with the Oregon Parent Training Institute, youth leaders participating in ELNW have been responsible for designing and implementing the youth transition track at the Building Futures Transition Conference in Salem Oregon for the past three years. 

In June of this year, Emerging Leaders Northwest started a new chapter in Salem Oregon.  Community partners include the Oregon Parent Training Institute and the Swindells Center for Children.  Youth leaders participating in Emerging Leaders Salem (ELS) are planning an art show for young artists with disabilities as an outreach event for the summer of 2012.