Since bringing on two new youth program coordinators—Ash Alunan and Camiel Silvas—our youth programs at TheCIL have been coming up with some new and exciting things…
We are excited to announce that TheCIL was accepted to participate in the 2022 Minority Youth and Centers for Independent Living (MY-CIL) learning collaborative. We are proud to be one of only nine organizations accepted from across the country! The MY-CIL learning collaborative allows in-depth discussions and exploration of topics by smaller groups consisting of other independent living centers. During the collaboration, we will be focusing on how we can better provide support and resources for youth with disabilities from racial and ethnically diverse populations. TheCIL’s proposed project will be a resource supporting youth from minority backgrounds with disabilities and connecting them to future opportunities.
TheCIL had the fantastic opportunity to join Otis Elementary’s Virtual Read-A-Thon! Ash Alunan, Helena Chang, and Zayda Ortiz read the children’s book “I Talk Like a River” by Jordan Scott and Sydney Smith. The book is about a young child with a disability and captures what it feels like to grow up with a stutter. This story is as much about observant, loving parenting as it is about the struggle to speak fluently, as the boy’s father generously equips his son with a metaphorical framework to understand and even take pride in his stutter. For language accessibility, we have English, Chinese, and Spanish versions available on YouTube.
Building partnerships with HS and Colleges in the area
Over the last several months, our Accelerate program has hosted several presentations on the various services offered at TheCIL and standalone workshops discussing the ADA, Disclosure, and Workplace Accommodations to local colleges and universities. Additionally, we participated in an Employer Connections Panel for students with disabilities at UC Berkeley. We discussed the services one can receive at TheCIL, upcoming programming and workshops, and an inside perspective working for a nonprofit organization catered to the disabled population/community. As the semester continues, we have more upcoming and exciting partnerships that we will participate in.
Social Club has been meeting monthly and gives youth with disabilities the opportunity to connect with their peers and enjoy fun activities! Students can socialize and improve their communication skills during each Social Club event. Recently, we have hosted various activities such as Game Night, Chair Yoga and Meditation, and Origami Night. We are excited to host more engaging activities in the coming months!
Coastal Connections (COCO) Youth program aims to teach and encourage youths with disabilities and young adults of color to utilize public transportation to connect with nature, especially the coastal environment. We are excited to announce that we have received grant funding and will be developing this program in the coming months. Through our program, we will build the youth’s skills in public transit traveling, environmental stewardship, and activism in ecological accessibility for all.