The 17th Annual Missouri Youth Leadership Forum will be held July 2019.

Dates and application information will be available soon.

The Missouri Youth Leadership Forum is a unique career leadership-training program for high school students with disabilities, ages 16 – 21. Youth delegates are selected from their local communities to cultivate leadership, citizenship, social, and career development skills at this summer program.

What is the Missouri Youth Leadership Forum?


What are the goals of the Missouri Youth Leadership Forum?

  • Develop leadership skills to ensure that all youth with disabilities will realize their full potential
  • Develop career strategies that increase the youth’s potential for employment
  • Promote inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society
  • Participate in policymaking or practices that affect youth people with disabilities

Why is the Missouri Youth Leadership Forum only for students with disabilities?

It is important for students with disabilities to meet other students who share similar experiences. Through the course of four days, students build pride and self-esteem and learn from each other. Youth begin building a supportive community.

The key success to the Missouri Youth Leadership Forum is leadership by example. As part of the program, students meet successful adults with disabilities who share similar challenges. This framework provides an atmosphere of encouragement which helps youth realize their ability to pursue meaningful employment and become contributing members of society.

How are students selected?

Youth are selected through a statewide competitive process that seeks students with disabilities who have leadership potential. Each applicant submits a standard application, resume and three reference forms.

The student delegates will represent a cross section of Missouri in terms of geography, gender, economic status, ethnicity and different types of disabilities.

What is the agenda?

  • Learning and applying leadership principles
  • Understanding the disability experience and sharing resources
  • Assistive technology
  • Building independent living skills and setting career goals
  • Developing advocacy skills

What is the cost?

The Missouri Youth Leadership Forum is available to student delegates at NO COST. If you would like to help defray the cost of this program, please make your tax-deductible donation payable to the MO-YLF dba Paraquad and mail to:

Paraquad, Inc.
Attn: Jeffrey Lee
5240 Oakland Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110

How do I apply?

Download the application and mail, fax or email to:

Governor's Council on Disability
Missouri Youth Leadership Forum
P.O. Box 1668
Jefferson City, Missouri 65201-1668
(Fax) 573-526-4109

Who serves as staff at the Forum?

In addition to staff from the Governor's Council on Disability and our partnering agencies, qualified volunteers are needed to staff the Forum. If you are interested in participating as a Facilitator, Team Member, Community Volunteer, Personal Care Assistant, Dorm Parent, or Mentor, please complete the application below.

Application: PDF version or Word version.

To see descriptions of all the positions that are available, visit this link for PDF version or Word version.

Who Hosts the Missouri Youth Leadership Forum?

The Missouri Youth Leadership Forum is hosted by the Governor's Council on Disability and Paraquad.

The following documents provide an educational tool for recruiting youth delegates to attend the annual Missouri Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities, to be held July 10 - 14, 2018 at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Sample Resume

Calling All Leaders!

Link to the National Youth Leadership Network

Link to National Associations of Youth Leadership Forums

Slide Shows from previous Missouri Youth Leadership Forums

2014 Missouri Youth Leadership Forum YouTube Video

2013 Missouri Youth Leadership Forum YouTube Video

2012 Missouri Youth Leadership Forum YouTube Video

2011 Missouri Youth Leadership Forum Slide Show