The Governor’s Council on Disability announces its annual Youth Leadership Award. The award is to recognize an outstanding Missouri youth (age 16-26) with a disability that has demonstrated exemplary leadership by making a difference in their community.

A youth with disability shall meet one or more of these criteria for the award: be engaged in activities that improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Missouri or demonstrate social activism that improves their community in Missouri.

The Governor’s Council on Disability is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Youth Leadership Award. Please see the instructions for nominations for more information and complete the nomination form.

Choose ONE of the following forms to submit a nomination:

2021 Youth Leadership Award – Instructions for Nominations

2021 Youth Leadership Award Flyer

2021 GCD Awards Flyer

2020 Winners

Winner: Luke Barber

Winner: Luke Barber

Luke Barber is a passionate leader on the education and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities in Missouri. Luke is studying public policy and social work at University of Missouri St. Louis, where he founded the Able-Disable Partnership, a student club advocating for building modifications and learning accommodations. Luke serves on the St. Louis County Commission on Disabilities and works at Easterseals Midwest where he provides courses on rights, responsibilities, self-advocacy and self-determination for people with disabilities. He connects with legislators regularly to advocate for the rights of the disability community.

Honorable Mention: Olivia Apollo

Honorable Mention: Olivia Apollo

Olivia Apollo is a leader in her community and at Webster University, where she studies anthropology and international studies, and joined Access U, a career development program for college students with disabilities. Olivia serves as an orientation and connection leader and advocates for accessibility on campus. As a camp counselor for Dream Big, a career exploration camp for youth with disabilities, she had an incredible impact on the participants by empowering them to feel more confident and applying their self-advocacy skills.

For additional information, please contact the Council at 573-751-2600 or by email at

2019 Winners

2018 Winner

2017 Winner

2016 Winner

2015 Winner

2014 Winner

2013 Winner