YA Rising Leaders Program
The Tourette Association of America is very proud of the Youth Ambassador Program since its start, and the Rising Leaders Program was developed to expand and strengthen it. Designed for ages 18-25 who have been previously trained as a Youth Ambassador, as well as motivated young adults dedicated to raising TS awareness, this program will provide an educational experience and a chance to mentor the new Youth Ambassadors being trained.
The goal of the Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program is to educate young adults from all over the country about Tourette Syndrome (TS) and to spread tolerance of and an increased understanding about TS. Rising Leaders join a community of civically engaged volunteers working to improve the quality of life of individuals with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders.
In addition, the program will aid youth advocates to transition into becoming an adult advocate for their community. Aimed at creating exceptional adult leaders and advocates, it will include workshops focused on education in three areas:
(1) advanced presentations and community involvement
(2) personal and professional development
(3) practical application of leadership and mentoring skills.
Rising Leaders will become empowered to effect change and spread awareness in their community.
Informational Webinar on Rising Leaders Program
The Rising Leader (RL) will play a key role in increasing awareness and understanding of Tourette Syndrome in their community. RLs are expected to practice what is learned in the training, identify presentation and volunteer opportunities in the community, and spread awareness to interested groups in partnership with the Tourette Association of America and, when available, their local Tourette Association Chapter/ Support Group. In addition, the RL is expected to be a mentor to YAs and an ambassador for the Tourette Association. The Youth Ambassador RL Training Program is designed to give the RL skills that are needed to complete the minimum yearly expectations. Rising Leaders are also asked to volunteer at least 5 hours a month by meeting the following expectations. These expectations include but are not limited to the following:
- Become an active TS advocate and learn about the issues impacting the Tourette community.
- Prepare short statements (written and verbal) to explain TS and its impact on your (or a diagnosed individual’s) life.
- Be active on social media regarding TS and be interviewed by your local media.
- Meet, call, or write to federal and local elected officials.
- Attend functions to present short presentations about TS and network with community members.
- Participate in Public Policy Action Alerts and recruit other local activists to support grassroots advocacy efforts.
- Participate in Tourette Syndrome awareness month (May 15-June 15).
- Mentor Youth Ambassadors and youth with TS.
The role varies throughout the year, and is often linked directly to major annual events. For example, a Rising Leader might work with a local university to table at major events during Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month (May 15-June 15) of each year.
Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program Requirements:
- Must be between 18-25 years old and have a demonstrated interest and dedication to educating the public about Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. Parents are not expected to attend the Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders program.
- May or may not have a diagnosis of TS.
- Must be willing to be a peer mentor to a new Youth Ambassador.
- Must have a clear understanding of Tourette Syndrome. You will be trained; however, you must accept responsibility to become proficient in and comfortable with speaking about Tourette Syndrome.
- Must be comfortable with public speaking.
- Must possess good communication skills – both verbal and written.
- Must be willing to share your personal experience/story about Tourette Syndrome with the public and with elected officials.
- Be a supporter of the Tourette Association of America at any level.
- Preference will be given to those with prior experience with TS outreach & education efforts.
Rising Leader Peer Mentoring:
Peer mentors can provide valuable support to youth with Tourette Syndrome by offering not only academic and career guidance, but also by being a role model for leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. A peer mentor can assist youth with Tourette Syndrome by listening, teaching and offering encouragement, suggestions, and referrals to resources. As a peer mentor, you may also provide guidance and support in personal skills such as communication and emotion management.
*This portion of the RL training is under development. It will include YA mentorship opportunities. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
Estimated time commitment required from the Youth Ambassador Rising Leader:
- The Youth Ambassador Rising Leader is asked at minimum to commit to scheduling one full years’ worth of presentations. RLs are welcome and encouraged to participate in the program even after the yearly commitment.
- Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders also asked to volunteer at least 5 hours a month by completing the tasks outlined in the Major Expectations section.
Benefits of the Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program:
- Networking opportunities
- Professional and personal development training
- Access to thought leaders
- Potential mentorship opportunities
- Engagement and volunteer opportunities
- Partnership with the Tourette Association of America
Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program Details:
Friday, April 12 at 3pm ET: Informational webinar on the Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program.
To register click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6559643888282487564
- Friday, May 17: Application deadline.
- TBD: Mandatory Rising Leader introduction Webinar
- Friday, July 12 – Arrival Day and Meet & Greet
- Saturday, July 13 –Youth Ambassador Rising Leader Training (the Youth Ambassador Training will also be the same day)
Youth Ambassador Rising Leaders Program Funding:
Rising Leaders selected to attend the training will have the following costs covered by the Tourette Association:
- Hotel accommodations for night of Friday, July 12
- Transportation up to $350 for RL
- Program-sponsored meals for RL
- Program materials
All reimbursement checks will be sent AFTER the Training.
Attendee’s own expense (Costs NOT covered by the Tourette Association):
- Hotel charges for any nights that are part of an extended stay.