COLUMBUS—State Senator Dave Burke
(R-Marysville) yesterday met with students from around the state who took part in the the Annual Youth Leadership Forum sponsored by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.
The program sponsors 50 high school juniors and seniors with various disabilities to come to Columbus for a five-day training program. During their time in the Ohio Statehouse they held meetings with government officials, toured the State Capitol and engaged in other development programs with community leaders.
"Overcoming personal struggle and fear is a fundamental part of realizing your potential as a leader," said Burke. "I can tell from the thoughtful questions and enthusiasm from the students in the room that they are ready to take the next steps in improving the lives of those in their communities."
Focusing on self advocacy and leadership development, students learn about career choices, available resources and assistive technology, and develop a personal leadership plan with specific action steps to follow when returning to their community.
"It was an honor to be with Senator Burke to speak to the youth Leadership Forum participants on Leadership in the Community," said Mark Seifarth, former Chairman of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. "When I was growing up with a disability, we did not have these mentoring and support for growth opportunities. The Youth Leadership Forum is a great program for youth with disabilities."
Additionally, students have a support system that can help them identify existing barriers to personal and professional success and leverage the experiences of their mentors and peers to overcome those barriers.
For more information on the Annual Youth Leadership Forum, click here