The mission of the SF LightHouse Youth Advocacy Group is to arm youth and their parents with the tools and resources needed to become more informed, prepared, engaged, and confident in all aspects of scholastic and social life.
This group is designed specifically for parents, middle school students, high school students, and college students (both undergraduate and post-graduate). The SF Youth Advocacy Group will leverage the positive attitudes, philosophy and beliefs of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) as it relates to the abilities of the blind student, and the supportive role it has with parents. The SF Youth Advocacy Group is a proactive collaboration between the NFB San Francisco Chapter and SF LightHouse in order to offer a wide array of community-building and strengthening opportunities for blind and low vision youth and their families.
Some of the topics the advocacy group will cover include:
- College Life: life on the university and community college campus
- Rehabilitation: how to work with your counselor to get to your goals
- IEP 101(for students only): All you need to know about Individual Educational Programs (IEPs). An IEP is a blueprint for a student’s academic goals or educational path.
- Advocating for your child: tips, tricks and resources for parents of blind children
- Self-Advocacy: growing up and fitting in at middle school and high school (focus on developing age-appropriate habits and expectations for one’s self)
- Cane/guide dogs: pros and cons between these two methods of independent travel.
- Getting and staying active: how to get involved in sports and other physical and/or outdoor activities
- Community Service/Civic Engagement: how to become more involved in your community through volunteerism and activism
The LH Youth Advocacy Group will meet every 2nd Saturday of the month from 12 to 1:00 p.m. at the SF LightHouse, beginning on December 8, 2012.
About The Facilitator
San Francisco resident Darian Smith is a former LightHouse client via Enchanted Hills Camp and other LightHouse-related youth recreation/education and employment programs. A community and campus organizer, Darian has held many leadership positions at City College of San Francisco. He is also an active member of the National Federation of the Blind where he currently serves as president of the San Francisco Chapter. A service-oriented person, Darian has served as a camp counselor, mentor, and member of AmeriCorps. Darian is a fervent believer that youth and students who are blind or visually impaired can achieve whatever personal, professional, academic or social goals they set for themselves, and he encourages everyone to set their sights high. When asked to talk about his hopes for the group, Darian said “I want to help answer questions that students have long sought answers for, but did not know where to get those answers. Through finding answers within the group and in the community, I hope we can strengthen ourselves and our belief in what’s possible”.