Friday, May 10, 2013

Youth Leadership Has a New Face in Kansas | Bailey Blair

Canaan Giesen, member of Wichita YLinK

Opportunities for youth leadership are rare, but especially for young people with disabilities. We at Wichita State University’s Center for Community Support and Research are honored to have the opportunity to facilitate one such opportunity for youth with mental health concerns to practice leadership in a safe and welcoming environment. Called Youth Leadership in Kansas, or YLinK, these groups are an extraordinary example of youth coming together to support one another, to fight the stigma attached to mental illness in our community and in our world, and to advocate for themselves and others like them.

CCSR was awarded a grant from KDADS last year to provide capacity building support to these groups in order to help them further their goals.

Through biweekly meetings, quarterly conferences, and community events, these groups from across the state of Kansas are making a significant impact not only on their own lives and futures, but also for those facing similar battles in the world around them.

The photo depicts Canaan Giesen, Wichita YLinK member, bravely participating in a recent activity that was designed to enhance self-confidence to overcome obstacles and focus on one’s strengths.

For more information regarding the YLinK program, participation, or hosting a group, please contact Bailey at


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