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 In the Summer of 2023, Disability EmpowHer Network graduated our second class of EmpowHer Camp Young Leaders and now both of our graduating classes had a 100% graduation rate. One week after the Class of 2022 graduated, we started the journey again with a new group of Young Leaders and mentors, and we've already seen incredible growth. Check out our Impact Reports to learn more about the growth journey of our Young Leaders and their mentors.

EmpowHer Camp Class of 2024

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Group photo of Young Leaders and Mentors in purple sweatshirts that say "Disabled Women Make History"

EmpowHer Camp - Class of 2024 (ADK Trip)

Impact Report

PDF Version

Fast Facts

Coast to Coast: In our third year of running EmpowHer Camp we have reached seven new states with a total of twenty-one different states being represented between our young leaders, mentors, and allies ranging from California to Rhode Island and many in between!

Growth: Young Leaders reported growth in at least 14 out of 17 skills categories, including mental and physical self care, communication, adaptability, & much more! Additionally, All young leaders reported growth in time management, teamwork, discipline, and confidence.

Parent Observations: Parents have expressed witnessing increased confidence, pride, resilience, and overcoming fears after just one week of camping in the Adirondacks!

Quick Recap

This summer, EmpowHer Camp welcomed it's largest class yet with 10 young leaders from across the country! Our Young Leaders spent a week camping with successful disabled women mentors and fantastic allies. The way this group of young leaders bonded from day one was special to watch. During our camping trip we learned survival, independent living, interdependence, goal setting, and leadership skills! Each Young Leader learned how to build a fire, identify plants, plan meals, and cook in the wilderness! We also learned about emergency preparedness, teamwork, and adaptability. The fun included games, tie-dying, inside jokes, campfire singing and dancing, and so much more.


Young Leader CC, Executive Director Stephanie, and Young Leader Ladania smile with marshmallows that say "Disabled Women Make History"


Class of 2024 make funny poses while sitting on a dock on a lake.

Mentoring MATTERS

By the end of camp each Young Leader was matched with a mentor who they will be working and bonding with throughout the year. Young Leaders created a yearlong community impact projects involving inclusive disaster strategies that they learned at camp and they will work on their projects with help from their mentor. Participants and mentors connect regularly to talk about their projects, school, family, goals, college, future careers, life, and so much more! Even though the Young Leaders & mentors are spread across the country, we still stay connected through virtual get-to-togethers with the whole class to have some fun!

What Happens Next?

The Young Leaders will continue to work on their community impact projects with the help of their mentors for another ten months. Also throughout the year we all get together virtually to catch up, play games, laugh, and have fun until we are reunited in person. We will also have a resume workshop and we will work on other leadership and life skills throughout the year. In July 2024, we will reunite in Washington, D.C. where the Young Leaders will present their projects, practice their interview skills, learn Congressional meeting etiquette, meet with Congress, explore the city, demonstrate how they've grown as leaders, and set long term goals for the future! Then, later that summer, a new group of Young Leaders will begin their EmpowHer Camp journey by camping in the Adirondacks!

"What I Learned" Wisdom from our Young Leaders

“I’ve learned to be more vocal about my needs, and I’ve learned several other useful skills, such as building a fire.”

“I learned how to better advocate for myself as well as ask for more help from people around me.”

“Going to camp out in the woods has pushed me a lot and now I want to take charge of my life this coming year and create a better version of myself.”

EmpowHer Camp Class of 2023

7 young women and nonbinary people posing at the FDR memorial

Group photo of Young Leaders at the FDR Memorial in DC.

EmpowHer Camp- Class of 2023

Impact Report

PDF Version

Fast Facts

Confidence: 100% of Young Leaders reported having increased confidence after their year with EmpowHer Camp.

Bonding: All young leaders shared that the best part of EmpowHer Camp was being able to socialize and make new friends, with 100% reporting improvement in communication.

Making Change: Half of the Class of 2023 were featured in news publications for their successful projects.

Quick Recap

EmpowHer Camp is back at it again with another graduating class of young leaders. Our EmpowHer Camp Class of 2023 began in August 2022 with six young leaders with disabilities from across the country coming together to camp with successful disabled women mentors for one week in the Adirondacks. While camping, we learned survival, independent living, and leadership skills, all while singing songs from Broadway musicals around the campfire. At the end of the week, our Young Leaders went home with new mentor matches and yearlong community project plans.

For a year, our Young Leaders worked on their projects with the help of their mentors. Project topics ranged from safety within schools, preparing for floods, and shelter accommodations. All of our Young Leaders completed their projects by June of 2023 and in July, the EmpowHer Camp Class of 2023 reunited in Washington D.C. for five days of learning, networking, and fun. Our Young Leaders participated in workshops, mock job interviews, and Congressional visits. On Presentation Night, each Young Leader shared about their projects to an audience of Disability EmpowHer Network friends and supporters, and later that week they shared their projects with their Congressional representatives. We weren’t all business though! We also enjoyed visits to the Smithsonian National Zoo, the White House, several monuments, and the hotel's rooftop pool! The reunion trip would not have been complete without revisiting our goals that were set during our camping trip last year and setting new long term goals for the future!


\Group photo of young leaders and mentoring staff in a congressional building


Young Leader Ace & their mentor, Abby

What People Are Saying

Young Leader: “My relationship with my mentor is awesome! She is the best, she really helped me through hard times this year.”

Mentor: “I wish this program existed when I was a teenager because I did not have any disabled role models. I am glad I was part of providing this support to my mentee. I had a great experience serving as a mentor with Disability EmpowHer Network. I learned more about myself and my abilities to support others both physically and emotionally, and it increased my leadership skills.” - Mentor

“My relationship with my mentor is awesome! She is the best, she really helped me through hard times this year.”

Parent: “I am truly ridiculously impressed with the layers and levels DEN considers and offers. Thank you for being a turning point in our family's journey and for guiding all the Young Leaders gently but consistently.”

What Comes Next?

While all of our participants have graduated from EmpowHer Camp, they will stay in touch with their mentors and friends, and they are all still members of Disability EmpowHer Network.


As members, they are connected with past and present participants, mentors. and other members of Disability EmpowHer Network.


The whole network supports each other in reaching their goals and Disability EmpowHer Network offers information and referrals for internships, employment, and higher education opportunities. We will conduct twice a year check ins with each of our graduates until they are employed or for 6 years following their graduation - whichever is later.

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