The Focus of Our Efforts
STAGE 1: SKILL-BUILDING CAMP
Each year, a select group of disabled girls and young women (ages 13 -17) will be invited to the Adirondacks for one week to learn about disaster preparedness and basic survival skills, while also developing independent living skills and leadership skills, and connecting with disabled mentors.
We camp at John Dillon Park, an accessible wilderness campground located within the Adirondack Park of Northern New York that offers accessible trails and lean-tos.
STAGE 2: PROJECTS & MENTORSHIP
During the year between the first trip and the reunion trip, the young women will create a yearlong local project involving inclusive disaster strategies. Young women will work on their project throughout the year and check in with their mentor on a monthly basis. Projects will be individualized for each young woman based on her interests. For example, one camper may work with an emergency shelter to make access improvements, and another camper may work with their local government to ensure interpreters are always present during emergency announcements. Mentors will assist with the yearlong project, as well as general mentoring about school, disability issues, and empowering the young women to achieve their goals and continue setting bigger goals for the future.
STAGE 3: LEADERSHIP REUNION
Youth will be invited to D.C. the next summer for a reunion trip to present their yearlong projects, explore how they have grown as leaders, and meet with national leaders to discuss disaster preparedness and the Disability Community.
STAGE 4: ONGOING SUPPORT & NETWORK
Even after each young woman graduates from EmpowHer Camp program, she is still a member of the Disability EmpowHer Network!
Disability EmpowHer Network actively connects with all of our participants, past and present, to help them achieve their long term goals. We check in with our participants at least twice per year for the following 6 years after they finish their program with us or until they are employed (whichever is later).
Disability EmpowHer Network also provide information and referrals for higher education, internship, and employment opportunities.