Youth Peer to Peer

APRIL Youth Peer to Peer


Project Background

The idea of the Youth Peer-to-Peer project was first developed by the attendees of the 2009 APRIL Youth Pre-Conference in Puerto Rico and in 2010, the youth provided their first Youth Peer Mentoring to one CIL in Indiana. The Youth-Peer-to-Peer project is similar to APRIL’s CIL-to-CIL and SILC-to-SILC mentoring projects, except it was developed and ran by youth rather than Executive Directors. Also, youth from around the country collected resources they and others had been using in their programs. These materials and new ideas that come from you all as you receive mentorings or as you want to contribute can be used in future mentoring sessions with Centers who want to develop or modify their own youth programs. 

Overview and Application

How to Apply:

In order to receive a Youth Peer to Peer for your CIL or SILC you can complete the application and submit it to Sierra Royster, Youth Programs Coordinator. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 919-567-3602


Overview of Mentoring


The fee for this service is currently set at $2500 + Mentor Travel Expenses. At this point and time, thanks to the KU: Research and Training Center on Independent Living, we have partial scholarships for three mentoring’s a year at a first come and first serve basis. Any funding that your CIL can contribute to a mentoring will allow more CILs to be served across the country.    

What is included?

  • A Peer Mentor, chosen by you because of skills and/or experiences similar to your requests, will make a two-day, on-site visit to your CIL to work with you, staff and/or board or council and then follow up through teleconferencing, email, or video chat for at least 1 year while you work through your goals set with the mentor. 
  • You gain access to all of the youth materials that have been gathered the last several years. This includes tips and feedback for the mentee site to use on an ongoing basis. These resources are ongoing even after the mentorship year is over.
  • Peer Mentees would gain access to conference calls to trouble shoot issues or hot topic items on a regular basis.  They would be able to hear from other mentee sites from all previous years to learn together.  These calls are ongoing even after the mentorship year is over. 


Sponsors and Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our sponsors. We believe this project helps facilitate the growth and improvement of youth transition and related services at CILs, and empowers rural youth with disabilities to get more involved with APRIL and lead the Independent Living Movement in the future.

This project was developed by a group of dedicated APRIL youth members. Below are the individuals who were responsible for the beginnings of the Youth Peer-to-Peer Project, and their organizations:

Mike Beers – Summit Independent Living Center
Chiaki Gonda – Research and Training Center on Independent Living 
Carrie Greenwood – Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy
Alex Jackson – Disability Resource Center
Mary Olson – Summit Independent Living Center
Sierra Royster – Alliance of Disability Advocates
and Kathy Hatch, former Training and Assistance Director at APRIL 


This project was sponsored by:

Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas 

Easter Seals ProjectACTION

Association of the Program for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)


Meet the Mentors

Below is an image with all of the trainings that have completed thus far.


APRIL Youth Map Final