Youth Summit Application

The Virginia Department of Education’s I’m Determined project, in conjunction with the Partnership for People with Disabilities, invites applications for sponsorship to the 8th Annual I’m Determined Youth Summit at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Youth with disabilities from across the Commonwealth will meet to identify ways to become better advocates and lead more self-determined lives. The selected individuals and a parent/guardian will receive paid registration, dormitory accommodations, travel expenses and meals for the three-day event. A concurrent Parent Summit for the selected participant’s parent/guardian will be held at the university.

The Youth Summit will start on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 and will end on Friday, June 20, 2014. More detailed information regarding the Youth Summit and Parent Summit will be provided upon acceptance of the youth.

  • We will accept 120 qualified applicants
  • Deadline for submission of applications is 5:00 pm Friday, March 21st, 2014.
  • Selected youth will be notified prior to April 18th, 2014.
  • Accepted youth or youth’s parent will be notified by phone call and/or email.

James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

For information about past Youth Summits:

Application Criteria:

  • Young person with a disability, age 13-21 by time of the Summit
  • Young persons under age 18 must have a parent/guardian attend

Application Instructions:
Complete the application form below and upload your essay, slide presentation or video. Please be sure to identify any necessary accommodations on the application form. Asterisks (*) indicate a REQUIRED response. Please note: if your application is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do NOT receive confirmation, we cannot guarantee your application has been received.

Contact Amanda Randall @ 540-568-8845 or John McNaught @ 540-568-2641 or e-mail:

Everyone has a unique story; every story is important. We'd like to hear yours. Please respond to the following questions. You may submit a written essay, PowerPoint presentation OR a video response. If you are submitting a video response, it MUST be in an mp4 format.

If this is your FIRST Summit:

  • How has having a disability impacted your life? Some areas to cite may include – but are not limited to – personal and social, academic (school), goal-setting and independent living. What strategies do you use to help you in areas that are a challenge?
  • Explain a point in your life where you were forced to make some hard decisions about how you viewed and dealt with your disability. How did the decisions you made demonstrate self-determination? How do you use self-determination in your life, both your personal and school or career life?

If you have attended a previous Summit:

  • How have you used the I'm Determined tools (one-pager, good day plan, goal setting) at school, work or home?
  • How did the use of the tool(s) help you to be self-determined?


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