Young Leaders Rising

PYD’s Young Leaders Rising (YLR) program is an 8-week youth-led leadership program for high school students with any type of disability (ages 14-22) that leverages a hybrid learning community to develop leadership, career readiness, and self-advocacy skills. YLR participants build leadership skills and leave better prepared for future employment, higher education, and independent living. YLR 2023 has added an in-person culminating event for each of the four series, located in four different locations (TBA) in MA, for youth to come together and actively apply knowledge and skills learned in each series.

Youth with disabilities, (ages 18-27) seeking a paid leadership position may apply to be a YLR Fellow to assist in four major key areas: recruitment efforts, program design, facilitation of discussions and small group projects related to each session’s culminating experience.

Fellows are hired in the spring and paid a rate of $15 per hour.

In Person Event
July 10 – July 21
Justice, Pride and Activism
Advocacy / Activism Group Project
July 24 – August 4
Let’s Get Ready to Work and Earn Money
Career Day
August 7 – August 18
Education in High School and Beyond
Post-Secondary College / Trade School Tour
August 21 –September 1
Independent Living
Social Event

Participants will have a choice to join all four series or the series that are the best fit for them. Each themed series will include live workshops, online coursework, interactive projects/hands-on activities to apply knowledge, and a culminating in person event. All participants will have numerous social and recreational opportunities, allowing them to build relationships with peers along with mentors, partners, and disability advocates.

While participants can apply for any number of the series based on their interest and availability, we will also offer open networking events that participants are encouraged to join regardless of which series they select including a career mentor luncheon & resource fair. In-person culminating events will also be open to all participants. These events foster confidence and allow participants to apply and practice skills learned throughout sessions.


Participants are any youth with a disability who are between the ages of 14-22, and are either in their last two years of high school or are attending a transition program. Youth must want to develop self-advocacy and leadership skills, begin to plan career goals, and build a network of supports and friends.


Fellows are young adults with a disability between the ages of 18-27 that have completed high school, demonstrate leadership, and are committed to dedicating five hours per week to assist in the planning and implementation of YLR. Fellows will co-plan sessions, lead discussions, serve as panelists, and be a positive role model to youth participants.

Program Contacts

Carol Murray profile picture

Carol Murray

Youth Leadership Manager
She, Her, Hers

Phone: 617-556-4075 x150