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YEP! The Youth Empowerment Project


Yep! The Youth Empowerment Project Youth Interviews on Self-Advocacy and Empowerment

YEP! The Youth Empowerment Project

YEP! Logo

This video series is focused on youth interviewing other youth about their experiences with self-advocacy and empowerment. The goal is to provide a platform for young people to share their stories and offer insights into how they have navigated challenges and advocated for themselves. This project recognizes the importance of the youth perspective and seeks to empower young people by giving them a voice and providing relatable role models for other youth to learn from. This project aims to provide valuable resources for young people as they navigate their own journeys in self-advocacy and empowerment.

Kristina Banner

YEP! featuring Michael and Kristina

Michael talks with Kristina about Self Advocacy and Empowerment. Kristina is currently a homeschooled student in her senior year. When she’s not in the classroom, she enjoys singing, drawing, acting, playing instruments, making clay sculptures, exploring the sciences, and playing board and video games with close friends. After graduation, she aspires to attend college with a major in biology, using both her knowledge and faith for God’s glory. Kristina believes that everyone has a voice, and everyone’s voice needs to be respected. Everyone has the right to be heard no matter what their situation is, and the right to make their own decisions in life. So, no matter what your abilities or your passions are, be strong in your faith, and diligent in your efforts

Sam Banner

YEP! featuring Michael and Sam

Michael talks with Sam about Self Advocacy and Empowerment.
Sam is a sophomore in high school. He attends all regular high school classes with extra support from a personal tutor. He enjoys working out, playing piano, drums, and playing video games. Sam likes to be active by playing basketball, pickleball, swimming, biking, or anything outdoors. He also loves eating at restaurants, traveling and hanging out with his grandparents and friends.


"Learning new things is hard for me, but I start each day with a positive attitude trying my best! Sometimes, people are not kind to me or I know they do not believe in me, but I overcome this negativity by smiling and thinking something positive about myself. You can try this and I think it will help you too!"

Kya Banner

YEP! featuring Michael and Kya

Michael talks with Kya about Self Advocacy and Empowerment.
Kya has a passion for educating others on disability awareness and diversity acceptance. She does so by creating videos on her own YouTube channel entitled “Wheels & Wisdom” which helps to break the stigmas and misinformation about individuals with disabilities. Kya is also involved in Kya’s Krusade which is a resource center that specializes in serving families affected by Arthrogryposis and other less-publicized physical disabilities.

YEP! featuring Michael

Michael is a high school graduate in Northeast Ohio, who is preparing to attend community college in fall of 2023. Quick wit and humor are integral to his approach in life. He has been engaged in several alternative learning environments since 4th grade.

He has found support and empowerment with the help of OCECD throughout the last seven years. Michael has been influenced by hearing the stories of others' and realizing that sharing his journey has provided him an opportunity to grow emotionally and mentally while bringing hope to other families in similar situations.

Watch The Video Series!

this video series is available at

Yep! Featuring Michael and Nick

Yep! Featuring Michael and Roz

Yep! Featuring Michael and Rachel

Yep! Featuring Michael and Kali

Yep! Featuring Michael and Connor

Yep! Featuring Michael and Travis

Additional Videos Coming Soon

OCECD Resources
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My Adventures in Youth Empowerment
This comic series will focus on empowering transition age youth to become self-advocates. We hope this resource will inform youth about youth empowerment, self-determination, self-advocacy and more. 
Stay tuned for more adventures in “Youth Empowerment”!

Click for My Adventures in Youth Empowerment Series

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It's My Turn - Online Learning Course

Students are welcome to participate in a virtual version of the It’s My Turn transition training at their convenience. Many students may want to access this program independently with the built-in accommodations, and others may want to also include their own personal support. To access the It's My Turn modules,
Register Today!