I AM INCLUDED PROGRAM

The “I AM INCLUDED” Program is for youth between the ages of 14-18; grades 8-12th with specific disabilities. This program is offered under the Memphis Office of Youth Services umbrella and employs youth across the City of Memphis in each of the council districts. Our goal is to empower all children and reach out to those with disabilities because they are often left out of the conversation. This is how the program name “I AM INCLUDED” came about. We believe that students with disabilities deserve the same opportunities and recognition as everyone else.

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The vision for our program is to help students prepare for the workforce,

post-secondary options, and military careers with an overall goal of them becoming

productive citizens of society. We hope that our program benefits students in a

positive way and leads them down a path of success and self-confidence.

I AM INCLUDED is a year-round development and enrichment program that focuses

on Community Service, Leadership, Education, Entrepreneurship, and Perseverance.

Currently the IAI program services four different groups of ambassadors. The four groups are: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired, Specific Learning Disabilities and Intellectual Disorders geared towards Autism, and we are looking to embrace Down Syndrome.

Our groups meet twice a week for an hour, currently through a virtual platform. Each one of our groups are led by Youth Specialists that are experts in that field and they are dedicated to their students, they not only teach but mentor as well. Typically, the Youth Specialist delivers a different curriculum to these students once a month. Curriculum topics for this year includes Financial Literacy, Personal/ Professional development, Conflict Resolution, Self-Advocacy, Goal Setting and Mental Health Awareness.

During the summer months we host a Summer Leadership Academy to keep students engaged and active during their summer break from traditional learning. IAI Ambassadors who are seniors in high school and graduate the program successfully will have the opportunity to receive internships within City Government. All ambassadors receive a monthly stipend based on their participation and educational GPA metrics within the program.