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I AM Included Transparent Logo (1) (1)_e

The “I AM INCLUDED” Program is for youth between the ages of 14-22; grades 8-12th with specific disabilities. This program is offered under the Memphis Office of Youth Services, it umbrellas under the MAP program. 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.

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. In the beginning the I Am Included program served four different groups of ambassadors. The four groups were: Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired, Specific Learning Disabilities and Intellectual Disorders. We are happy to announce that we have embraced two additional groups, Autism and Down Syndrome.

Our groups meet twice a week for an hour, currently through a virtual platform along with some in person events every so often. Each one of our groups are led by Youth Specialists that are experts in the fields we cater to and are dedicated to our participants future. 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 Self-Advocacy, Professional development, Financial Literacy, Post-Secondary Options, Conflict Resolution, Goal Setting, Mental Health Awareness, & emphasize the importance of Community Service monthly to keep our youth active in the community.

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

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