The Junior Youth Peer Advocate (JYPA) Training program is a 6-week training for high school students (grades 9 – 12).  Although it is encouraged, students do not have to have “lived experience” in order to attend the JYPA Training.  A desire to make a positive impact within their community is the only requirement needed to attend.

JYPAs will be granted a Certificate of Completion on the final training day.  Upon completion of the JYPA program, trained JYPA’s are eligible to facilitate support groups for students.  These groups can address a number of different topics that are identified by the students themselves.

JYPAs are under the supervision of an adult ally (teacher, school counselor, social worker, etc.) which are identified before the program begins.  After 6 weeks of training, FTNYS offers ongoing technical assistance to JYPA Support Groups in order to ensure all groups have the necessary resources to succeed.

Topics Covered

  • Youth Peer Support
  • Strategic Sharing
  • Disability Rights
  • Creating Inclusive Environments
  • Trauma Informed Peer Support
  • Cultural Curiosity
  • Group Facilitation
  • Essential Communication Skills

Benefits of Completing the JYPA Training

  • Find purpose & make a difference
  • Resume & communication skills
  • Begin a career path
  • Increased self confidence
  • Promotes sense of belonging

Benefits of Attending JYPA Support Groups

  • Increased social networks & support systems
  • Receive emotional support
  • Develop a stronger appreciation for the importance and value of inclusion
  • Deeper knowledge of diverse backgrounds

Nassau BOCES Community School Partnership

Families Together in NYS partners with Nassau BOCES to expand accessibility to the Junior Youth Peer Advocate (JYPA) Training Program!

Download Flyer

Questions or information on the JYPA Training Program

Please Contact:

Meghann Simpson, Youth Training Coordinator
(716) 339-7777

“It saved lives as kids that would have never knocked on my door came to me because of the JYPA club being a bridge.” – School Counselor


“Attending the training made me feel secure in wanting to go to school for mental health.” – Youth


“One of the most moving was the grief group. There were several students who said they had always “wanted to talk to each other” due to the shared loss of a parent, but it wasn’t an easy thing for them to get started on. The group made room for that.” – Teacher


“We also had one self-contained special education student who came to the groups and was able to make a friend – something she struggled with in the academic placement she was in.” – Teacher


“A lot of students at my school struggle with these topics and I think these skills and groups will help us.” – Youth