Voices of Youth Advisors
VOYA (Voices of Youth Advisors) is the youth advisory council to Rensselaer County. As a part of VOYA you become a part of the Youth Power network, the New York State network of young people who have been labeled and who are seeking change. VOYA is driven with bringing the perspective of young people who receive cross-system services in Rensselaer County. This council provides a much needed mechanism for youth to have input into the services that are provided and ensures that services and supports in the community are meeting the needs of young people. Through VOYA, young people are able to not only improve their community but also build their personal advocacy and leadership abilities.
Our Mission is to:
• Facilitate positive change in Rensselaer County.
• Be informed on what challenges youth are facing so we can accurately represent them.
• Stay youth run, youth driven, and youth guided.
• Be a voice for youth that don’t have one.
• Help youth get involved in community activities.
• Be a role model for youth in any system.
• Be an example that youth can survive.
• Work cooperatively with adult partners in the county.
• Always make youth aware of their voice.
• Engage youth and give them a platform to speak up and speak out.
• Provide peer support to all youth who ask for it.
- If you would like to join VOYA, download our application below, complete it and email it to voya.rensco@FTNYS.org.
– Any young person that wants a chance to make a difference
– Must be between the ages of 14 and 28
– Must live in Rensselaer County and have experience(d) in foster care or have received mental health, juvenile justice, substance abuse, and disability and/or special education services in Rensselaer County.
- VOYA meets regularly every first and third Tuesday of each month. We utilize a hybrid system which means we meet in person on the first Tuesday of each month and then on Zoom on the third Tuesday of the month.
- If you would like to attend a meeting whether it is in person or via Zoom, let us know! Reach out to us below or contact Amanda Davidson at ADavidson@FTNYS.org or Jaclyn Turner at JTurner@FTNYS.org.
Services are designed to help the young people they serve. That means we have a role in identifying what works and what does not work. It is important that we RAISE OUR VOICE so that we can have the best experience in life as possible. If we do not speak up, decisions will be made for us that affect us. We have to get involved in the process. We can make a difference!