Empower Tennessee

Middle Tennessee's Center For Independent Living

Youth Programs

Working with young people with disabilities to increase their opportunities for independence, inclusion, and choice is not just a program offered by Empower Tennessee. It is a way of looking at disability and society, and a worldwide movement of people with disabilities working for self-determination, self-respect and equal opportunities. We operate according to a strict philosophy of consumer control, wherein people with all types of disabilities directly govern and staff the organization.

The programs we offer reflect that philosophy, and they all center on our five core services: Peer Support, Information and Referral, Individual and Systems Advocacy, and Independent Living Skills Training. Our annual hosting of the summer Youth Leadership Academy and Community Based Transition Programs are two of our many ways we work with young people with disabilities as they move from school to adulthood.

Youth Leadership Academy 2023: Creating My Future & Leading the Way We're meeting virtually every other Tuesday & Thursday; register online at bit.ly/ETPSYLA23; For more information email info@empowertn.org or call 615.200.6028; YLA is for Youth with Disabilities ages 16-24 who live in Tennessee; First Social Gathering: Th 2.16.23 5p-7- CT; First Skill Session: tu 2.28.23 4-5:30 CT

Youth Leadership Academy

This year’s Youth Leadership Academy will be a series of virtual gatherings where participants will have an opportunity to learn, engage, and empower each other toward their future goals.

Fermina Lopez – a YLA Graduate, Independent Living Assistant, and long-time peer mentor – will be hosting this event alongside Marissa Smith-Fletcher – Independent Living Specialist and long-time lead of our YLA program. Fermina has lived experience as a young person with a disability successfully navigating school, work, and life after high school.

We’ll be meeting on Zoom on alternating Tuesdays from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm CST and alternating Thursdays from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CST. Tuesdays are for learning and engagement, and Thursdays are focused fun social activities.

The first skill-building session is on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. The next social gathering is on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Contact Marissa Smith-Fletcher with questions or for more info at marissasf@empowertn.org or 615.200.6028.

Community Based Transition Programs

Empower Tennessee works with transition-aged students participating in Community Based Transition Programs (CBTP) in Nashville-area classrooms. The CBTP supports young adults as they transition into life outside of school and into the workforce.

Empower Tennessee Logo

Youth & CBTP


Complete this form and we will contact you about our services for youth

Youth &
Community Based Transition Programs