What you need to know

Through self-advocacy, young people are better equipped to take on life’s challenges without feeling dependent or reliant on others. Children, teens and young adults who can identify areas where they need support are more likely to get the help they need to succeed academically, socially and in other aspects of life. If you want to advocate for yourself, but are not sure where to start, these tips and guidelines can help.

Getting started

The following are important ways you can gain the confidence necessary to advocate for your needs and yourself:

  • Know how to respectfully stand up for yourself
  • Know how to share your story
  • Know your interests and passions
  • Know your needs and wants
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses
  • Know yourself
Important skills and characteristics

Whether you are self-advocating in everyday situations or want to influence greater change, these skills and characteristics can help:

  • Collaboration
  • Effective communication
  • Independence and empowerment
  • Leadership skills
  • Persistence
  • Problem-solving and negotiation skills
  • Respectful assertiveness
  • Self-awareness
  • Understanding of rights and responsibilities
  • Willingness to ask for help

There are a number of programs and services that can help kids build self-advocacy skills, including school, community and online resources. Learn more about the supports available in Stark County.