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William Finkelstein Many collegians spent their summers relaxing on a sun-drenched beach. Beacon College student government president William Finkelstein spent a part of his exploring the finer points of effective leadership.

Finkelstein, a junior business management major from Cayce, South Carolina, was among the 25 students selected as delegates to attend the SC Youth Leadership Forum. The four-day leadership-intensive event targets young adult leaders between 18 and 30 years old who have a disability.

“What a wonderful honor for Will and all associated with the Beacon College community,” said Beacon President George Hagerty. “This is an achievement that recognizes Will’s capacity and passion for leadership.”

The forum teaches participants about independent living and advocacy and fosters student collaboration. They engage in hands-on activities that develop leadership skills and promote disability pride.

California originated the forums in 1992, which since

Will Finkelstein receives his leadership pin at the SC YLF.

have spread across the country. The forums comport to membership requirements set by the Association of Youth Leadership Forum, which seeks through the conferences to boost employment and successful independent living for youth with disabilities moving from high school.

The SC YLF, according to the Able South Carolina website, “is open to anyone that is 15-23 years old, has a disability, shows leadership potential in school or their community, and lives in South Carolina.”

Applicants earn admission based on how well they present on paper and during interviews.

Able South Carolina and collaborating organizations coordinate SC YLF. The South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council funds the event.

The forum ran from July 19-22, 2018 at the University of South Carolina Aiken.