Youth Leaders in Kansas (YLinK) Program

Youth Leaders in Kansas, known more commonly around the state by its acronym, YLINK, offers an opportunity for young adults to develop community awareness and youth leadership skills during the formative ages of 12 to 18 years. Various YLINK sites can be found in cities and small towns across the state of Kansas. They operate with the local support and guidance of caring adult volunteers, community partners, and alongside the youth's primary caregiver(s), especially parents.

YLinK provides youth a unique learning experience while interacting with peers, supportive adults, and their communities in positive ways which lays the foundation for successful future endeavors as they learn and explore the real world and their ability to contribute.

YLINK is a great resource for young adults with information on the importance of education and development of individual and group leadership skills in their local community, statewide and even nationally. The program provides an array of experiences which includes, but is not limited to, improving family and peer relationships, community engagement, incorporating knowledge and training for employment and/or vocational education and self-advocacy skills. There are also opportunities for youth to participate in the state legislative process and learn about politics and advocacy at every level.  Providing input to the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Planning Council is a prime example.

YLINK supports a summer youth conference annually to celebrate the successes of its local groups.   The youth are joined by national speakers, attend breakout learning sessions on multiple topics, and have a lot of FUN! 

For current conference information or to learn how to apply to become a YLINK group:

Contact the KDADS Youth Engagement Specialist at [email protected]

The program is supported through grant funds from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services/Behavioral Health Services.

Current YLinK sites include:

Barton County (1)

Great Bend

Butler County (3)
El Dorado

Clay County (3)
Clay Center High School
Clay Center Jr. High School
Wakefield High School

Ford County (1)
Dodge City

Harvey County (6)

Marion County (1)

McPhseron County (1)
McPherson - PDATS
Montgomery County (1)
Reno County (3)
Sedgwick County (4)
Student Empowerment (district wide)
North High School
Northwest High School
West High School
Shawnee County (1)
Topeka West High School
Sumner County (2)
Belle Plaine
Wallace County (1)
Sharon Springs

Application for the Governor's Behavioral Health Services Planning Council Youth Advisory Council

Complete the following questions to apply for the opportunity to represent the voice of Gen Z from all over Kansas, advocate for your generation, advise the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Planning Council and create real and lasting change in the state of Kansas.

As an inaugural member of the GBHSPC Youth Advisory Council, you will have the opportunity to help establish the future of the council, identify, and discuss needs all over the state and connect and share with peers from communities across Kansas.

Requirements for Youth Members:

  • Must be 14 to 19 years old (eligible if high school until end of summer after high school graduation)
  • Must attend bi-monthly meetings
  • Must be passionate about voicing needs of youth at the state level

Please note that this application does not guarantee you a place on the council. You will receive an e-mail confirming your application submission. If selected, you will receive another e-mail providing next steps for your involvement on the council.



Please Contact: [email protected]