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Silver Linings Advocacy™
Academy Program

Who does this Program Serve?
Youth and Family Coordinators
Direct Practitioners
Advocates for youth and vulnerable populations
Any staff or adult ally who is responsible for the design and/or oversight of youth/young adult (or other vulnerable populations) advocacy efforts, events and activities
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Program Managers/Supervisors
Peer Specialists
Directors and CEO's
Event Coordinators

What is it?

Silver Linings Advocacy™ (SLA) Academy Program is a 10 week, virtual training program designed to help you, both the experienced and the novice adult ally, learn a Best Practice 8-step process to create advocacy opportunities, events, and activities that involve youth and young adults (and other vulnerable populations) without tokenizing or causing harm.

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Testimonials from Graduates


Welcome to the
SLA™ Academy

What is the
SLA™ Academy?


Sneak Peak into 2 SLA™ Sessions

Silver Linings Advocacy™
Academy Program Overview

Silver Linings Advocacy™ (SLA) Academy is a 10 week, virtual training program designed to help you, both the experienced and the novice adult ally of transition age youth, learn the SLA Best Practice 8 Step process to create an action plan to implement non-tokenizing, low risk, high impact youth/young adult involvement events and activities.


The SLA™ Academy is designed for staff creating or enhancing events and activities for youth and young adults (Y/YAs), but the 8 Step process is applicable to other vulnerable populations as well.

Desired Outcomes: As a fully engaged participant in the Silver Linings Advocacy™ (SLA) Program, you will leave the training as a SLA™ practitioner, able to apply the 8-step planning process to any project, event or activity. You will develop a complete action plan to launch a new or re-invigorate a Y/YA involvement event or activity; and your action plan will help you:

  1. Eliminate tokenism;

  2. Increase participation and involvement;

  3. Minimize or mitigate risk for Y/YAs and your agency; and

  4. Maximize positive outcomes for Y/YAs and your agency.

Audiences The program is designed for two audiences: direct practitioners who prepare and support to do advocacy work or group events; and for program directors/managers to prepare and support their agency staff to implement successful youth/young adult involvement activities.

The SLA™Academy is for any staff or adult ally who is responsible for the design and/or oversight of youth/young adult (or other vulnerable population) advocacy events and activities.

This program is also instrumental to guide supervision, monitoring, and oversight of staff or contractors who lead youth/young adult (or other vulnerable population) involvement programs.


Whether you are an administrator or a direct practitioner, this program is for you.


The SLA™ 8-Steps of Best Practice Process

1.       Purpose. Define and discover the underlying purpose for Y/YA involvement

2.       Outcomes. Dream and articulate Y/YA event goals and outcomes

3.       Method. Assess for and select the best non-tokenism method of delivery 

4.       Benefit/Risk. Identify and analyze benefit/risks to Y/YAs and to the organization

5.       Readiness. Create mitigation remedies, like agreements, policies, and training

6.       Change Leverage. Identify and apply Stages of Change as powerful change levers

7.       Action Plan. Create tasks and action steps for project recruitment and implementation

8.       Assessment. Conduct a project self-assessment and assess others’ projects


Benefits of Participation

What you’ll get out of it?

You will receive a certificate of completion as a SLA practitioner upon completion of assignments and class project presentations (total of 40 hours) The virtual program is run similarly to an in-person program and sessions will not be recorded. You must be in attendance at all live virtual sessions to receive a certificate of completion. You'll have a year to make up any missed sessions.

What is the SLA™ Project that you’ll need to complete?


You get to choose a workgroup, committee, panel, board, activity, or council, etc, that involves Y/YAs (or other vulnerable populations) that you design or enhance one you want to improve. You will work on that project throughout the length of the program applying the 8-step process. I will give you the support and coaching you need to be successful.


Weeks 9 and 10 sessions are designed for you to do a 10 minute project presentation to your cohort. This is a great way to showcase what you are doing, get feedback, and learn from what others are doing. Maybe you will find new opportunities to collaborate on projects in the future!

Benefits of completing the SLA Program and becoming a SLA™ practitioner: 

  • Receive a Certificate of Completion and display the seal on your resume, social media and organizational materials.

  • Access to the learning platform for a year

  • Opportunity to create and participate in your own local zoom SLA™ community of practice called “SLA Connected – (your locality)”

  • Be a SLA practitioner and Champion in your community to promote SLA™ 8-step process

  • Receive coaching from Silver Linings International to support your individual or group project

  • Be featured on the Silver Linings International Website as a SLA™ Practitioner and/or Champion

  • Opportunity to be a paid SLA™ guest speaker

  • Opportunity to become a future Certified SLA™ Academy Trainer

Scheduling Details

Here’s how I’ll help you learn:


Over 10 weeks, you’ll have both self-study (20 hours) materials and project related activities to read and complete on your own and virtual live zoom classes (20 hours) that include an orientation, mini-lectures, small and large group discussions meant to stretch your thinking and deepen your learning experience (weeks 1-8). You will present your final project on week 9 (2.5 hrs) and week 10 (2.5 hrs). 

Each participant has access to one coaching session and weekly office hours during the 10 week program.



The SLA™ Academy Program runs for 10 weeks, once a week for 2.5 hours plus a one hour orientation prior to the start of the first module. The week in between modules is intentional so that participants have the time to work on their individual or group project. In certain circumstances, the program can also be scheduled for an intensive 3-5 week format.


Contact me directly to schedule a SLA™ Academy program for your community so that we can customize to your needs and preferred dates/times.

The investment is $1997.00 per participant.

Minimum and Maximum capacity for one cohort is 8 - 25 participants. 

Get More Information About
SLA Academy 

Looking for more information about SLA program or would like to customize the program for your organization? Let's connect!

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Debra Cady