Welcome Youth Program 2022


BACKBONES is excited to launch the Youth Summer Program with the goal of supporting ten teenagers with SCI/D as they learn skills in leadership, navigating employment, applying to college, practicing self-care, health & wellness, recreation and advocacy. BACKBONES Youth Program emphasizes the importance of supporting disabled youth and helping them reach their goals and potential. Highlights of the program include forming friendships, learning from disability leaders, a $500 stipend and professional headshots.

The Youth Program Participants for 2022 include: Angelo Di Corpo (California); Lenny Kobilca (Illinois); Zyheem Haywood (North Carolina); Ray Zhao (Illinois); Schuyler Whitney (Michigan); Dany Vargas (California); Jordynn Woods (Georgia); Kendall Tongate (Florida); Emily Mills (Alabama); Maria Velat (Michigan). To read their bios visit: https://backbonesonline.com/youth-summer-program/

“This is the first program we offer specifically for youth with disabilities. I am so excited as I remember being injured as a teenager and looking for others like me. It is clear a program like this is essential to help teens with SCI/D learn to navigate life and thrive as they become adults. The program will help them build a network of peers and mentors they can connect with as they become leaders in their communities.” says Reveca Torres, Executive Director of BACKBONES.

This program is made possible by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation and will run from June 15- August 17, 2022.

About Craig H Neilsen Foundation:

Inspired by the Founder, Craig H. Neilsen, the Foundation is committed to changing the world for those living with spinal cord injuries and those who care for them to live full and productive lives as active participants in their communities.Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injury.