Frequently Asked Questions by Parents
What is the ARCh Youth Team?
A group of teens who come together with the goal of building a community where all people are valued and encouraged to contribute. Youth Team members learn and teach the importance that every person is worthy of dignity and respect.
Youth Team members take action by:
Traveling to elementary and middle schools doing exciting performances that help stop bullying
Planning service projects and socials with teens who have disabilities, to offer friendship and acceptance
Informing others about health conditions like Shaken Baby syndrome and Lead poisoning that cause disabilities
Founded in 1986, the Youth Team is a program of ARCh, Association for the Rights of Citizens with handicaps. ARCh is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization started by Waukesha County parents.
Where does the group gather?
Meetings are most often held at the ARCh office, 419 Frederick Street in Waukesha, which is a central location for members, who come from many different schools.
When does the group gather?
The group most often meets on Sundays, to avoid conflicts with afterschool activities. Occasionally the teens will take on a special project that involves additional meetings that are determined based on members’ schedules. Group meetings are typically held 2-3 times a month during the school year.
What is the time commitment?
Most members contribute 7-8 hours per month. All-time is recorded in order to verify service hours for National Honors Society, Confirmation, college applications etc. Members and parents receive a schedule in advance so they know when various events are taking place. Members are asked to attend 1 team meeting, 1 committee meeting and 1 teen time event with peers who have disabilities each month. If a member chooses to participate in a school presentation (with parent consent) that involves a commitment of approximately 4-7 hours of rehearsal time as well as the time involved for the presentation itself. Some teens choose to take on projects or leadership opportunities in which they invest additional time.
Is transportation provided?
Teens are responsible for transportation to events except for certain community outings where a bus is provided. Members are encouraged to work together, and with parents, to arrange carpools.
What is the role of adults?
Youth Team members are always accompanied by a minimum of 1 adult staff member of ARCh who trained and experienced in working with Youth. The design of the Youth Team is to be by teens, for teens; adults provide support, resources, and feedback.
What are the benefits to members?
The ARCh Youth Team offers a unique, life-changing experience that gives members the opportunity to:
Form deep and lasting friendships based on common values of dignity and respect for all
Gain skills and develop talents in the areas of public speaking, event planning, budgeting, writing, strategic thinking, etc. . .
Make connections with dozens of alumni who share resources and insights about how the Youth Team experience helps with college and careers
Engage in creative and high impact community projects
Ability to “stand out from the crowd” in applications for future endeavors
Who can be in the ARCh Youth Team?
Membership in the Youth Team to any young adult (ages 13-21) who is willing to commit time and talent, and seeking to gain leadership experience.
How does my child join?
Prospective members are invited to attend several events before deciding whether or not to join the team. A student “officially” becomes a member of the group by submitting a Membership Agreement signed by student and parent. If parents or students have questions prior to submitting the Membership Agreement please call or email ARCh, we are happy to provide more details.
How do parents stay informed?
Parents can request to have team meeting minutes to be emailed to them if they want detailed information. ARCh staff are always happy to communicate by email or phone with parents who have questions.
I am confused, what does all this have to do with “handicaps?”
Although ARCh directly serves individuals with disabilities and their families, volunteers are an integral part of promoting community awareness. The Youth Team helps to fulfill that mission by educating the community about the capabilities of all people. We are all strong when we focus on possibilities rather than disabilities.