The Military Young Adult Café (MY-AC)

For young adults, age 18-26, who grew up in military families and who have a disability or special health care need.

What’s the Military Young Adult CAFÉ?

The Café is a unique, online community and community service that amplifies your voice, captures your stories and helps others!

As a young adult age 18-26 who grew up in a military family affiliated with any branch of service, you know what you experienced from Kindergarten through high school. You may now be exploring your college and career options or moving ahead with careers and life. We want to hear your stories! What was it like for you, transitioning from middle school to junior high, high school and beyond?

Your personal stories offer peer-to-peer support to youth and young adults with disabilities growing up in military families. Imagine, what would you like to tell your younger self?

Your stories can be used in other organizations, those that support military families and those supporting youth and young adults with disabilities. Personal stories are powerful, and your stories will make an impact.

It’s a great way to develop creative and professional skills like writing, speaking publicly in online settings, recording for an audio or video, working in a group and independently, and using social media for community service.

With your permission and inclusion…

We will amplify your voice with interviews, written stories and videos.
We will publish your stories, videos and interviews on the Branch website.
We will share with the Parent Center network.
We will connect with military and family readiness organizations.

MY-AC is also a great place to develop creative and professional skills like writing, recording for an audio or video, speaking publicly in online settings, working in groups and using social media for community service.

We’re happy to write a reference for school or employment based on your membership in MY-AC!

Who sponsors The Café?

The Branch, which is the national Military Parent Technical Assistance Center. We’re a non-profit funded by the US Department of Education to help organizations called “Parent Centers”, with information and training on the unique needs of military-connected families when a child, youth, or young adult has disabilities or special health care needs.

Parent Centers are organizations that give free information and help to individuals with disabilities and their families. There are almost 100 Parent Centers, with at least one Parent Center in every state and in some US Territories. They are also funded by the US Department of Education.


You can join if :

  • You are now age 18 to 26
  • One or more of your parents was in the US military-any branch of service, any status (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy—Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Veteran—so long as they were not a veteran the entire time you were growing up).
  • You lived in one or more US states or a US Territory (for example, Guam) from Kindergarten through high school (First grade through high school if you did not attend kindergarten).
  • If you lived in a US state or Territory after high school, up to age 26, that’s great too!

We’re looking for a diversity of military-connected young adults including abilities, parent’s branch of service, race and ethnicity, gender or gender identification, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion and spiritual practice, political beliefs, or other identities.


How to join:

Fill out the Membership Form to join.

There’s an area on the form to tell your story. It’s like a preview of what MY-AC members will do.

This is about your life–the unique you. We’d love it if your story tells us something about your military life experiences, and your experiences in school, but also share what’s important to you–people, goals, dreams, accomplishments.

Tell your story in words, or if you want to record your story, you can use YouTube and share your private link.

After you submit the form, we’ll contact you to set up an interview to get to know you better, and for you to learn more about MY-AC.

When you join you’ll get a Memorandum of Understanding to sign. This is a document that says what our responsibilities are to one another as members, and for us as the sponsor. Everyone will get a copy to keep.


Accessibility

We want this group to be open to people with different abilities and needs. We will strive to give you the support and accommodations you need to make it work for you. Accessibility details page

What do Café members do?

  • Learn ways to tell your stories
  • Have regular online meetings to share stories, thoughts and ideas
  • Choose how to share your experiences—you can pick one, or more than one choice
  • Practice telling your story by yourself and with the group
  • Attend online discussions with Parent Center staff and other professionals–share a story, answer questions, ask questions!

Some ways to share stories:

  • Appear in a video to talk about your experiences (using the Zoom app)
  • Write about your experience or tell it to an interviewer to write down (on Zoom)
  • A panel: tell your story and answer questions, live, in an online meeting of Parent Center staff, with other members and the Branch team.
  • Talk to other people about your experiences in a webinar (an online meeting where people learn things). You may also answer questions from people on the webinar.
  • (Possibly) travel to a meeting or conference, in person, to talk to people about your experiences.

You may have other ideas to share stories!

MY-AC schedule and time commitment

There is a minimum commitment to be a member until September 2020.

MY-AC meetings are 1 hour per month. We believe the total time commitment will be 4-6 hours per month, depending on your choice of how to tell your story and how long it takes to complete. We may have a few extra meetings, or meet online with smaller groups, more than once a month at the beginning.

We need to see who wants to join, and have their interviews—we’ll probably kick off the group meetings in late March or early April. Everyone will get a notice by text and email.

In MY-AC meetings members get to know each other, and will begin working on personal stories. You’ll spend some time learning skills for telling your story in video and live online.

Permissions & Privacy

You will sign a permission form for us to use your personal information or your photo in an article, a video, a podcast, a post, or any other form of communication that is not done by you in person.

Want to help spread the word about MY-AC? Check out flyers and social media images