The Journey to Finding a Voice That Is Needed: Told by a Young Adult


2 to 3 p.m., Oct. 12, 2023


Stories told by a young adult who has gone through the process of transition and finding their voice through self-determination.


The "What I Want for My Life" webinar series, led and presented primarily by self advocates, explores the broad range of self determined experiences and strategies through the employment lens. The employment journey from transition, continuing education, career advancement throughout the employment years, building relationships, and becoming a self advocacy leader compose the topics. This is series is for people with disabilities/self advocates, their supporters, providers, support coordinators, teachers, rehabilitation counselors, and family members.

A lady with glasses smiling

Anya Carrillo is a young adult who was born and raised in Arizona. She is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, and is equally proud of her Hopi, Lakota, and Seneca ancestry. Anya is the mom of three beautiful children; Judah, Marceline, and Saraiya, one of whom has Autism. She also has a huge family consisting of four generations, who all go to the same Christian church, and celebrate holidays and birthdays together.

Anya has been an advocate in the disability community since she was a teenager, and is enthusiastic about helping others develop and use their voices in many different ways. She has a passion for training and speaking to others about her experiences as an advocate and a survivor, and she lives by the quote “A river cuts through a rock not because of its power but because of its persistence”, by Jim Watkins.

Anya really loves music, and enjoys attending live music events with friends, where she is likely to spend some of her time dancing. She grew up jingle dancing at pow wows, where father served as a traditional drummer, in celebration of their shared culture. Anya’s grandfather is a talented Kachina creator, and she is grateful to be raising her children, in a setting that allows them great access to, and influence from, their elders.

Anya is a 2014 graduate of Arizona Youth Leadership Forum, and a 2017 graduate of Arizona Youth Engagement Academy. She is an original member of the Arizona Youth Leadership Initiatives (AZYLI) Alumni Association, where she served as both Secretary and Chair. She was the Inaugural Secretary of the Diverse Ability Incorporated Board of Directors, and went on to become the first paid employee of the organization. She now serves as the full-time Peer Based Services Professional for Diverse Ability Incorporated, where she contributes to the growth and development of the goals, initiatives, projects, and strategic plans of the organization, by implementing and enhancing practices related to youth-led, youth-driven, peer-based services.

Anya is an experienced self-advocate, a skilled peer navigator, and an accomplished trainer, presenter, and person-centered planning facilitator, who is conscientious about listening to how others need support. She is the 2017 recipient of the national Advocates in Disability Award, and the 2019 recipient of the Marcus Harrison Jr. Leadership Award. She previously served on the Arizona Community of Practice on Transition (AZCoPT), and currently volunteers at her church. 


Sonoran Center