The NH-ME LEND Program Kicks Off Another Year!

Source: LEND Spotlight Fall 2022

September marks an exciting time of year, as the New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) Program welcomes a dynamic, new cohort of trainees. On Friday, September 9, trainees and faculty came together for a meet and greet lunch and ice-breaker activity in Durham, NH, followed by an afternoon of team building at the Browne Center for Innovative Learning. On Saturday morning, everyone was up bright and early for more engagement and reflection during the LEND Leadership Boost. This is a core session that explores the LEND framework for leadership development, provides trainees an opportunity to reflect on their experiences with disability, and helps them identify their individual strengths as future leaders. Here are just a couple of takeaways from trainees about the weekend:

[The weekend made me feel that] I am in the right place at the right time. LEND will teach me the tools I need to be an effective leader and how to make change and encourage others in the field to do the same. Through LEND, I will gain the knowledge I need to be a voice for both children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their parents. I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me. – Rachelle Smith

Everyone came together with a generosity of the soul, kindness, and drive to be a part of something stronger than the sum of its parts. To me, the experience of coming together as a group [with other trainees] represents a beginning, a turning point where I can feel fully available, both emotionally and professionally to pursue my goals. My hope is that I can see some real professional growth happening—not in the way I had first conceived it, but in a more inclusive way…a better, more supportive way. – Mary Barker

Photo credit: Stacy Driscoll, NH-ME LEND Program