Alumni Updates

July 27, 2017

 

Here are some updates from a number of Leadership alumni.

 

I’m excited to report we are having the First Prader Willi Syndrome Camp at Camp Allen this August! There are many people with Prader Willi Syndrome who have not met anyone else with the same syndrome.  This syndrome is also very difficult because it involves food security and food is everywhere!  After many successful years of my daughter Jess going to Camp Allen, and inviting others with PWS, I asked if it would be possible to have a PWS campers only weekend.  The Directors, Michael and Steve, said "YES, let’s try it!"  So in August we will be hosting a weekend for up to 20 people with PWS ages six and up!
I was accepted to the Consumer Advisory Council at the Institute on Disability.
I received BSA scouter service award for my work with venture crew 808.
I graduated with my PhD on 5/20/17. There is an article with more details about my journey on the UNH Graduate School website https://gradschool.unh.edu/explore_educphd.php
Pamela ThyngAfter completing Leadership in 2011, I became the Partners in Health Family Support Coordinator for Community Partners in Dover. After working in that position for 4 years I took on a new role as the Development and Community Relations Coordinator at Community Partners and have been in this position for over a year and a half. In this role, I write grants, develop donors, create fundraisers and do outreach to the community. The connections I made at Leadership have created a great launch pad for my career in the nonprofit world. 
I started a DSP support group called Direct Support Connections, because I felt there was a need for information to be shared among support workers.  Many new DSP's are not given much information as to what is happening in the area. People are always looking for new ideas on where to go and what to do. I post upcoming events and trainings. I also let people know that my phone is always available in case they need any help. I do not always have the answers they need but I help them to research and get the answers. I also started a list serve with the help of Jan Skoby so anyone who is interested can be added to the list to receive the monthly training calendar. Bottom line is I started the group to help DSP's so they can in turn, better support the people they work with to have a fuller life.   You can email Bob at Fed_Up90@yahoo.com
I got a job in Customer Service at Home Depot and my own apartment.
I was recently nominated to be the new chairperson for the State Advisory Committee for the Education of Children and Students with Disabilities Advising the NH Department of Education per RSA 186-C:3-b. It's a mouthful! Haha aka SAC.

If people are interested in attending our meetings, they will be held on the first Wednesday of the month starting in October.

I accepted a position with ServiceLink in Portsmouth, as an Options Counselor, and will start at the end of August. I am very excited to become part of this team! "ServiceLink helps individuals access and make connections to long term services and supports, access family caregiver information and supports, explore options and understand and access Medicare and Medicaid."
I am a CHaD Family Advisory Board member! My goal is to begin nursing school the winter of 2018.
Regan Burke at 4th of July ParadeI have been up to the State House several times since graduating from Leadership last spring. Speaking at the budget hearings was a wonderful experience. I am now a member of ABLE, and I have joined their Managed Care task force.

I suggested that a group of disability rights advocates gather at the Fourth of July parade in Amherst NH. It was a great opportunity to thank our US senators and Gov. Sununu for supporting Medicaid, as well as providing visibility for ABLE. We had about twenty people with signs. It was a lot of fun. We were thrilled when Maggie Hassan stopped to speak with us!

I am still on the board of directors for NNEDSC and DOE SAC (thanks to leadership :-). I Took PIC VA this spring and I have been accepted into the LEND class of 2018! I’m taking this summer to play catch-up! Lol :-)
Mandy DeCew with her familyI am excited to report I will be back in the classroom this fall, teaching kindergarten in the Timberlane School District where I will continue to embrace and promote inclusion.  In addition, I recently presented on behalf of the NH Leadership Series at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress retreat this past June in Portsmouth.  I shared my leadership journey, in hopes to provide perspective of its importance as well as what it has to offer through a parent and educator lens.  It was a great leadership experience and reminded me of how grateful I am to have been a part of the Leadership Series this past year.