At the midyear point of every academic year, NH-ME LEND trainees engage in a self-reflection activity as part of their LEND professional development framework. This year’s activity “Putting the Pieces Together” asked trainees to reflect upon what they have learned about themselves, others, and systems. What shifts have they experienced in their thinking? How are they cultivating their leadership development? Next, they were asked to share their individual reflections within their teams and create a visual team presentation identifying the common overarching themes and distinct differences about their LEND experience to date.

This was an exceptional year for the 2021 LEND cohort, as the 25 trainees in Maine and New Hampshire have only met virtually! Assigned to interdisciplinary teams early in the year, these resilient trainees have done an amazing job connecting, collaborating, learning, and formulating their leadership goals. Their remarkable ability to engage virtually with faculty, colleagues, and partners in the state will inevitably prepare them to achieve these goals.

An inspiring word cloud containing reflections made by NH-ME LEND's trainees. The largest, and most signifigant words, are leadership, life course theory, intersectionality, family, advocacy, team, social determinants, and perspective.,

Please take a minute to celebrate their accomplishments by contemplating the inspiring word cloud and reading a selection of their reflections made during their team presentations.

“The LEND experience is taking the time to figure out who you are in order to become what you want.”

“Grasping the many pieces of the puzzle has helped me see my discipline through a different lense.”

“No amount of passion will create change. I have come to learn that I can’t create change alone.”

“My concept of leadership has changed. You must start with yourself in the immediate future and later those skills will trickle down to others.”

“I used to go with the flo; now I ask tougher questions through an equity lense.”

“LEND has broadened my awareness to the Life course Perspective. Children grow up and need a village of skills.”

Everyone plays a role in the field of disability.

“I have explored and learned new aspects of leadership and different perspectives which has cleared the fog of routine and performing my job as an individual and thinking that is the best that I can do.”

“I have been really pleasantly surprised by what we’ve been able to accomplish together; by what has been possible; and by the kinds of human connections that have still happened even though we aren’t physically in the room together each week.”

“Learning about disability and leadership is a life long process. I am bringing my LEND lense to my other classes and deepening my understanding of interdisciplinary work.”

“I’ve learned about equity and justice: fixing the system to offer equal access to both tools and opportunities.”