Meet the Class of 2020 Group Leaders & Mentees

September 13, 2019

Every year the NH Leadership Series brings together powerful leaders to act as mentors for our participants. These valuable mentors are what we call “Group Leaders”. A Group Leader embodies what a true leader sets out to do....  go forth and to support others to be their best selves to create positive change. Amongst our powerful leaders we also have “Mentees” who are essentially Group Leaders in training. We are so proud to introduce our Group Leaders and Mentees for the 2020 NH Leadership Class and asked a few questions so that you could get to know a little more about them.

Kathy Bates headshotKathy Bates, Group Leader

Somersworth, NH

What inspired you to be a Group Leader?

Honestly, my husband recently passed away and I needed something to put my energy into and we were used to advocating together. We were partners in every sense of the word. I needed to be able to do it on my own.

What year did you graduate? What was your favorite session?

I graduated in 1998 and Jeff Strully and Norman Kunc were a part of the Vision session. The Vision session was my favorite because it opens up possibilities and encourages you to create higher expectations for yourself and your family members. They taught me that there was nothing wrong with me being disabled and that I didn’t need to be fixed. This was the most important life lesson I could have ever learned.

What is a fact about you that most people wouldn’t know about?

That I’m crazy when it comes to football! I LOVE FOOTBALL!! And basketball and boxing... and American Ninja Warrior!

Alicia Buono headshotAlicia Buono, Group Leader

Newmarket, NH

What inspired you to be a Group Leader?

I wanted to provide support and mentor ship to future leaders. I feel the program offers so many things to evaluate and process and Group Leaders are key to finding the meaning and direction for each participant.

What year did you graduate? What was your favorite session and why?

I am proud to be a part of the Class of 2015. My favorite session was the final weekend. Our action group was able to demonstrate in our presentation how we came together to really understand the key values of advocacy. We were a tight group that challenged each other and learned together how to challenge systems.

What is a fact about you that most people would not know?

I’m kind of a Disney freak. I love to go to Disney with my family and enjoy most movies and music. “The Mouse” makes me smile.

Nancy Glynn headshotNancy Glynn, Group Leader

Manchester, NH

What inspired you to be a Group Leader?

After my year at Leadership, with lots of thanks to my Group Leader Kathy Bates, I realized my own power to the extreme. I recognized how we need more powerful leaders in the world and I wanted to support others who came through Leadership the same way Kathy had for me.  Also, I have a son who experiences chronic medical conditions and felt that diversity was something that I could bring to the Leadership team.

What year did you graduate and what was your favorite session?

I graduated in 2017 and my favorite session is a hard question to answer. I would have to say my favorite session was the History session. It truly reeled me in to get fully committed to the program. However, the Community Organizing session definitely inspired my life to move in the direction that it has gone so far.

What is a fact about you that most people would not know about?

Something that many people do not know about me is that I love food and I love to cook. I prefer to make everything from scratch and in the cooler months of the year, Sundays are primarily for cooking. I also REALLY love pandas and Harry Potter.

Maureen Tracey headshotMaureen Tracey, Group Leader

Merrimack, NH

What inspired you to be a Group Leader?

First, the amazing leaders who came before me, and then the ability to watch people come to the first session having no idea how this program is about to transform them. Watching so many participants grow and stretch, find a family, and hold their head up and say, “I can do this!”

What year did you graduate and what was your favorite session?

I graduated in 2008. My favorite session was the Community Organizing session, public vs private.  I first was most uncomfortable with that session then found it was the one that changed me the most. I also love the Legislative session.

What is a fact about you that most people wouldn’t know?

A fact about me that most people would not know is my sister Kathy is my best friend and we talk to each other every day on our commute. She is my rock!  “If you have at least one best friend, the world does not seem as scary.”

Heather Young headshotHeather Young, Group Leader

Rochester, NH

What inspired you to be a Group Leader?

Being a Mentee during the 2018–2019 NH Leadership Series year really inspired me to wanting to become a Group Leader. I was able to see the transformation in the participants from the very first session to the last and it was remarkable. I want to meet participants, support them where they are at, and help to develop leadership and advocacy skills to make change for the issues important in their lives!

What year did you graduate and what was your favorite session?

I graduated in 2017. I would have to say that my favorite session was the Community Organizing session in November. My life changed personally and in my professional career with the knowledge from this session. To learn how to have intentional conversations, find one’s self-interests, and what community organizing is all about inspired me to attend the week-long training through Gamaliel on community organizing that was held in California.

What is a fact about you that most people wouldn’t know?

I really enjoy camping, though I haven’t done it in years!

Kim Kamieniecki headshotKim Kamieniecki, Mentee

Greenfield, NH

What inspired you to be a Mentee?

During my time at Leadership I was amazed to see how people came together, developed friendships, supported each other, worked together, and transformed over the months with confidence. All the leaders were very supportive, inspiring, and offered hope – they helped me see I could do it and I did have what it takes! I look forward to working together, meeting new people, and bringing a fresh perspective with my lived experience and work in the mental health field.

What year did you graduate and what was your favorite session?

I graduated in 2016.  The first session was one of my favorites. It sets the stage for how far we have come in the history of the disability movement through strong advocacy however we also learn that we still have a lot of work to do. It was a very difficult session to get through; but it was a good blended of reality and hope.

What is a fact about you that most people would not know about?

I’m extremely passionate about advocating for children with mental health (yes, it’s gotten me in trouble a few times). It has also taken a lot of practice to learn to pay attention to my own self care without feeling guilty. I’m realizing the importance of taking time to recharge so I can give back to my family, work, and community. Also, I love the go the lake and float with friends, I find it to be the ultimate self-care. I’ve also been told I’m high maintenance.

Marcella Termini headshotMarcella Termini, Mentee

Manchester, NH

What inspired you to be a Mentee?When I graduated from the Leadership Series I felt like I wanted more... I really took to the history of the NH disability rights movement and, the history of community organizing. As a reluctant group participant, I loved working within a group of people and figuring out how I could use my skills and experience to help build their power. These things made me really want to delve deeper into the Leadership series as a Mentee.

What year did you graduate and what was your favorite session?

I graduated Leadership in the 2019 class. My favorite session is a tie between the first (History) and third (Community Organizing) sessions.  Both sessions and the precursory fieldwork were steeped in the history of our state and the origins of organizing, mixed in with building power with like-minded peers and working as a team in a way that could work for everyone – even a punk rock loner like myself!

What is a fact about you that most people would not know?

Something that people might not know about me that is fun, is that I can sing the entire collective works of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, and also Bobby Darin. However, the circumstances need to be right and usually not unless it involves irritating my kids, driving in my car, or on a karaoke stage!