Spring Updates

May 27, 2020

Headshots of leadership graduates.

1000 and counting… Leadership Graduates are working across and up and down New Hampshire and beyond, and Leaders are putting in the time and passion to create positive change in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. 

Kelly Ernhardt (2018) has been very busy with People First New Hampshire, Charting the Life Course Steering Committee, and Advocate NH where she is helping to plan the Learn It, Love It conference.  In 2019 Kelly testified for the Medicaid Oral Health Care HB 692, and can be seen in The RAPP Sheet, Stepping Stones, and the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs Newsletter. 

Regan Burke (2017) joined the Gateways Family Support Council and is a team captain for their advocacy network (GFAN).  Rights and Democracy has asked Regan to be part of their New Hampshire Leadership team and she is mentoring in Community Crossroads’ Policy Partners.  

2019 Annie Forts It’s a Good Life award winner Forrest Beaudoin-Friede (2018) attended the AUCD Conference in Washington DC, where alongside the Executive Director Lisa Beaudoin (2014), he accepted the special recognition award for ABLE NH. He is keeping busy attending hearings in Concord and the NHCDD conference in Louisiana. 

Mary Louise Alther (2019) is continuing her work as legislative liaison at Monadnock Developmental Services where she is working to ascertain how many families are raising kin with disabilities. Mary Louise is on a local mental health board and is working to provide an emotional/psychological support group along generational issues.  This will be for grandparents and other kin raising children. 

Karen Belmonte (2019) has been working with State Representative Michelle St. John on New Hampshire’s House Bill 1473, to require all schools to have a special education parent advisory committee (SEPAC). She’s also been reviving a Parent Partnership in her school district and attending Gateways Legislative Coffee.  Karen is becoming a volunteer educational surrogate parent. 

Krista Gilbert (2019) is the NH Community Engagement Liaison for the National Organization for Rare Disorders and the Vice President of the NH Rare Disorders Association (a local nonprofit). With her son Jordan, Krista testified in support of the bill that established the Rare Disorder Advisory Council of which she is now an appointed member.  Krista has also been selected for the NH DD Council in 2020. 

Jadine Levesque (2019) became a board member on her son’s area agency, Community Crossroads. She is a member of the parent support council in Windham working to develop goals and direction. 

Maria- Masha-Sieper (2019) recently graduated from LEND and presented her capstone experience. 

“My Capstone project was focused on reviewing the NH Volunteer Advocates Training Program provided by the NH PIC, collecting data from the environmental scan of similar size PTIs from other states, conducting focus groups of volunteer advocates who took the training and providing recommendations for program improvement based on my findings.”  

“They also featured our Poster session/graduation in the AUCD news, mentioning my project" 

“LEND was a great experience and I look forward to what the future holds for me.” 

Masha also has recently been invited to the Board of Directors for her area agency, The Moore Center. 

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