Katie Epstein

Katie Epstein

Class of 2010
Current Employment: Direct Support Provider- Residential Resources
Action Group: Teacher Certification
Favorite Topic: The education weekend and the community organizing weekend.

What were you doing before starting Leadership?
Before leadership I was living in North Conway, working in a child care / preschool for children with and without disabilities. I have my teaching certification in special Ed. I was a paraprofessional for a student with emotional difficulties.

How did you hear about Leadership?
My adviser for my teaching certification at Granite State College told me about Leadership, then I googled it.

What made you apply?
I was feeling stuck in my job and where I was living. I was still in my hometown and everyone knew me and I felt like I needed a change. I thought I would learn a lot from leadership and maybe it would help me in my teaching techniques.

How did you know that Leadership was the right program for you?
I didn't know right away if leadership was the right program for me. It sounded cool. I was definitely interested, but it wasn't until after the first weekend, that I realized how amazing this program really is. I think this was the case because I didn't know anyone who went through the program prior to going.

What else did you do while you were participating in Leadership?
Leadership is a commitment of seven weekends once a month, so during the program I worked and kept up my normal social life the other weekends that I was free.

What was your favorite part of Leadership?
I learned many things during the program, but five almost six years later I think the community organizing, policy training, the education weekends were the most useful for me in terms of what I am doing now.

What are you currently doing? What are your goals for the future?
I am currently working as a DSP (Direct Support Provider) for an adult woman whom experiences Down Syndrome and living in the Seacoast. I am also Vice--‐chair of the Council on Developmental Disabilities, helping advocating for people like myself who experience a disability. I work on issues such as, bullying, policy, DSP training/professional improvement and have given presentations on some of these issues. I been to DC, Fla, Vegas, and in NH working at conferences dealing with these type of issues. I am planning on continuing my work at the council until my two terms are done, continuing supporting the woman I work with and hopefully help her fulfill some of her dreams.

Why should other people participate in Leadership?
If people are looking for tools to help their love ones with a disability or they have a disability themselves and they want to improve the lives in anyway leadership will teach you how. Wither it's getting a job, improving the school years, making friends, your leadership class/ past grads will become those people who you will go to when the tough days happen and the first people you will celebrate the good with, because they understand what you’re going through. It's was the best decision I made, I wish I knew about it sooner!!

You can view clips from Katie's interview here.