2017 National Sessions of the Institute

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As everyone quickly moves through their daily lives, it is difficult to make time for conversations. Many interactions happen with a quick text or message via Snap Chat. At the Institute, we intentionally slow down to allow participants to create a community in which they can engage in meaningful conversations about values, integrity, and their passions. The week is focused on asking participants to connect with their values and then put them into action by developing a vision for something they care about.

In 2017, we will continue to provide the Institute experience to participants giving them an opportunity to explore their values and develop a vision for something they care about.

We will host 5 sessions in two locations. The dates and locations of the two general sessions are May 14-19 in Boston, MA and July 23-28 in Champaign, IL.

For the past two years we have hosted a national session for a specific demographic. We have done this to help participants explore the concepts of the Institute in a community of individuals who share parts of their identity. These sessions with African American men have been profoundly impactful so we are expanding to other areas of interest in 2017. Here are the dates and specifications for the three special interest sessions, all to be held in Champaign, IL:

May 21-26: Institute for Residence Hall Leaders
July 30- August 4: Institute for Latinx Students
August 6-11: Institute for African American Men

If you are interested in learning how you can attend or how you can send students from your college/university or organization to a session, please email us at lead@leadershape.org.

Want to learn more about the Institute?
You can visit our website and check out these posts about our program.
Institute FAQs
A Nerd’s Reflection on the Institute
The Heart of National Sessions of the Institute

#toleadlive

LeaderShape Alive: Change

By: Joanna Lindstrom, L Professional Writing

Is change such a bad thing? Sometimes our reluctance to embrace change makes us think so. Or, perhaps it is a false notion that change is associated with the negative.

carolinekFor Institute graduate, Caroline (Welch) Kipp, change is an important part of her vision.

A year before her roommate, Heather, attended the LeaderShape Institute, Caroline created a vision to change the journalism industry with journalists who report with integrity.

That vision started with her. After graduating one of her first jobs was working for a small, weekly newspaper in Denver. In the newsroom and during interviews, Caroline dedicated herself to her vision, leading by example. She maintained all ethical reporting practices – distance between advertisers, interviewing multiple sources, reporting controversial topics, and ultimately creating unbiased, professional stories.

Then, somewhere between the world of social media and rising independent bloggers, the journalism industry radically changed. Journalists of today work for themselves, instead of papers. Blogs and social media have all but replaced paper newspapers.

Caroline changed with it but has ultimately stayed true to her vision.

After her job at the paper, she worked in communications for the school board association and now, working in public relations for a growing town in Colorado.

“My profession and the world of journalism has changed, but the essence of my vision remains the same,” Caroline said.

Caroline continues to lead by example, but this time in her office and not in the newsroom. She has to tackle difficult communications projects like writing the town’s “blue book” for every election season. This requires her dedication to writing with integrity, and writing both sides of the issue with an unbiased perspective.

No matter where her professional life takes her, Caroline’s dedication to communicating with integrity will come with her.

“Information will always be a vital piece of our world, and the way we get it is changing rapidly,” Caroline said. “In a time where facts become true just by virtue of being posted online, journalists who report with integrity – and the PR folks who provide that information in many cases – are simply vital.”

What’s your story? We want to share all stories of LeaderShape visions and the ways they have adapted and changed over time. Leave a comment below or send us an email.

img_20160307_201446Joanna (Thomas) Lindstrom is a writer/editor and the third roommate of Caroline and Heather. She primarily writes grants for medium-sized nonprofits but also dabbles in blog, newswriting, and fiction. Joanna lives in Colorado with her husband, toddler, and slightly neurotic Schnauzer. She loves living close enough to meet with Caroline and Heather regularly. Visit her online: lprowriting.com

 

LeadeShape Alive: Vision

By: Joanna Lindstrom, L Professional Writing

1441829273490Vision directs us where we are supposed to go. For Heather (Shaw) Haubenschild, vision has directed her profession, her faith, and her community.

With her strong community in place and unparalleled enthusiasm, Heather set out to accomplish her vision: to provide necessary, community-based services for children with special needs at little to no cost to the family.

It started with her. Upon graduating from college, Heather landed a job working with the local “child-find” agency that helps identify children with special needs and match them with services. This was an important part of her journey because she not only learned about services available in her state but, perhaps most importantly where there were gaping holes.

“Across all sectors and services, respite care was virtually non-existent,” Heather said. “I’ve heard Colorado ranks 49th out of all states in terms of providing respite care for families with children with special needs.”

Profession, vision and need soon intersected with her faith. For years, Heather and her family attended a the large and thriving community, Southeast Christian Church. While the youth and children’s ministries were thriving, there were no services for children with special needs. The choice for these families to not attend was far easier than being called out of worship to go the nursery several times, or even the fear of being judged.

Heather went to action. She spoke with the children’s ministry team passionately about the need and set a plan in place. Within months, the volunteer-led Sensory Friendly Room was opened. The first volunteers were Heather and her husband who provided weekly care for four children with special needs.

Today, six and a half years later, the Sensory Friendly Room is now an integral part of the church ministries with 12 regular children, paid staff and many volunteers.  Each week volunteers provide a safe, welcoming environment for children who are considered “higher needs.” Children can choose their own activities to help them grow in their faith their own way.

Just this year, Sensory Friendly Room expanded to include six children in the Buddy Program. In this program, teenagers are paired with a child who needs a little extra support in their typical Sunday school room. Children involved have special needs that require some additional assistance in large groups.

10429303_427866284038361_8366151989328106430_n1And the vision keeps growing! Beginning this year, Heather started partnering with the nonprofit organization, Night Lights, that provides a monthly night of respite to families with children with special needs. Night Lights specifically partners with local churches – like Heather’s – who have the resources, rooms, and volunteers in place to provide this needed night out for parents, free of charge. Unlike many respite programs, this is available for all children with special needs AND their siblings. Volunteers are paired one-on-one with all children and they do all the things they would with a “babysitter” – play games, do crafts, watch movies.

As Heather has transformed services for children with special needs in her community her greatest desire is to now watch it grow to a place of long-term sustainability. That’s long-term vision where all of us LeaderShape graduates are directed.

We want to share all stories of LeaderShape visions coming alive. What’s your story? You could be featured on an upcoming LeaderShape blog. Or maybe your vision has been adapted since your original retreat. If so, you’ll relate to next week’s blog story about Heather’s roommate and confidant, Caroline.

img_20160307_201446Joanna (Thomas) Lindstrom is a writer/editor and the third roommate of Caroline and Heather. She primarily writes grants for medium-sized nonprofits but also dabbles in blog, newswriting, and fiction. Joanna lives in Colorado with her husband, toddler, and slightly neurotic Schnauzer. She loves living close enough to meet with Caroline and Heather regularly. Visit her online: lprowriting.com