Celebrating 2018

In December we celebrated what was by looking back at the past year and thinking of 12 AMAZING things we did in 2018.

“Everyone has to face obstacles. Everybody has to face hurdles. It’s what you do with those that determine how successful you’re going to be.” – Craig Sager

By looking back, we are remembering things that may have been forgotten. Our minds may focus on the most recent things that have happened in our lives, but when we dig all the way back to January 1, 2018, we understand how far we have truly come this year. By looking back at what you have accomplished throughout the year, you can motivate yourself to keep doing all the things! By looking back on what we have done this year, our minds open up to the possibilities of the upcoming year. Learning from the past allows us to grow into the person we want to be.*img_5424

Being able to look back and see how we have been living out your vision helps to demonstrate who you are and how you have been presenting yourself to others. We as an institution are looking back to ensure we are helping to create a just and caring world through the work that we are doing. It’s important to continue to keep our mission and vision front and center, and one way to do that is by re-visiting what we have done this year.

We want to encourage you to take some time today to revisit your year so you, too, can celebrate what was great about 2018 and learn from the hurdles you faced. Use our template (on right) and write down some of your accomplishments! Tag us on social media (@LeaderShape) to show us your 2018 highlights.

2018 Palmer Award Recipient: Briana Landis

We are so excited to announce this year’s Palmer Award Recipient! Meet and help us to congratulate Briana Landis, an Institute graduate from Meredith College, whose vision is “to create a world free of Multiple Sclerosis.”

31960383_1884181898313037_2040786356740816896_n

For those unfamiliar with the disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system. This attack on the brain and spinal cord disrupts signals to and from the brain. This interruption can create a variety of problems from numbness to blindness to paralysis.

research

Briana herself was diagnosed with MS when she was 4 years old and prior to participating in the Institute, she interned with the research lab DiscoveryMS. These experiences helped Briana to understand the need for funding to be directed towards MS research.

Through her experience at the Institute, Briana realized that, although she is young, she really can make a significant impact on what she cares about! She can be bold in her vision of a world free of Multiple Sclerosis. As she developed her vision further, Briana set a stretch goal to speak with local government officials about funding for MS on the state level as well as eventually speaking with Congress to demonstrate the need for funding on a national level.

Take a look at Briana’s progress!

  • Shared her story at multiple events that were raising money for Multiple Sclerosis
  • Was approached by the National MS Society and asked to go to Congress and speak on their behalf
  • Researched which bills were connected to Multiple Sclerosis and met with the National MS Society to understand the issues more deeply
  • Traveled to DC and spoke with members of Congress and the head of the MS Caucus
  • Met with her local state representative and the Governor of North Carolina

While in DC speaking to members of Congress, Briana asked for support of the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act. This act would prohibit large pharmaceutical companies from having programs that limit access to generic drugs. Briana shared that, on average, a person living with MS will pay $2500.00 a month on medication. Getting the CREATES Act passed means more people will be able to afford the medications they need and enjoy a better quality of life as their symptoms are being treated.28870387_1816760605055167_7650265836946946227_n

There has been progress on the Neurological Conditions Surveillance System, another area that Briana spoke with legislators about. Although previously passed, no funding had been given. Funding has now been established and preliminary results shows there are more than one million people in the United States with Multiple Sclerosis. Earlier studies estimated that number to be only half of that. The census results demonstrate the need for resources to be allocated to those with the disease and for research.

Through her work with her local Representatives and Governor, Briana as advocated for more funding for North Carolina’s Affordable Housing initiative. The passing of this initiative benefits people with MS who have been homebound by providing them with easy-to assemble ramps for their homes. MS can limit one’s physical mobility, keeping them homebound. Those in this situation may not be able to attend doctor’s appointments, pick up prescriptions, run errands, or see friends and family – all activities important to one’s physical and mental health. These ramps can add so much value to those living with MS by helping them be more mobile and offering an increased level of independence and freedom.

Briana’s knows her work is not done yet! Even so, she shared that she is eager to one day say, “I used to have MS.”

 

An Institute State of Mind

stencil.InstituteQuoteLarge

This month we’ll be partnering with campuses and organization all around the nation to host over 30 sessions of our 6-day Institute program! We anticipate that over 1,300 participants and facilitators will be joining the LeaderShape community in May alone. And we are ready to invite them to join us as we work to make our vision of a world where all lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible a reality.

For our friends who are heading to a session of the Institute this month, we hope that it is an experience that inspires you to commit to something bigger than yourself. That the week propels you forward, giving you the tools and encouragement to go out and contribute to positive and equitable change in the world. And we challenge you enter the program with the mindset to…

  • Embrace a healthy disregard for the impossible – be open to what could be, even if it seems implausible.
  • Challenge yourself – to connect, to reflect, to learn, to share, to grow.
  • Be “all in” – it really is true that you get out of an experience what you put into it.
  • Take what you started there and use it to create ripples of change on your campus, in your communities, and in our world!

We’ll also be sharing tips from the LeaderShape staff over on our Instagram account. Follow us there to see what they have to share.