Maryland Leadership Workshops
Maryland Leadership Workshops Newsletter October 2009
in this issue
:: Spotlight on Chris Longmore
:: Strategic Planning Retreat
:: News from our Alumni
:: AirALS Practicum
:: New Staff Perspectives
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Welcome to our new electronic publication!  If you have any ideas for future newsletter ideas or news items, please submit them to Devita.  Enjoy!
Alum Spotlight - Chris Longmore
By: Lauren Hanson Lee and Devita Bishundat

ChrisLongmore Below is an interview MLW conducted with former staffer and Executive Director, Chris Longmore.  He graduated from Loyola College in Maryland in 1993 and received a B.A. in Psychology. Shortly thereafter, Chris attended Georgetown University Law Center and received his J.D. in 1997. He currently lives in Great Mills, Maryland with his wife, Katie Raley Longmore and their three kids - Zachary, 5; Bella, 3; and Gabrielle, 1.  Chris is currently an attorney at Dugan, McKissick, Wood & Longmore, LLC.
When did you start staffing?
What programs did you staff and what positions did you hold within the organization?
Staffed MSEL, SHW, and ALS; Directed ALS in 1998, 1999 and 2000; Served as Executive Director in 2000 and Policy Board Member for 6 years.
What's your favorite morning sing song?
Little Bunny Foo Foo - my kids love it now. 
What advice would you give to the current/new staff?
To cherish every minute of laughter, fun and fulfillment while you are doing workshops.  The memories and friendships truly last a lifetime. 
How has MLW helped you in your life?
The benefits I have received from my experiences with MLW are too numerous and significant to put into words.  Quite simply, it has helped me in every aspect of my life.  Professionally, I use many of the skills I learned and developed at MLW on a daily basis.  But more important to me, my involvement in MLW and the friendships I have that have now lasted, in some cases, for more than 20 years, have challenged me to remember to always reflect on how to be a better person and leader and to strive to make a genuine difference in my community and the lives of others. 
What was your favorite class to teach?
It's tough to remember them at this point but probably the one that stands out the most is a class on leadership and community service that I taught at Washington College the first year I was on the ALS staff.  It was a topic I was passionate about and it is a time I remember bringing in something in which I was deeply invested outside of MLW into a class I got to teach with the delegates. 
Do you have a favorite summer program location?
That's a tough one.  St. Mary's College is so close to home but I would have to go with Washington College. 
How did you get involved with MLW (both attending the program as a delegate & staffing)?
Originally, I went as a delegate going into 7th grade through the old G &T program.  I fell in love with the program and attended a second year of MSEL, SHW and ALS as a delegate.  In 1986, I went to ALS and after that a bunch of us applied for staff and started together that year. 
What is your most memorable moment in MLW as a delegate or staffer?
So many to choose from.  There is not really one that stands out.  Probably just memories of being up all hours of the night making visuals, listening to music, talking and laughing with whoever else was up and awake. 
What are you up to nowadays?
In my day job, I am a partner at Dugan, McKissick, Wood & Longmore, LLC in Lexington Park, Maryland.  I also try to stay active in some community organizations when work and three kids ages five and younger will allow.  I am about to start my term as Chair-Elect of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce; just wrapped up a year in the inaugural class of Leadership Southern Maryland; and I am on the board of Christmas in April for St. Mary's County.  I just joined the Board for Leadership Southern Maryland.  Katie, the kids and I live on her parent's farm and our family proudly includes a chocolate lab, two goats & a gecko. 
MLW Set for Ocean City Strategic Planning Retreat
By: Kevin Taylor

MLW staffers, alumni and policy board members will converge in Ocean City, Maryland on October 31 to discuss the long term direction of the organization.  For 54 years, MLW's programs have transformed Maryland's youth into catalysts of change.  To be successful for so long, the organization has had to continuously adapt.  Since the last strategic planning retreat, MLW has hired a full time executive director, seen its investments grow and developed partnerships with organizations in all of Maryland's jurisdictions.  An exciting framework is in place, and the upcoming retreat will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss ways to advance the organization's mission for years to come. 

A common theme of the retreat will be sustainability.  Participants will look for ways to diversify MLW's revenue streams to reduce dependence on public funding.  Discussions will also center on how to best structure MLW's year round operations.  The goal of the retreat is to develop a plan not only to sustain MLW, but also to help utilize its resources to reach more or Maryland's youth. 

The retreat will be held on Saturday October 31 - Sunday November 1 at the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland.  If you are interested in attending, please email Kevin Taylor at
News from our Alumni
By: Lauren Hanson Lee

MLW would like to send our sincerest congratulations to the following people:
Mary Alex Dundics: Mary Alex Dundics & Jake Blanton were married on September 19, 2009 at St. Andrew by the Bay Catholic Church with the reception at the Severn Inn. Beautiful day on the Severn River for the wedding!
Jason Israel: He just earned a spot on the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership Student Advisory Board. The CPL handles all aspects of leadership education across the university. His goal is to create partnerships between Harvard and local schools to conduct leadership workshops, discussions, and other training opportunities.
Mallory Meiser: She just got an internship with Johns Hopkins Childrens Medical Center!
Karen Crawford: She is receiving the Montgomery County Board of Education's award for "Distinguished Service to Public Education" in the category of MCPS staff.  The ceremony is October 20th.
Ben O'Kane: Ben O'Kane and Brittany Obitts are the proud parents of a new baby boy. Aidan Benjamin O'Kane was born on October 2nd and weighed 6 pounds and 6 ounces.
Ryan Arrendell: She's trying out for one of Northwestern's premier dance groups, Boomshaka, and she just started working as an Event Planning Assistant in the student center. 
Robin Black: She is studying at College Park working on a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a teacher preparation/professional development focus.
Brittany (Parrish) DeFrehn: Brittany married Sean DeFrehn on August 22, 2009 in Gaithersburg, MD!
AirALS Soars to New Heights During Practicum
By: Soham U. Dave, ALS Director

Delegates to this year's ALS 2009 program tackled a challenging two-part practicum that required the group to use a diverse set of skills to reach diametric audiences.  The group was given roughly eight hours from Sunday through Wednesday at ALS to plan two projects that were implemented on Thursday in Annapolis.  The first project, focusing on connecting with legislative leaders, required delegates to present an issue of their own choosing to legislators and key campaign staff.  The second project, focusing on connecting with peers, required delegates to run an afternoon of activities (based on the same important issue) at the Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (BGCAA). 
On Thursday morning, the ALS delegates delivered their presentation to a panel of legislative leaders.  In their presentation on the topic, "Extracurricular Activities," delegates argued for sufficient funding and promotion of extracurricular youth programs by incorporating statistical data and personal anecdotes.  Legislators in the Maryland House of Delegates Hon. Nic Kipke (R-Pasadena) and Hon. John Olszewski, Jr. (D- Dundalk) were joined by campaign consultant Brady Walker to watch the presentation and interact with delegates.  All three were impressed with the quality of the presentation.  Addressing the students, Delegate Kipke said, "This presentation shows me that young people are committed to bettering the communities that they live in."  Delegate Olszewski, one of the youngest legislators ever elected in the State, urged students to not only use leadership skills at the school level, but to, "march into your legislators' offices, and make your voice heard".  Brady Walker, an ALS 2002 program graduate, added, "ALS is great not just because of the leadership skills you develop, but also because it is a network of the strongest leaders in Maryland that you can use to make your community a better place to live". 

After lunch, the delegates boarded a bus and headed to the nearby BGCAA to run an afternoon of activities designed around, "Extracurricular Activities."  The delegates set up different stations and planned age-appropriate activities for the BGCAA students (ages 8-12).  By rotating through different stations, BGCAA students were exposed to a myriad of activities that could be experienced through extracurricular activities (music, dancing, art, etc.).  The ALS delegates were, "absolutely amazing," said BGCAA Athletic Director Kyle Mcknett, adding, "[The ALS delegates] were some of the most talented, energetic, positive role models that we've had come to the program."

The delegates also grew a lot from the practicum.  An evaluation from an unnamed delegate read, "Practicum forced me to step up and contribute ideas, which is something that I would have never done.  I never thought I'd be able to gain this much out of one week."

The ALS reunion is scheduled for this December/January and may include follow up events at both the State House and BGCAA. 

I'd like to thank the staff, Dustin Jeter, Maggie Leahy, J. Alex Pruner, Farah Sheikh, and Annabelle Smith for their awesome dedication to the program and for helping to plan and implement an awesome experience for our delegates.
2009 MLW New Staff: Fresh Perspectives
By: Mallory Meiser and J. Alex Pruner

This summer 13 new staff members from across Maryland joined the ranks of MSEL and SHW programs at Washington College. Whether they were learning the ropes of classroom management or experiencing the thrill of facilitating a game of Captain's Coming the new MLW staff of 2009 contributed to two unforgettable weeks in the lives of emerging student leaders.
"Overall it was really fun, I loved it. I can't imagine not staffing for the next 10 years (becoming an 'old head' staffer)," said Kori Jones. "There is so much to discover and I was learning the entire time." Kori facilitated Diversity 1 for the MSEL program. "I was impressed because the delegates remembered nearly everything from the workshop. They learned that everyone is different and how to think more critically about stereotypes in both positive and negative ways."
Kathryn Cohen was a group leader of the Anchors at MSEL. The Anchor delegates were challenged to construct a boat to race on a track. "I really enjoyed working with the kids. Our Project Implementation & Evaluation workshop had a pirate theme and the delegates learned to work together as a team taking on different group roles." The transition from attending MLW as a delegate to joining the MSEL staff was smooth sailing for Kathryn: "It was great to see camp from the other side. I expected to be nervous onsite but the directors and everyone were so friendly and helpful."
The 'Spoons' relay race was a group favorite for the M.I. 6 (Mission Impossible) group staffed by Youcef Menasria at MSEL. Youcef had no prior MLW experience as a delegate but felt right at home with his team. The best experience for Youcef occurred while he was processing questions with delegates during Diversity 2. "It was powerful.  Students felt comfortable to open up and share their experiences and different backgrounds. The delegates were really thoughtful about how diversity exists in different groups."
Arpan Duttaroy shared a unique perspective as another new staff member with no previous MLW experience: "Being new and coming to MLW I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew SHW was a leadership program and that everyone who attended described it as a life changing experience. I was still a bit skeptical about what was actually going to occur. Once we were onsite I was able to understand the impact of MLW: the point of the program isn't just to make better student leaders but to help delegates become aware of their own ability to make a difference. By the end of the week I was even more amazed by the change that my delegates caused in me!"
"The deep sense of self awareness in SHW delegates reminded me of the power of being proud of who you are," said Boomtown staff member Annie Coble. The Boomtown delegates created a virtual village in their REALITY session to determine how to govern the needs of a diverse community. Delegates debated and collaborated on how to implement solutions on such controversial issues as teen pregnancy, drinking and driving, and gay marriage. Working with the senior high delegates bolstered Annie's mission to earn her Masters in Social Work.  "I am so proud to be a part of the lives of the MLW delegates I met this summer, the experience was unbelievable."
"MLW magic never ceases to amaze me.  I didn't think MLW could get any better and then I was hired to staff," said Mallory Meiser, Barrel of Monkeys staffer and former ALS and SHW delegate. "I learned so much from everyone on my team and our delegates.  It was an awesome opportunity to be on the other side of things and to create the kind of experience for my delegates that I had when I attended MLW."
The encouragement and wisdom of veteran staff members greatly contributed to the rookies' success. "Everyone was so helpful and supportive," expressed Mallory.  "Of course there were moments when new staff may have felt a bit overwhelmed but everyone was always available to provide support whenever we needed help." Special thanks to the MSEL and SHW directors and New Staff Liaisons Maggie Leahy and Tess O'Brien who welcomed new staff into the MLW family.
Annie Coble is a sophomore at Monmouth University working towards a B.A. in Health Studies and a Masters in Social Work
Kathryn Cohen is a senior at Paint Branch High School in Montgomery County and has applied for acceptance at Wake Forest University as a business major
Arpan Duttaroy is a sophomore at the University of Maryland working towards a B.A. in Government and Politics
Kori Jones is a freshman at Howard Community College working towards a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in Education
Mallory Meiser is a freshman at Towson University working towards a B.A. in Mass Communication: Public Relations for Nonprofits
Help Us Impact More Youth
By: Brianna O'Brien

We all know the impact MLW has made on our lives.  We've witnessed the impact our summer programs have had on students over the past 54 years, whether it was the delegate who did not have the confidence to speak in front of a group or the delegate who had a passion but was not quite sure what to do with it.

Each year, MLW works hard to keep the costs of our transformational programs affordable for families despite ever-increasing operating costs. The upcoming year will be particularly challenging given that MLW's Maryland State funding has been cut by more than 50%.  We have always relied on the generous support of those closest to our programs, in addition to support from the state, in order to operate and do so while keeping our tuition as low as possible.
You may or may not know, but the cost of MLW's programs is significantly more than what we charge.  The actual cost per delegate is $900.  We ask that you make a contribution of any size to help us change the lives of more youth in Maryland.  To make a contribution, visit our online donation site by clicking here or simply call our office at 301-527-8222 to find out other ways to make your contribution.