|Maryland Leadership Workshops Newsletter
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Alum Spotlight - Chris Longmore
By: Lauren Hanson Lee and Devita Bishundat
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
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
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
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 Kevin.B.Taylor@gmail.com.
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!
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.
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
Arpan Duttaroy is
a sophomore at the University of Maryland working towards a B.A. in Government
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.