Message from the President
By: Ron Dhindsa
wish you all an enjoyable holiday season and a safe and prosperous new
year! 2010 will be a pivotal year
for MLW. We face significant
challenges with our $60,000 annual Maryland State Department of Education grant
having been reduced to $29,277, and with further cuts likely. I have met with Governor O'Malley's
Chief of Staff to stave off further cuts for MLW and the 37 other State-Aided
Educational Institutions. While
the meeting was successful, the uncertainty of Maryland's budget renders
ongoing reliance on state funding perilous.
Ironically, these cuts are contemporaneous with our having
made the investment in MLW's first full-time, salaried executive director,
thereby substantially increasing our capacity to transform the lives of more
Maryland students. Further indicia
of our increased capacity is reflected in the many 2 and 3-day residential
community outreach programs we have conducted over the past three summers
through federal grants (via MSDE) varying from $27,000-$45,000 per year. We have also conducted a week-long
program for Howard County girls for each of the past four years. Thus, we are at a challenging yet
exciting place, in which our capacity to conduct programming is great, yet
identifying new funding sources is critical for us to achieve long-term
While MLW has made significant progress toward
sustainability vis-à-vis the Mike Michaelson Fund, community outreach
programming expansion, and several private grants, the governance model of MLW
needs to change for MLW to ensure sustainability beyond any one person or group
of people. Accordingly, the Policy
Board will present to the general membership on December 23rd a plan
to substantially restructure MLW without compromising the integrity, quality or
traditions of our life-transforming programs.
We are excited about the prospect of superimposing a
traditional non-profit board of directors structure atop MLW's existing Policy
Board structure. The new Board of
Directors would consist of 10-20 persons who are not strangers to MLW and who
are well-situated in the community to help MLW raise funds, serve as
ambassadors, and assume fiduciary responsibility. I invite you to attend the MLW corporation meeting (a/k/a
holiday party) on December 23rd at Strathmore Mansion to: 1) hear
more about MLW's future governance structure; 2) hear more about MLW's 55 year
reunion event in the fall of 2010; and 3) rejoice with the MLW family.
MLW wishes you and your family all the best in this holiday
season and the new year!
News from our Alumni
By: Lauren Hanson Lee
MLW would like to send our sincerest congratulations to the following people:
Alison and Brian Baczkowski had their first child Bobby Baczkowski on October 30, 2009! Alison says that motherhood is amazing so far!
Catherine and Scott Ballinger are expecting another bundle of joy! It's a girl and she is due in February.Sterling Grimes
He was recently accepted into Teach For America and invited to teach high
school English as a corps member in Philadelphia. He'll start next fall
and be there through 2012. Candice Epps
Candice won the Dedication to Education and Service Award with her school's (VCU) chapter of Americorps. Congratulations!Theresa McKay
She will be studying abroad in January for the Spring semester in Alcala, Spain.
Karen is getting the Region 2 (PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD) Earl Reum Award. The Earl Reum Award was created in 1991 to honor the outstanding
contributions of writer and speaker, Dr. Earl Reum, whose contributions
to the field of student leadership development over the years have
affected thousands of advisers and students in the U.S. and Canada. He
has written extensively to create a leadership curriculum for teacher
and student use and has authored many articles and monographs dealing
with a variety of student activity topics. He founded our
organization, the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD),
and is a leader in his own right and an ardent supporter of student
activities. In 2004, the award's nomination and presentation was
transferred to NAWD where it replaced the organizations Workshop
Director of the Year Award, which has been presented since 1985.Alana Murray
Alana is currently working on her doctorate in Urban/Minority Education.
Giving Back to MLW
By: Bri O'Brien
Happy holidays! I hope you have time set aside to relax and celebrate with the people you love.
As the New Year approaches, I always find myself taking stock of what's important to me. As much as 2010 will be a time of new adventures and projects, the New Year is also the perfect time to renew your commitment to those things that have always been on your list. I think for most of us - MLW is.
As you wrap up this year with presents, and parties, and toasts, I hope you'll consider including MLW in some way. Your gifts to MLW are of great importance and allow us to impact Maryland's youth, year after year. So consider a gift in honor of the parent or teacher who originally sent you, or if there isn't anything you really want - ask for contributions to MLW in lieu of gifts. (Don't forget, all charitable contributions are fully tax deductible).
Or if a financial gift is not in the cards this season, I ask that as you make resolutions and do your best to keep them that you find room for MLW on the list. I know that my annual resolution to "do more good this year than last" is always easy to keep with MLW in my life. And its not difficult to stay involved! You can come to a policy board meeting, recommend a child, connect us with a corporate sponsor, staff a program, and much more! No matter what your schedule or situation, there is always a way to keep the MLW magic in your life!
Happy holidays to you and yours! 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.
|Alum Spotlight - Joel Goodman
By: Lauren Hanson Lee
Below is an interview MLW conducted with former staffer, Joel Goodman.
Information on Joel Goodman:
In 1977, Joel founded The HUMOR Project, Inc., the first
organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of
humor. More than three million
people have attended his programs throughout the U.S. and from six
continents. Over four million
people have accessed his www.HumorProject.com web site. More than 165,000 people are part of his
AHA (American Humor Association).
Tens of thousands of people from six continents have attended Joel's 52
international humor conferences (a direct outgrowth of the skills he learned as
a high school student in MLW).
More than 5000 TV and radio shows, newspapers and magazines in 150+
countries have featured Joel's unique career. His jest-selling books have sold 100,000+ copies (again the
communication and writing skills picked up at MLW proved to be
invaluable). Finally, The HUMOR
Project has provided grants to over 450 non-profit organizations, schools, and
human service agencies to help them tap the positive power of humor (the
importance of "doing well and doing good" was something Joel learned through
What did you want to
be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a number of things at different points. My
biggest aspiration was to be a professional athlete.
In what sport did you
aspire to be a professional in?
Well I was basically going to spread it around. Baseball in summer, basketball in the
winter and football in the fall.
So you were a jack of
I was a jock of all trades. Yes, I loved sports, I'd play from the morning until after
dusk. Soon though, a reality check
entered the scene... I was not going to be the next Mickey Mantle or Bob Cousy.
Do you ever feel
pressure to be funny - like all the time?
Yes, it's definitely an occupational hazard. People are always coming up to me
saying, " tell me a joke, be funny, say something funny"....so I just say
"something funny." So that's
been an occupational hazard as well as an amusing challenge. It's fun to be spontaneous.
Do you practice what
you preach in the workplace?
It's always a serendipitous reminder to practice what I teach. "Taking your job seriously and yourself
lightly" is something I always like to remember. In fact, that is the most popular program title offered by
our Speakers Bureau. I've always seen myself as a balance of serious and
light. I think it's really
important to laugh at oneself.
What is your work
environment like? It sounds like a
pretty fun job.
A great ride! The kinds of people who would be attracted to
our programs are just the kinds of people that I'd want to hang out with.
What work advice do
you have for others in different jobs and different professions?
There is a difference between being a "serious professional"
and a "solemn professional." You
can have a serious job and be serious about what you are doing but at the same
time solemnity doesn't serve us in the short or the long run. You have to be able to laugh at
What is your
relationship with MLW?
It goes back centuries to Frostburg College. Sometimes we referred to it as
"Frostbite" College. I had the
good fortune to participate in the MLW Senior High Workshop the summer before
my junior year, in 1964. I came
home and my mom wondered what had happened to me. I participated in the Advanced Leadership Seminar the summer
before my senior year. Without a
doubt, these were the most impactful and enjoyable learning experiences for me
during my K-12 years. Later, I had
the good fortune to serve on the MLW staff during college and graduate
school. My MLW experiences
directly led me into completing my Masters and Doctorate. In fact, my doctoral dissertation
focused on the pioneering Advanced Leadership Seminar for which I was
Co-Director. It shook up my world
in a positive way. It opened my
eyes and heart to another positive reality.
What impact did it
have on your life?
It goes to the heart of who I am and who I became. People like Uncle Si were such an
inspiration to me. Mike Michaelson was incredible as an encourager of a young
person learning. He gave me the space and support for me to learn and
grow. I really attribute a lot of
who I am to Si and Mike.
What would be some
advice that you'd like to give to the next generation of staffers or the
delegates of today?
Humor can serve us personally and interpersonally. Humor prevents hardening of the
attitudes. Seven days without
laughter makes one weak. Humor can
add years to your life... and life to your years. Positive, affirming humor can turn human beings into humane
beings into humor beings. We
should all try to get more smileage out of life and work!
Special Offer to MLW
Joel has been a long-time supporter of MLW. He would love to offer a special
discount to MLW staff who would like to attend The HUMOR Project's renowned
international conference on "The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity" that
takes place on June 11-13, 2010.
Any MLW staff member who would like to take advantage of this learning-chocked,
laughter-charged, life-changing opportunity can use "Code MLW" when registering
to receive a 10% tuition discount.
You'll come away with lots of fun, inspiration, skills, and engaging
activities (it could also be a great bonding/team-building experience if a
number of us go). For a free copy
of the 2010 Humor Sourcebook (mailed in early January-the conference is
described on pages 11-23), email Joel@HumorProject.com
(with MLW in the Subject Line) with your name and mailing address or call
518-587-8770. He would also be glad to include you on the list to receive the
free monthly Laughing Matters e-zine.