Maryland Leadership Workshops
Maryland Leadership Workshops
Learn to Lead.
Lead for Life.
March 2012



Maryland Leadership Workshops delivers the premier peer-led leadership development experience for youth in Maryland.  But we can't do it alone. As a statewide program, we rely on you - those who know the program best from first-hand experience - to help us get the word out.  Think of the connections you have to students who may be interested in attending our week-long summer experience.  


Our rigorous staff training results in quality enrichment programs that provide students with the knowledge and skills to be effective and successful in school and beyond.  The 1:5 staff to student ratio ensures each student develops a unique and powerful action plan to take back home with them.  You know students who have attended (maybe even yourself!) and the energy and enthusiasm they bring back to schools and communities.   


Share this opportunity with principals, counselors, teachers, parents and students in your community. The Early Bird Deadline is fast approaching. Tell your friends, neighbors and relatives about the life transforming experience of an MLW Summer Program! Tell them to Apply today! 


At MLW, summer core programs are the center of what we do. Supporting these programs is a yearlong endeavor.  Whether it is our annual SAIL delegate reunion in January, ongoing work with the Maryland Association of Student Councils or the wide range of community outreach programs we conduct, all the efforts contribute to the success of our summer programs.  And this year's programs are going to be some of the best yet. Thanks for helping us to get the word out about this amazing opportunity.

Ilaya Signature

Ilaya Hopkins
Executive Director
In This Issue
A Message from Eliot
Program Board and Beyond
Build the Foundation
MLW Behind the Scenes
Of Note, Alumni Notes
Alumni Spotlight
Alumni Survey
MLW Board of Directors
A Message from the Chair
Eliot Head Shot
MLW Chair, Eliot Pfanstiehl

My friends,

This Spring we testified at House and Senate subcommittee hearings in Annapolis to explain the importance of the State Aided Education Institution grant we receive through the Maryland State Department of Education. The grant allows us to attract and support students from around the state, creates natural partners with other organizations, and helps us solicit more resources for MLW. For every $1 of state funding, we attract an additional $10.  I suggested to lawmakers that MLW is the farm team for the very positions they occupy! 


We are glad to get the word out about MLW. It is with deep thanks to our partner Leadership Maryland for facilitating a recent
 article that appeared in The Gazette of Politics and Business. Be sure to read it.  As always, our delegates and staff are those who say it best. MLW lasts a lifetime.  

If you  have ever staffed an MLW program, we hope you will take a moment to fill out our Alumni Staff Survey. We look forward to hearing about where MLW has taken you and are coming up with news ways to keep you involved.


Thank you for all you continue to do to support our programs and reaching more students in Maryland. We are in recruitment season and appreciate you sharing your experiences with all those who will listen!  

 Eliot signature

Eliot Pfanstiehl

Chair, MLW Board of Directors

Program Board and Beyond

Community Outreach is a vital part of what we do, helping MLW reach more students around the State of Maryland. Read on to learn more. 

Community Outreach Director Kori Jones
Community Outreach Director, Kori Jones

Maryland Leadership Workshops has been conducting Community Outreach Programs for many years. A Community Outreach Program is when MLW staff host a program in a facility in your area on topics in which you believe your group could benefit. We have served a variety of clients including local school systems, church groups, and other private organizations. Some of the topics include Group Interaction, Diversity, Communication Skills and Challenges, Choices, and Consequences, just to name a few. We tailor the schedule to meet the specific needs of your group of students- this may include time for team building activities, event planning, or action planning. We look forward to working with you students soon, and if you have any questions please feel free to contact the MLW office or me, Community Outreach Director, Kori Jones.



Journey 2012 

June 24 - 30 at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.

Journey is a weeklong residential program for Howard County girls entering 8th and 9th grade sponsored by the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County, an organization of women philanthropists dedicated to addressing the needs of women and girls in Howard County.  Since Journey began in 2006, more than 200 Howard County girls have completed the program.


Journey's 2012 Program Director is Candace Epps, an experienced MLW and Journey staff member.  Hammond High School Principal Marcy Leonard, Chair of the MLW Program Committee, serves as an advisor.


Journey program components include:

  • Workshops on empowerment and motivation, communication, decision making skills, group dynamics, self-awareness, goal setting, and conflict resolution
  • Small and large group projects for girls to apply and get feedback on their leadership and interpersonal skills
  • One-on-one interactions between staff and girls to address specific areas of growth for the individual and identify an action plan for post-site implementation
  • Recreational activities and team building games, including a Confidence Course

The 2012 program will serve 25 girls, and every effort will be made to include girls from all four corners of the county. Applicants should have some previous experience in leading her peers, a willingness to try new experiences in a safe environment, and a desire to serve her community.

Requests for financial aid should be mailed by March 17, 2012.  The application deadline is March 31, 2012. For more information, click on the link above or contact


Journey 2011
Journey Participants and Staff 2011




Throughout the year, MLW participates in the various events organized by the Maryland Association of Student Councils. Here, student leaders help educate and inspire their peers to be leaders in their own schools.  Among the responsibilities of the MASC are electing candidates to serve as the Student Member of the State Board of Education.  MASC elects two candidates and forwards those names to the Governor who ultimately appoints the individual.  At the end of March, MASC will host its annual convention and MLW will be there facilitating workshops and talking about our programs.  

You can Build the Foundation of MLW

As Maryland Leadership Workshops prepares for its 57th year, we are more energized than ever.  To continue the work of this extraordinary organization, the Board of Directors has launched the Build the Foundation campaign to raise $50,000 in the coming year. 


This will not be possible without your support.  Your donation is directly tied to the programming, staff training and scholarship support that makes the workshops accessible to students throughout the state. 


A gift in any amount shows the breadth and depth of support for MLW and helps secure additional grants and corporate support. For example:


$1,000 Funds a scholarship to cover the full cost of a delegate's summer program experience

$675 Provides tuition for one delegate to attend a summer program!

$325 Defrays the difference between the actual cost per delegate ($1,000) and our tuition ($675)

$200 Supports the Staff Training Fund to cover a portion of the extensive staff training

$150 Pays for a staff member's stipend  for one outreach program

$50 Covers the costs onsite materials for one delegate


The Build the Foundation goal of $50,000 recognizes contributions made by alumni and active staff to the Alumni Partners Campaign, pledges and donations to the Mike Michaelson Endowment fund, and individual gifts from friends and supporters.  Please go online at or download the donation form to lend your support to MLW today.


Thank you for your investment in MLW and leaders of today. 

MLW Ambassadors

Continuing the work begun during the 2011 ALS practicum, a core group of MLW graduates are now MLW Ambassadors.  Each has committed to reaching out in their community to share with teachers, administrators, parents and students, the value of the MLW experience.  We continue to develop our brochure and website but it will always be the personal stories that resonate most deeply.  

If you would like a MLW Ambassador to visit your school, please contact

2011 ALS Delegates Attend SAIL to Share Their Stories

Of note, Alumni Notes! 
March 2012 newsletter Mary Alex
Mary Alex and Luke

Mary Alex and Jake Blanton are proud parents of Luke Alexander Blanton born on December 17, 2011. Congratulations!


Farah Sheikh started at a new job at - the largest youth powered social good organization in the country!  Almost every week, launches a new national campaign that empowers teenagers to support social good causes in their communities. believes in the power of teenagers and provides them with resources such as grants and training opportunities to get their own causes off the ground. It is the largest youth powered social good organization in the country. Farah has joined the team as a Campaigns Associate and will be leading a few of their efforts this year as the organization grows from 16 to 30 campaigns.  Way to go, Farah!


Kathryn Cohen is going to London this summer for an internship! Congrats and safe travels!


Kevin Tervala is going to graduate school!  This fall, Kevin will be starting Harvard University's Ph.D. program in African Studies, specifically concentrating his studies and research on modern and contemporary African art history. 


Joel Goodman (Director of The HUMOR Project, Inc. in Saratoga Springs, NY) continues to attribute his fun-of-a-kind and serendipitous career path to the incredible experiences he had as an MLW delegate and staff member for many years.  Some recent happenings: 

(1) Joel checked off his bucket list two goals:  speaking on all seven continents and in all 50 states.  In fact, he is one of only two professional speakers in the world to have accomplished this.


(2) In the Fall, he was honored to be part of the "Humor, Hope and Healing" Tour for wounded warriors and their caregivers on the east coast, west coast, and Hawaii.


(3) This Spring, he is delighted to travel coast-to-coast in presenting programs on "Humor, Heart and Hope" for Cancer Support Community affiliates in 13 locations (from a significant grant that he co-authored).


(4) Joel is very excited about The HUMOR Project's 55th international conference on "The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity" on June 1-3.  This program, which has attracted 23,000+ people from all 50 states and 6 continents, really had its roots in MLW.  This year, Joel will be honoring former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Peter Funt of Candid Camera fame. Visit  As he has done in the past, Joel is very glad to offer special discounts for MLW staff to attend this learning-chocked, laughter-charged, life-changing program.  Jest email him if you are interested.


The Fletcher Girls
MLW Class of 2023?

2011 SHW Director

Derryck Fletcher, and hiwife, Alexius, welcomed their twin daughters, Kelsey Olivia 

and Katelyn Lauren, to

 the world on December 22, 2011. They came six weeks earlier than expected, but the babies were healthy and mom, who is ironically also a twin, was ready. Kelsey and Katelyn are pictured at their recent christening. 


Kim Gordy now works in undergraduate admissions at The George Washington University. Kim made the switch from Goucher in mid-October. And she will be looking to move from Baltimore toward DC in the spring if anyone has housing suggestions or opportunities, feel free to contact me at  Kim also completed her first half-marathon!!!! Way to go!



MLW alum and former counselor Ryan Gielen has just released his debut novel, Love Bomb and the Pink Platoon. The book follows the story of a military experiment that goes horribly wrong and turns an entire platoon gay. Love Bomb is a dark satire of the minds behind Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and a tribute to those who defeated it, written in the vein of Catch-22 or Dr. Strangelove. 


If you have information to share, please send it to Director of Alumni Lauren Lee at

Alumni Spotlight: Jason Israel
Jason Israel - Viking Teacher


1. Describe your history with MLW - delegate and staff, etc. and how did you get involved in the first place? 

I may have had one of the longest stretches between delegate and staff! I started out at SEL in 8th grade, with Tammy (Weiner) Goldberg directing and Ron D assistant directing and then did SHW the next year. But, then didn't come back to MLW until my senior year at the Naval Academy when Katy (Agro) Myers convinced me to interview for staff. It didn't take much convincing as I'd always looked back on MLW as a defining moment in my life. Since then, I've been on staff as a group leader, facilitator, evaluator, Team O, and was honored to join Dr. Grasmick in Annapolis to testify for MLW funding to the State Senate.

2. What is one of your favorite MLW memories?

My most incredible staff memory is of a delegate in my group who didn't talk to anyone (even his roommates) for the first two days. He was from California but had been sent to live with his aunt in Maryland because his brother and other family members were involved in violent gang activity. Although he'd wanted to leave MLW immediately, we convinced him to try to stay at least until Tuesday.  Tuesday night in our group meeting, his fellow delegates urged him to open up. He shared his life's experience and confessed that he felt he would never be able to identify himself as anything else but a gang member, a "follower", like the other men in his family. There wasn't a dry eye in the room as we witnessed his rebirth as a leader. For the rest of the week, our group embraced him as he took on more and more leadership roles in group meetings and REALITY. It's not only my favorite story because of the result, but because the catalyst of the key turning point moment was not our staff team, but his fellow delegates. It reminds me that, as staff, our job is not to try to manufacture MLW MAGIC, but to subtly find ways for delegates to unlock it in themselves and each other.

3. What do you do for a living? 

I work at the Pentagon in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy helping to coordinate our national security policies, strategies and budgets between numerous government agencies. I was in the active duty Navy as a submarine officer for about ten years, but have recently shifted the reserves. So this is my first "civilian" job. Sometimes it feels like one big, ongoing REALITY project!

4. How does MLW help you in your everyday life?

First and foremost, to reiterate a famous quote (attributed to many), "I am standing on the shoulders of giants." The amazing and inspiring on-the-strength members of the MLW family who have over the years given me their energy, wisdom, and MLW LOVE frequently run through my mind when I'm faced with a challenge in leadership (or life in general). And, besides the practical nature of workshops that perpetually come in handy  (SMART Goals, PPIE, The Art of Facilitation, Motivation & Empowerment, the list goes on...), the overall message of MLW that the potential lies in everyone to successfully lead (and follow when appropriate) is a powerful perspective to carry with you everyday.

5. Do you have any advice for MLW delegates and/or staff members? 

Well, it's truly a daunting task to attempt to advise such a group... but the one thing that I'd like to share from my experience is that MLW MAGIC is not confined to Chestertown... or even Maryland for that matter. Over the last 10 years, wherever I've lived... Seattle, Italy, Washington DC, New York, Boston, and now Baltimore... I've volunteered to run workshops in local schools that are based on our model and have seen it work in those venues in many ways. But, the real MLW-esque impact can even be found outside of the classroom... remembering that leadership and public service can found at the most local level through our daily interactions. For me, it's been spending time with a nervous classmate as she prepares to moderate a panel discussion, coaching a colleague from China before he teaches at a US high school, mentoring a recent service academy graduate over lunch about careers in military intelligence, or just taking a colleague out of the office for an hour to chat when it was clear from her face that something was wrong. Making time for these things is how we can have a little bit of MLW everyday.



MLW Through the Years
2011 holiday celebration
Mike Michaelson and Alex Pruner at the 2011 Annual Holiday Celebration
Alumni Staff - you know who you are! - We want to hear from you. Please take a couple minutes to fill out our MLW Alumni Staff Survey. The survey closes March 23 so click on the link and complete it today!

Thanks to people like Mike Michaelson, Steve Sultanoff and Karen Crawford, we are building the MLW Photo Archive and putting it online for all to see.  If you have 'classic' photos to include, please email them to or post them to our Facebook Fan Page at

Be sure to include the year, program and individuals in the photo so we will know who everyone is!  

Join the legacy and be a part of MLW 3.0 as we continue to enrich, empower and engage Maryland youth. Stay in touch through, and LinkedIn

Let us know what you would like to see in our next newsletter at

Are you interested in supporting MLW?

Donate online or contact the office at 301-527-8222 to find out how you can make a tax deductible contribution.

Contributions of $500 or more may qualify for a tax credit.

2012 Program Information


July 15 - July 21



July 22 - July 28


@ Washington College in Chestertown, MD. 


Check out the

2012 program brochure

and download Delegate Application Packets at 

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Leadership Opportunities
Student Member,
MLW Board of Directors

Letter of Interest should be sent to by March 23, 2012
MLW is Hiring!
  • Part time Bookkeeper
  • Summer Office Staff
 For more information, contact

Other Opportunities
Deadline March 15, 2012

Do you have Leadership Opportunities to share?  Send them to

Important Dates



March 22, 2012

Information Session for 

Youth Leadership Montgomery


March 31, 2012

Journey Applications Due


April 20, 2012

Board of Directors Meeting


May 1, 2012


Early Bird Tuition deadline

(complete delegate applications must be postmarked by May 1 for the Early Bird rate)


July 15-July 21, 2012

ALS and MSEL on site


July 22 - July 28, 2012

SHW on site


MLW Board of Directors

Executive Committee


Eliot Pfanstiehl,


President and CEO, Strathmore Hall


Sean M. Looney,

Vice Chair

Vice President, State Government Affairs, Comcast


Katherine Getty, Treasurer

Managing Director, Susquehanna Bank


Kim Coble,


MD Exec Dir, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.


Marcy Leonard,

Chair, Program Committee

Principal, Howard County Public Schools


Ilaya R. Hopkins

Executive Director


Board of Directors


John Cammack

Commack and Associates


Lloyd Etheredge

Project Director, Policy Sciences Center


Nancy Grasmick

State Superintendent (retired)

MD State Dept of Education


Holly B. Huntley

Vice President, Human Resources, CSC


Thomas Jarboe

COO, Technology Security Associates


Rose Krasnow

Division Chief, M-NCPPC


Nancy Minieri

President, Leadership Maryland


Ann Misback



Betty Morgan

Executive Director Grad Nation

America's Promise Alliance


Wilson H. Parran

Asst Sec - Mission Support, MD DNR


Skipp Sanders

Lecturer, Morgan State University


Susan C. Simmons

Director, Caroline County Recreation & Parks


Cathleen Vitale

Delegate, Maryland House of Delegates


Betty Weller

VP, Maryland State Education Association


Amanda Werrell