The Impact of Class XXIII

The members of LNC Class XXIII are just two-thirds of the way through their program year and they are already having an impact on their state.

This group of 55 leaders gathered in Raleigh in November for their first program session. Highlights of the Government session included a tour of the NC Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW), a reception at the Executive Mansion with remarks from NC DHHS Secretary Rick Brajer, a “Legislator for an Hour” exercise held on the floor of the NC House of Representatives, the interactive “Budgetopolis” budgeting simulation, and presentations on topics including civics, local government, politics, lobbying, and citizen engagement. The group was so impressed by the work of the Mothers and Their Children (MATCH) program at NCCIW that they held a book drive resulting in hundreds of books donated for mothers to read with their children during visits to the prison.

In December, Class XXIII met on the campuses of NC A&T State University and the University of Greensboro for their Education session. They started off with a moving tour of the International Civil Rights museum and a reception at the ACC Hall of Champions. Presentation topics included an overview of education in North Carolina, technology in the classroom, the changing face of community colleges, presentations by two NC Teachers of the Year, an interactive segment on kinesthetic learning, and an inspiring Leadership Profile talk by educator Dr. Dudley Flood. One of the most powerful elements of the session was a visit to the Middle College at A&T State that included remarks by principal Marcus Gause and tours led by an impressive group of young students. Connections made between LNC participants and Middle College students have led to members of Class XXIII contributing towards the costs of college tours for young men who otherwise couldn’t afford to go on such a trip.

The most recent Class XXIII session was the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Health and Human Services session, held in uptown Charlotte and on the campus of UNC Charlotte. The session started with a volunteer shift at Second Harvest Food Bank, where Class XXIII tackled their sorting assignment with gusto, exceeding an ambitious goal. HHS session presentations built on content from past sessions, drawing important connections between health, education, poverty, and hunger and highlighting innovations to help address these challenges. Connections across these issues were reinforced during the “Making Ends Meet” simulation, during which class members were assigned to groups tasked with shopping for a month’s worth of food under the parameters of the WIC and SNAP food support programs. Sponsored and hosted by Harris Teeter and facilitated by LNC Class XIV alumnus Bill Rhyne, the “Making Ends Meet” exercise provided a hands-on learning opportunity, resulted in a donation of 470 pounds of food to Second Harvest Food Bank, and fueled passionate discussion among the members of Class XXIII.

LNC is grateful to the members of Class XXII planning teams who worked so hard to put together outstanding content, to the Harris Teeter team for their support of “Making Ends Meet,” and to all the sponsors who make this program possible.

Members of Class XXIII will gather in Wilmington in March and in Asheville in April for their final two program sessions. May 13th will mark their graduation from the LNC program, their transition to alumni, and the start of their work planning the program content for LNC Class XXIV.

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