The members of LNC Class XXIV are just two sessions away from wrapping up the 2016-2017 program year. This diverse group of 55 leaders from across the state first came together for their Orientation session in Boone in October. They formed quick connections and were immediately engaged when they reconvened in Raleigh for their November Government session. Highlights of that session included a tour of the NC Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW), a reception at the Executive Mansion, a “Legislator for an Hour” exercise, the interactive “Budgetopolis” budgeting simulation, an engaging Leadership Profile talk by Former Chief Justice Henry Frye, and presentations on topics including North Carolina’s political landscape, separation of powers, local government, and citizen engagement.
In December, Class XXIV met in Winston-Salem. They started off with a fascinating tour of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a reception at Biotech Place in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter. Winston-Salem State University hosted one day of the session, with presentation topics including an overview of education in North Carolina, technology in the classroom, the changing face of community colleges, discussions with North Carolina teachers and principals, presentations on education for social and economic impact and on educational innovators and disruptors, and an inspiring Leadership Profile talk by educator Dr. Dudley Flood.
The most recent Class XXIV session was the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Health and Human Services session, held at the Foundation for the Carolinas and hosted on the campus of UNC Charlotte. The session started with a volunteer shift at Second Harvest Food Bank, where Class XXIV honed their sorting skills. Susan DeVore, president and chief executive officer of Premier, Inc., motivated the group with her engaging lessons of leadership. Other 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 and resulted in hundreds of pounds of food being donated to Second Harvest.
Members of Class XXIV will gather in New Bern in March and in Asheville in April for their final two program sessions. May 11th 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 XXV.