The members of LNC Class XXV are just one session away from wrapping up the 2017-2018 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 Mike Sprayberry, and presentations on topics including North Carolina’s political landscape, separation of powers, local government, and citizen engagement.
In December, Class XXV met in Greensboro. They started off with a fascinating tour of the International Civil Rights Museum and a reception at HQ Greensboro. Bennett College 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.
After taking a break in January, Class XXV reconvened in February for 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 and Crisis Assistance Ministry, where Class XXV honed their sorting skills. Dr. Laura Gerald, president of Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, 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.
The most recent Class XXV session was the Duke Energy Economic Development Session, hosted by UNC Pembroke. The session started with a tour of Ft. Bragg and participation in training simulations on base. Session presentations included a Leadership Profile presentation by Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, chancellor of UNC Pembroke and an alum of LNC Class XV, and a conversation with Secretary of Commerce Anthony Copeland. Other highlights were presentations by members of the Lumbee Tribe; panel discussions on infrastructure, workforce development, the rural-urban relationship, and innovation; and an interactive economic development simulation.
Members of Class XXV will gather in Asheville in April for their final program sessions, this one focused on the environment. May 10th 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 XXVI.