Time flies when you’re having fun! This monthly meeting flew by incredibly quick. We kicked off the morning with a Skill Share (created by Madeline Pennebaker, Second Year Fellow), reflecting on our “Lollipop Moments”. A Lollipop Moment is a moment of your life when somebody said or did something small, that actually had a great impact on you. We watched an awesome TEDTalk and then shared our stories in small groups.

Next, we moved on to a training titled: Understanding Ableism & Building Inclusion with Empowering People for Inclusive Communities (EPIC) Leaders. This was an interactive workshop to help fellows gain greater understanding of disabilities, oppression based on ability and how to be more inclusive in their service. The exercises lead by EPIC helped fellows begin to understand Ableism and how it plays a role in their lives and work. After exploring ableism, EPIC provided fellows some easy tips and tools to utilize in their service to ensure that they are challenging ableism and building a safe, successful, and inclusive environment for youth with disabilities.

“The biggest take away I had from the EPIC training was how little I noticed everyday conveniences for me that might be daily struggles for someone with a disability. It brought forward that awareness of how different sensory and physical adjustments can make a big difference in how everyone interacts with the world.” Jessica Grazulis, First Year Fellow.

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“The EPIC training was amazing and eye opening. I learned what the definition of disability is, which is something not so easily defined. Definitely something I want to share with my youth.” Karter Sabir Blake, First Year Fellow.

“The EPIC workshop was really significant for me. I didn’t have much prior knowledge on the subject of ableism and I definitely got a lot out of it. It’s a topic that seems to get less attention that other social issues, but it is no less important.” Ethan Goldman, First Year Fellow.

Next, fellows checked in with  MPF staff for some monthly updates, and switched up the normal routine by participating in Pass The Wagon in the middle of the meeting.

Finally, Fellows participated in reviewing grants. One amazing thing about being a Fellow in The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship is the fact that Fellows are a part of The Grant Review Process! Each year, youth development sites and organizations across Massachusetts apply to host a Fellow. When all of the applications are in, the Fellows have the opportunity to each read 5-7 grants and then deliberate in small groups about their feedback. Not only does this benefit the Fellowship, but this gives Fellows an amazing professional development opportunity!

In a few short weeks, Fellows will be headed to Hancock, Massachusetts for Winter Retreat! Check back with us soon for more updates.

Love in Service,



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