Greetings and salutations!
One of the things that fuels my passion the most is receiving excited communications from our staff out in the field relaying the impact of our work. This week I had two of those that I’d like to share.
Earlier this week Jeremy sent me a text from a certified trainer information meeting he was attending with the Washington DC Office of the Secretary of Education. The woman leading the training revealed that she had never heard of KIT. Three random people in the meeting (completely unsolicited) spoke up to share their experiences with KIT. The first woman shared that she knew of KIT from a meeting with Mary Shea that shaped the direction of her education and career. She said that she still thinks of Mary about once a month because of how inspiring that conversation was, especially as she finishes her Ph.D. at George Mason University. (Many of us can attest that one conversation with Mary can be life-changing.) The second person worked with us in one of her previous positions and was excited about the opportunity to partner again. The third person teared up as she said that she had attended a KIT community training in DC and that it inspired her to become a trainer. She finished by saying to Jeremy, “It is ironic that you are here because you are the reason I am here, and do not even know it.” (Yes, this was all in one text message :-). This is the kind of impact that is impossible to measure, but what a gift when we come face-to-face with it in an unexpected setting.
Kat has spent her week on Martha’s Vineyard working with just about every person there, it seems. She spent time with the Boys & Girls Club of Martha’s Vineyard, helping them problem solve and being in the right place at the right time. She hosted community meetings where she shared free resources and answered questions. Kat spent time with the staff of the local library. She was particularly enthusiastic about a session she held at the high school for students with and without disabilities where she led a conversation about socially responsible language. She told me that the teens had dug into the topic and even started planning their own message campaign to share with their peers. Many of you had the opportunity to hear Kathi Hackett, director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, who spoke at KIT last week. This is what she was talking about when she detailed their intentional effort to create more and better inclusion for residents with disabilities.
Inclusion is powerful because it builds on itself and brings everyone into the circle. I love to hear these kinds of stories, where people have come into contact with KIT, internalized the mission, and then acted on behalf of it in their own way, in their own community.
Thanks to Jeremy, Kat, and all of our staff, who eagerly share their stories from the field with the rest of us, and thanks to all of you for helping us plant the seeds of inclusion everywhere!
I’ll leave you with a few pics of our team who left the sunshine of Southern California last week for colder climes this week. #KITTrainerLife