conf11To All Past Participants of The LeaderShop (CEP), I am so excited about getting The LeaderShop Alumni Association up and running and I can’t wait to reconnect with you! I really appreciate the time and effort that our alumni volunteers have committed to making the association a reality! As you may know I have been a part of this organization for over 32 years now. I’ve had the privilege of working under three successful Executive Directors—Catherine Menninger, David Terrazino and Alan Morales. We’ve made it through three different names—Community Extension Project (CEP), CEP Youth Leadership and now The LeaderShop. We’ve gone from providing crisis intervention programs in the early years to offering positive youth development programs for the past two and a half decades. And we’ve benefitted by being able to work with lots of talented staff members who have shared their lives with us before they’ve moved on in their careers. Most importantly I have had the pleasure of knowing and spending time with you—the alumni of this organization! I have incredible memories from programs that include:
Kid ConnectionKids at Work
Teen UpWise Up
Junior High Leadership ProgramHigh School Leadership Program
After School Homework ProgramY Parties
Youth CouncilYouth Advisory Board
Teen LeadersWatch My Feet
Girls and Guys Groups… and my favorite, Haunted Manor
Through all the years and all the changes one thing has remained constant: the amazing young (and some of you older) men and women you have become. You have no idea how thrilled and excited I am to run into a past participant that I haven’t seen for awhile. It truly makes my day. I am overwhelmingly grateful for all the alumni who have stayed connected and continue to volunteer at our fund raisers, serve as adult leaders at our conferences, join our Board of Directors, become Mentors, support our special events and even join our staff. The thing that is so special and unique about this organization is, as you participate in the service projects, serve as teen leaders, and volunteer at different places in the community, you learn and grow in more ways than you think. Over the years many of you have shared thoughts like:
  • “All this time I thought I was the one giving. Now I realize that I was the one receiving.”
  • “I took the RA training in college and I already knew everything they taught us from being a Teen Leader.”
  • “We were so lucky to have The LeaderShop (CEP)—I thought there were agencies like this in every community.”
  • “I feel confident in my ability to interact with anyone, even if they are different than me, because of my diverse experience at The LeaderShop (CEP).”
Thank you for all that you have taught me over the years, all that you have contributed to our community and to the Agency and mostly for the incredible memories. I am so proud of each and every one of you who continue to make a difference in your communities through your professions, volunteerism and the way that you raise your families. Whether you are a nurse, mechanic, teacher, banker, factory worker or stay at home mom or dad, I am confident that you are continuing to change the world around you in a positive way each and every day, just like you did when you were a younger participant of the Agency. I hope that you will take the opportunity to reconnect by updating your information, sharing a memory about your experiences at The LeaderShop (CEP), and joining us at some of the upcoming alumni events! I so look forward to the opportunity to see you again, reminisce about our good times together and learn where your lives have taken you since I’ve seen you last. Cathy Pierson Director of Volunteer & Community Relations