LLA participant Katie Thwaits, left, speaking with folks at the Bandelier table about Leadership Los Alamos. Photo by Martha Katko
Enrollment is open through June 26 for the Leadership Los Alamos Class of 2016 and everyone is welcome to apply.
Between now and then, the Los Alamos Daily Post is publishing a series of Q&A profiles on recent LLA graduates who talk about their experience in the program.
Leadership Los Alamos is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), tax exempt organization founded to identify current and emerging leaders in the Los Alamos community, enhance their leadership skills, and deepen their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our area.
In the Leadership Los Alamos program, participants learn as much about themselves as they do about leadership, teamwork and the community. To learn more, visit About Leadership Los Alamos and Applying to the Program.
Katie Thwaits, 2015 graduate of Leadership Los Alamos. Photo by Martha Katko
The Q&A profile series continues with Katie Thwaits, Assistant County Attorney:
LLA: How many years have you lived and/or worked in Los Alamos?
Thwaits: Nine years.
LLA: Why did you enroll in Leadership Los Alamos?
Thwaits:.To connect with the community. Although I have lived here over nine years, for more than six of those years, I had little connection to the community because I worked off the hill.
LLA: What was your biggest “take-away” from the class?
Thwaits: Each and every class session was great. The speakers were informative. The class locations were strategically chosen to relate to the class topics and also expose the class to new areas and assets of the community. I learned new things about so many different aspects of Los Alamos, from history to environment to youth, to name a few. The networking and team-building games with fellow classmates were invaluable. We learned so much from each other (and about ourselves); we all come from so many walks of life, each with so much to offer and from differing perspectives, and all with a general goal to be a positive impact on our community. The “Leadership Experience” project piece of the class forced us (in a positive way) to be part of something, either something we created or joining in an already established project. Our class’ projects ranged from creating and implementing a successful Volunteer Fair from scratch, providing much-needed toiletry gift bags to women’s shelters, helping the Senior Center with spring gardening and cleaning, establishing a traumatic brain injury support group, and the list just goes on. Hearing and seeing about all of the innovative and encouraging projects from classmates was inspiring.
LLA: What are you doing with what your learned?
Thwaits: I am much more aware of all of the amazing people in the community that work together for good causes. I am becoming an active volunteer for community organizations and currently serving on a non-profit board.
LLA participant Katie Thwaits at last September’s first session of the 2014-15 class. Photo by Martha Katko