Young Leaders Network

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There’s nothing we love more than seeing young community members taking the lead on helping others in our community.

Since its founding in Boston in January 2017, the Young Leaders Network has grown to include 275+ high school and college aged people meeting in Boston, Providence, Worcester, Springfield, Portland, and in Southern NH. 

What Does The Young Leaders Network Do?

Participants work with Chanda Gunn and volunteer leaders to pick out specific projects they would like to pursue, which most recently include raising money to help pay for service dogs for people in need, public policy advocacy, and supporting Epilepsy Foundation New England through community engagement work such as team participation in our Walks for Epilepsy. The program follows a "Curriculum" that begins in September and ends in June. Most groups meet twice per month.  Members come together for fun meetups in the summer.

How do I get involved - and where?

Young Leaders Networks are meeting in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester MA; Providence RI; Portland ME; and Southern NH.  We are growing all the time! 

If you’re interested in participating, let us know by emailing Chanda Gunn at @email.

When?

In-person meetings are typically held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Subcommittee meetings are held by phone and are led by a Young Adult Leader. These meetings are set at times which are convenient for the committee members. Be sure to visit our YLN calendar for upcoming events and meetings!

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What Should I Expect?

Fun, friendship, involvement, and learning! Last spring, the group met at Northeastern University to learn about how to write “elevator speeches.” They then recorded their speeches at the University’s recording studio.

The group also met with world-famous author Francisco Stork, who spoke to YLN members about creative writing - inspiring the group to do their own writing! The Young Leaders also volunteered at the Boston Walk for Epilepsy, where they managed younger children’s activities, such as face-painting and games.

Several participants elect to go to our Young Adult Retreat. One participant per state is selected to attend “Teen Speak Up” in Washington DC. We are now working on other opportunities - connect for more details!

Is Young Leaders Network on Instagram?

Yes, we are! We post upcoming events, updates, and topics of interest @youngleadersnetworkefne.

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Do I have to attend every meeting?

No - but we hope you’ll want to!

Is there a fee?

No - members are invited to participate at no cost to you.

About Chanda Gunn

NH Field Service Manager and Youth Programming Specialist Chanda Gunn leads this program. She is an accomplished ice hockey player known for overcoming obstacles on and off the rink.

Diagnosed with epilepsy at age 9, Chanda went on to excel at hockey and was recruited to the National Team at age 15. An alum of Northeastern University, in 2004, Chanda was honored with the NCAA Female Sportsmanship Award and College Hockey Humanitarian Award. The following year, she helped Team USA win a gold medal at the World Championships. In 2006, Chanda helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal in the XX Olympic Winter Games, her third Olympics.

An injury forced her to retire in 2009, and she quickly took up the mantle of working with high risk youth as a Teen Center Manager in Greater Boston, and then in the City of Lowell, before taking time away to raise her two children.

All the while, Chanda has been an outspoken advocate and role model for epilepsy, working regularly with Epilepsy Foundation of America, Columbia-based FACES, the Epilepsy Therapy Project, and Epilepsy Foundation affiliates and chapters across the country.

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