Grand Forks, ND – LISTEN, Inc. Executive Director Christy Potts is one of 32 selected nationwide to participate in the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, Leadership Institute held at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware Jan. 12-17.
The National Leadership Consortium is a partnership of the 18 national disability organizations dedicated to promoting citizenship, equality and access to high quality, individualized supports for people with disabilities.
Potts started her career supporting people with disabilities in 2009. She graduated from Minot State University with a B.S. in Business Management and International Business in 2011 while working full time as a Direct Support Professional. She continued working with people with disabilities while attending Minot State University to complete a M.S. in Management in 2014.
Potts, who joined LISTEN, Inc. as Executive Director in 2018, has held various roles in the field including Direct Support Professional, Case Management Assistant, Program Specialist, and Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional.
LISTEN is a nonprofit organization in Grand Forks with a successful record of making a difference for people with disabilities and their loved ones. The organization provides residential and day services for adults with disabilities and runs the LISTEN Drop-In Community Center at 624 N Washington Street to encourage relationship building and community sharing for all people. LISTEN uses charitable gaming to offset Drop-In costs and runs one of the top ten charitable gaming programs in the state. The organization has held the annual Festival of Trees fundraiser for 27 years to help support opportunities for all people in the Greater Grand Forks area and to support local families around the holiday season.
National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
Founded in 2006, the National Leadership Consortium works to assure that the next generation of leaders in the intellectual and developmental disabilities sector have the skills, values, knowledge and resources needed to continue a worldwide shift away from congregate service models that keep people with disabilities segregated and isolated, to individualized, person directed supports that ensure that people are meaningful members of their chosen communities. The goal of the Institute is to assist agencies that are committed to making significant and measurable change; infuse them with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to reduce reliance on congregate services and assist them to identify and overcome obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing a transformed service model.
The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities also provides state specific Leadership Institutes across the U.S. in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas and internationally in central Europe, British Columbia, Ontario, and Israel. Participants have represented over 900 agencies, 50 states and 14 countries worldwide.
Nancy Weiss, Director of the National Leadership Consortium states, “The Leadership Institutes are intensive, exciting, and transformational. During the Institutes, participants learn from a faculty of renowned national experts about progressive supports for people with disabilities”. Weiss says, “It is always an amazing week. Participants often arrive unsure and even a bit skeptical; they leave better prepared to effect positive change within their organizations and for the ultimate benefit of people with disabilities and their families. Without exception, they leave the Leadership Institute with renewed energy and excited to put into practice the new ideas they’ve embraced. They go back to their home organizations with a network of colleagues who often become a lifelong circle of support as each participant begins the tough and exhilarating work needed to create stronger organizations, meaningful change, and better lives for the people they support.”