The Parent Information Center, NH Family Voices and the YEAH Council held the 2016 Partnering for Strength Conference on April 1st and 2nd at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH.
The Partnering for Strength Conference is a yearly event sponsored by the Parent Information Center, NH Family Voices and the YEAH Council. This year 117 adults and 47 youth came together to learn and network. The conference included a keynote, morning, afternoon and “short” breakout sessions.
The keynote speaker, Rachel Adams is a writer and Professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of numerous academic and book reviews, as well as three books. Her most recent is Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability and Discovery published by Yale Press.
The Youth Conference Your Vision, Your Future: Creating the Life for You featured sessions planned by youth for youth. Julie Bond Genovese, an inspirational speaker, life coach and best-selling author of the award winning memoir, Nothing Short of Joy was the keynote speaker. Julie has been featured on television and radio including Anderson Cooper Live, NBC LX and Oprah.com radio with Gayle King. Julie was diagnosed with dwarfism and degenerative arthritis at birth. After years of humiliation and shame, medical studies and operations, including two brain surgeries, Julie realized that the biggest thing standing in her way was own belief system (she calls it BS). Happiness it turned out wasn’t dependent on her circumstances but on her responsible to them.
Comments given by parents and professionals include:
- Very informative and a great way to connect and build support!
- So happy I came today. I haven’t been to a conference like this in a while, very informative. I am so glad it was a positive experience for my son who attended the Yeah conference.
- So glad we attended! The networking component was very important – a wonderful experience over all!!
- Very well done, engaging speakers and topics
- This conference stands above the many I’ve attended recently. The genuine dedication and shared compassion and inclusion and support of all.
Youth comments include:
- It was awesome!
- I wish to go to the next conference.
- Really pretty interesting.
- I enjoyed it.
- Very fun – liked everything about getting jobs with disability.