The Young Leaders Network is designed for young people, in grade 8 and older, who want to make an impact for others with epilepsy and for their communities. Started in 2016-2017, our program has grown to include more than 70 young people from all 4 states. Participants work with leader Chanda Gunn to pick out specific projects they would like to pursue, which most recently include raising money to help for service dogs, public policy advocacy, and supporting EFNE through community engagement work such as team participation in our Walks for Epilepsy.
How do I get involved - and where? In our first year, our in-person programs were held in the Greater Boston area, but in the coming year, we will have programs in Boston, Providence, and Portland -- and we hope to grow even further in other cities! If you’re interested in participating, let us know by emailing Chanda Gunn at email@example.com.
When? In-person meetings are typically held on the 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!
Is Young Leaders Network on Instagram?
Yes, we are! We post upcoming events, updates, and topics of interest here.
Follow us on @youngleadersnetworkefne
Tell me more about what to 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.
Do I have to attend every meeting? No: but we hope you’ll want to!
Is there a fee? No.
What else? Last year, several participants elected to go to our first ever Young Adult Retreat, a long weekend of fun and laughter in Southern Maine in April. One participant is selected to attend “Teen Speak Up” in Washington DC. And, we are working on other opportunities!
Parents: During Council Meetings, parents often congregate with an EFNE staff member or volunteer to share stories and ideas over coffee.
Ready to connect? Email Chanda at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.