SEEC Insider
February 2020 | Issue Seventeen

Join us in Congratulating Karen Lee on her 30th Anniversary!

Karen has been described as a mover and shaker from the time she came on the scene in Maryland. If an idea anywhere in the state was new and considered progressive, Karen would make sure that she was learning about it, adapting the best parts that fit for the people supported at SEEC, and would often find herself in leading further change in that direction.

Karen is known for not taking the standard or easy way out in providing services, seeking policy change, or keeping her organization at status quo. These characteristics have provided Karen and SEEC with some uphill climbs and challenges to which she has stayed committed to successful ends. The efforts that Karen has led have genuinely increased quality in SEEC, local providers, Maryland services, and national administrations and agencies.

Karen remains on top of current research, learning all she can about moving SEEC’s supports and strategic operations toward increased quality, engages in any way she can to benefit the Maryland system, and continues to be a sought after presenter, trainer and consultant nationally. READ MORE HERE.
Inside This Issue
  • Celebrating Karen Lee's 30th Anniversary
  • NADSP Competency 8: Advocacy
  • Developmental Disabilities Day at Legislature
  • SEEC Launches New Volunteer Program!
  • SEEC at SIlver Branch Brewing Company
  • March Mock Interviews
NADSP Competency 8: Advocacy
By Abdul Jallah, Community Support Specialist, Discoveries

1)      What does Advocacy mean to you and why it is important? What does it mean to you as a staff member providing supports for a person receiving services?

Advocacy means to fight for someone’s name and bring awareness to what is important to them. It is important to advocate for people who may not be able to communicate well for themselves because everyone deserves a voice in this world. Those we support need someone who has the voice and power to speak for them and raise awareness of what it is like to live in their shoes. They have unique lives and it is part of our job to show the world they are just as important and deserve to be treated with respect. 
2)      What advice would you give staff members that are learning about doing Advocacy?    
Advocacy can be a simple to complex situation. Simple things such as allowing those we support to do activities on their own and feel empowered helps to advocate for them as a person. Complicated situations such as people who look down on those with IDD for example, will treat them differently in society. This is when we need to be their voice and show the community that they are no different.   
SEEC Night Out at Silver Branch Brewing Company!

It was a fabulous evening with over 90 attendees at the Silver Branch Brewing Company on Wednesday, February 19th. Everyone had a great night and enjoyed beer, pizza and SEEC trivia! SEEC raised over $4000 thanks to those who attended. A great big thank you to Silver Branch Brewing Co for donating the beer for the evening and the beautiful gift basket, to Flippin’ Pizza Bethesda for donating (and delivering!) the delicious pizza, to Alco Pharmacy for donating the Mastercard Gift Card, to ALL SET Restaurant for donating a restaurant gift card, and to the XFL for the free tickets to a DC Defenders game! We are so grateful to all for helping to make our event a success! Lastly, thank you to our amazing host committee led by the siblings of people we support: Kaitlyn Dirksen, Katie Syers, Nick Schaufelberger,
Nate Ratnofsky, Johanna McCrehan, Kim Engstrom, Rachel Williams, Jed Seifert
OB Nwagbe, and Mandy Lam.
Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature
by Kyra Harvey, Lydia Aimone and Michael Matthews

Developmental Disabilities Day at the Legislature was on Wednesday, February, 12, 2020 and SEEC was in force to represent! Eleven of the people SEEC supports were there to meet with their state officials to speak about the issues important to them so that laws can be written to support their needs and remove barriers. The day was successful in engaging many to become vocal self-advocates at Maryland's highest level- the State House and Senate. SEEC and the people we support showed up as voters, constituents, and proud advocates. 
SEEC Launches New
Volunteer Program!
by Melissa Matthews

Last August, SEEC entered a partnership with Volunteer Maryland with the goal of building a formal and structured volunteer program that increases the scale and effectiveness of the current services at SEEC. This partnership welcomed AmeriCorps member and Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa Michaels, to SEEC and in her role she has provided extensive focus around volunteer program development. During her AmeriCorps service year with SEEC, Melissa hopes to help build a sustainable agency-wide volunteer program that documents volunteer data and evaluates measurable outcomes to capture the incredible impact volunteers have at SEEC. The specialized skills, talents, and networks of volunteers offer major capacity building to SEEC’s core staff base, provide additional community-connectedness for the people we support, and raise awareness of our mission to the wider community.

Here are just some of the many things SEEC volunteers have already accomplished this year: Annella Auer provided families with live English-Spanish oral interpretation of SEEC’s Project SEARCH Info Night presentation to ensure all families had access to the same resources and information; Joshua Shirazi shared his passion for fitness with the people we support by mentoring and assisting during SEEC’s fitness classes with Melvin Lovejones; and Alina Liao facilitated two (of four) Wellness classes as a part of Community Engagement’s Speaker Series.
Spring Mock Interviews
 When: Thursday, March 19th from 9am-3pm
 Where: Montgomery College Administrative Offices in Rockville

Spring Mock Interviews are full, but if you are interested in participating in a future Mock Interview, please visit:
301.576.9000 |