LIPPI Spotlights 2011-2012 Graduate:
By Kristen Elechko, Interim LIPPI Director
"How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you think that you cannot? But, you probably could."
"I came to realize that I am worthy. I am not afraid."
"LIPPI gave me the confidence to live. I am now doing things that I never thought that I would be doing. It's empowerment! My life has changed; I've experienced a transformation."
Inspirational quotes about the experience that Marie McCourt had through LIPPI flow naturally and fully. She shares her excitement about the 9-month program with a spotlight on the connection that developed with the nearly forty women in her cohort, as well the network of women who came before and now continue to develop through the program. "It's like a sisterhood. There is a trust factor that develops through the group. You begin to realize that you have something to offer, you feel heard and you are brought into discussion in a way that you may have never felt before. I realized that I do have something to offer." Marie beams, in reference to the public speaking sessions and the small group conversations that build the LIPPI curriculum.
The cornerstones of Marie's life and her leadership are her core values: respect, trust, empathy, open-mindedness and finding a way to communicate with people that exemplifies these traits. She shows a spark and tenacity that many do not exhibit and this drive is exemplified in every moment of life that she lives. Pharrell Williams' song "Happy" is an anthem for Marie and her family-a point of connection and a way that they see the true value of the things that matter most in this world. Her core values combined with the education that she received through LIPPI are the structure through which Marie demonstrates true authentic leadership.
"I always knew that I was meant for something big. I just didn't know how to get there. LIPPI gave me the ability to overcome my fear." From there, Marie has stepped into her own authentic leadership. She oversees twelve after school programs in Western Massachusetts for the Collaborative for Educational Services. One way that Marie overcame her fear was by running for Town Committee, winning the election and then being appointed Chair. These are not the only places where she has exercised her leadership, as Marie is also the Chair of the District 334 Diabetes Awareness Foundation.
"Through LIPPI, you can become a leader in a different way. And, we all became leaders, whether it is in politics or through civic engagement. We have gained the skills for whatever we want to do." Some day, Marie would like to run for a state level office and believes that her success will be, at least partially attributed, to her experience through the Institute. She goes on to share her favorite quote:
"Whether you think you can or think you can't-you’re right." --Henry Ford
For more information about LIPPI or any of our profiles, contact Kristen Elechko,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 529-0087 x13.