Over President's Day Weekend, Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps hosted its 26th annual, but first-ever virtual, Mid-Year Training Conference. Over 300 AmeriCorps members, staff, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and presenters logged on for a weekend of reflection, learning, and connecting.
Planning a virtual conference was a challenge, but a welcomed one that brought mid-year back to its roots. Early in the winter, NDMVA staff reflected together about the most valuable components of the mid-year conference and built the 2021 conference agenda from their input focusing on networking and opportunities to learn from one another.
This led to a creative tone for the weekend that focused on making new connections and taking time to reflect on personal and professional growth. The conference kicked off Friday evening with a welcome from Executive Director, Adrienne Andrews, followed by networking and small group discussions led by staff. This time presented an opportunity for members and Sisters from across the country to share moments of triumph in their service and to connect over shared struggles.
The following days featured a spoken word performance by Manon Voice, and workshop sessions on topics ranging from classroom management, the call to global citizenship, how to be an effective ally, and more. There were also times to watch videos made by cities showcasing their unique service experiences, heartfelt testimonials from members who chose to do a second year of service, and discussion threads for resource sharing. Conference participants were engaged and open to the experience of a virtual Mid-Year Training Conference and left the weekend feeling refreshed, connected, and rooted in their service.
By Caroline Menendez, NDMVA. First published on the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur U.S. eNewsletter, March 2021