The BACKBONES Leaders Program is a year-long development program for people with spinal cord injuries and disabilities. The program vision is to equip participants with skills, knowledge and confidence to be better positioned as leaders in their communities.

What you need to know about the Leaders Program

  • 10 participants will be selected for the year long program and will meet via Zoom monthly
  • Each month there will be a 2- 2.5 hour meeting (guest speakers, discussion, activities) on a topic important to becoming a leader, such as:
    • Self-Care
    • Self-Advocacy
    • Community Organizing
    • Storytelling and Public Speaking
    • Event Planning
    • Social Media and Branding
    • Intersectionality/Cross-Disability
    • Conflict Resolution and Communication
  • It is expected that each participant will be able to dedicate 2-4 hours of reading or learning activities between meetings to continue the learning experience
  • One to two optional ‘Happy Hours” will be scheduled each month so participants can socialize and get to know each other.
  • Each participant is elegible to submit a proposal and apply for funding that will support additional professional development. Funds can be used for online classes, coaching, grant writing, accessibility, fees for a conference or workshop, etc.

To Apply:

  • Please complete the form below 
  • Create a short video (up to 90 seconds long)
  • Include letters of recommendation or other materials (optional)

Letters of Recommendation

You may request letters of recommendation from co-workers, peers, supervisor, teacher, etc. Their letter should include:

  • How do you know the applicant and the duration of your relationship with them.
  • Tell us about the applicant’s skills/accomplishments. If possible offer specific examples that illustrate the person’s strengths and qualifications. These examples should be brief but detailed.
  • A summary that explains why you would recommend this person and to what degree you would recommend them.​

Video Tips

Create a short video (no more than 90 seconds) explaining the following: Who are you and what are your interests? Why do you want to be in the Leaders Program? Give an example of a time you exemplified leadership (big or small example).

Your video can be filmed without fancy production – it can even be done with your phone! Here are some tips:

  • Shoot in landscape mode. Turn your phone sideways instead of shooting in portrait. It gives a better sense of surroundings.
  • Hold it steady. You may use a tripod or position your camera to reduce shaking.
  • Lights matter. Your footage will look best when you shoot with lots of light. (If you don’t have lights, use the natural light from a window in front of you, not behind you.)
  • Sound matters. Get your microphone as close to you as possible and be mindful of background noises (such as street sounds, electronic devices, and wind). You may want to use a headset or ear buds and record in a quiet room.
  • Stick to a script and practice. You need to cover a lot of information in a short time.
  • Watch it. Review your video before you upload to ensure that it includes all the necessary information and is watchable.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video!

Timeline:

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NOVEMBER 15, 2021 AT 5PM CST
Notifications will be sent out via email mid December 2021
Program begins January 2022

For more information contact Monica Quimby, Program Coordinator at mquimby@backbonesonline.com

Complete Form Below:

Create a short video (no more than 90 seconds) explaining the following:
• Who are you and what are your personal/professional interests?
• Why do you want to be in the Leaders Program?
• Give an example of a time you exemplified leadership (big or small example)
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 3 files.
You may include Letters of Recommendation; press or news stories about you, awards, etc.