2023 Symposium Gathering Steam

Reserve your seat for the 12th First Place Global Leadership Institute Symposium on October 18, 19 and 20! The 2023 event is on track to be one of the biggest and most energizing yet. You’ll hear from compelling speakers on such topics as inclusive community building and neurodiverse relationships. You’ll gain access to decades of research. And you’ll learn about exciting new employment initiatives for adults with autism and other neurodiversities.

Together, we’re actively turning the wheels of change. This year’s symposium will drive us forward with renewed momentum! Learn more and register here. In-person attendance is limited. Please register by Tuesday, September 19.

Featured symposium speakers will be sharing insights on their latest must-see films. Check out trailers for Scott Steindorff’s “Understanding Autism” and Dan Pallotta’s “Uncharitable.”

First Place–Phoenix Resident Gets Personal—About Housing!

First Place Global Leadership Institute staff Maureen Casey and Toyosi Adesoye were recently joined by First Place–Phoenix resident Harry to present current housing data and insights with the Arizona Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. The esteemed trio shared details from the Greater Phoenix Housing Market Analysis, how self-advocates were involved in the process, what the data indicated, and analyses underway in other cities to increase housing and community options for adults with autism and/or other intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Remembering Sue Glawe—First Place AZ & Community Champion

We lost a very good friend this month. Sue Glawe was an early leader for Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), where she served several board terms and introduced us to all kinds of people we “needed to know.” As a champion of First Place AZ, Sue facilitated the first major capital campaign gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, where she left an indelible mark over 34 years and ultimately as vice president.

For those of us fortunate enough to call her our friend, Sue was someone we could trust with candid conversation; count on for honest feedback; enjoy at big events, private meals and on long phone calls; and laugh with through her witty lens on life. In many ways, she served as a “leader whisperer,” telling us what and who we needed to know on our leadership journeys through big ideas and unpredictable times.

May our collective, cherished memories continue to bond our hearts and bring her into conversations where we ask, “WWSD?”

We look forward to gathering in celebration of Sue’s remarkable life and lasting legacy on Friday, September 22 at 5 p.m. at the Arizona Science Center.

Community Life…via Video!

This month, we’re offering a series of quick videos for a vivid, vivacious and very fun look at what we’ve been up to at First Place–Phoenix. Take a few minutes to tag along!

Play Video
Clever Cooking
Play Video
Earth & Space Expedition Center
Play Video
Let's Go Shop
Play Video
OdySea Aquarium
Play Video
Western Spirit Museum
Play Video
Zooming with Zumba

Donors Reflect on Their Feelings for First Place

Check out our Donor Appreciation Video Series in recognition of Year 5 at First Place–Phoenix. As we wrap up our weekly Donor Appreciation Video Series in recognition of the fifth anniversary of opening doors to First Place–Phoenix, we’re reminded of the many donors who inspire and delight us—and the many different facets of their experiences as shared by the individuals who took the time to tell us how they really feel! 

New Yoga Pose: Volunteer Position

If you’re a certified yoga instructor who would thrive volunteering in a fun and inclusive environment, First Place–Phoenix would love to meet you. We are a supportive residential community for adults with autism and other neurodiversities—and we need a yoga instructor to teach a class of (about) 10 amazing residents. The details: Monday evenings in mid-town Phoenix, 30–45 minutes, weekly or bi-weekly. Apply to alexis@firstplaceaz.org. Namaste.

DEI Alive and Well at First Place

Our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion applies to all who interface with First Place, including residents, staff, board members and volunteers. Natasha Grant, MNLM, CESP, First Place’s director of workplace and community inclusion, oversees such activities, prompts important conversations, and creates and distributes an in-house monthly newsletter titled “Divergent Digest.” It sheds a monthly spotlight on relevant current events and their related historical references. Check out the August issue.

By Denise D. Resnik, Founder & President/CEO

Recharging. It’s something we do daily and in a variety of ways. Consider the lengths to which we’ll go as we plug in our computers, phones or watches to avoid missing a message or a call.

We’re also willing to go the extra mile to plug in cars or in search of caffeine to make sure we’re supercharged and ready for the day. We even approach total strangers for “a little juice” if we’re really in a bind.

When it comes to your own personal power sources, how far will you go to plug in?

Admittedly, I don’t plug into my pillow as much as I should. Perhaps that’s because I get a charge out of what I do every day and the chance to connect and dream with other trailblazers. I also value moments to disconnect, take deep breaths and re-center through solo hikes or with family, friends and colleagues to explore all kinds of topics—like what’s good for our planet, its people and those we care about most. 

Leadership can be lonely at times. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable when we put our big ideas out there, hoping others grasp and appreciate how hard and fast we’re pedaling to keep it all moving forward.

So how do we stay grounded as we remain steadfast in our commitment to finding sustainable solutions to what stands in the way of more independent living for adults with autism and other neurodiversities? By surrounding ourselves with people we trust, who fortify and inspire and guide us toward what we need to know. That’s how we approach the work of the First Place Global Leadership Institute.

As we plan for the annual symposium this October, we’re cognizant of the myriad ways life is predictably unpredictable—and how trusted sources make us stronger as we navigate diverse, merging paths to get us closer to our goals and dreams for those we serve.

Join us to recharge by plugging into the amazing synergy we produce together as we work to fuel a new marketplace of home, job, healthcare and community options for adults with autism and other neurodiversities. And we’ll have plenty of charging sources available!