Triangle’s Power Lunch Series!
Last fall, Peter Wiese, the Site Manager at our Main Street program site in Malden, saw an opportunity to provide new ways to educate and empower program participants to achieve the highest level of independence in life and career, while still maintaining physical distancing. He began hosting a virtual Power Lunch series every Wednesday to help our participants better understand how life works in the areas of government, business, employment, and education. Peter utilized Triangle’s professional network to find guest speakers and invited them to join the virtual lunch and provide education and expertise in their field. The first virtual luncheon took place in October of 2020 with Triangle’s CEO Coleman Nee as the first guest speaker. He explained his role as the CEO of Triangle and what a typical day was like for him as the leader of the organization. By providing this information, our program participants now understand how Triangle has many different types of departments that perform different tasks to ensure the success of everyone. Other speakers have included a member of the Board of Health, who provided a clear understanding on how the Health Department has been working tirelessly to address the needs of citizens during the pandemic, as well as information about the vaccines and how they work. Two members of the Paratransit division at MBTA provided an overview of the MBTA and how it serves people with different abilities. Most recently, Malden’s Building Commissioner spoke to the group about how the city ensures that its buildings are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how businesses and organizations ca apply to create new development projects. Even when there is no speaker, the group still comes together to discuss valuable topics that affect everyone, including government, education, business, finance, law, employment, and transportation. It is important to make sure the participants are selecting the topics we discuss as well as the speakers. In Peter’s words, “after all, this is their series – Triangle just facilitates and reaches out to get the speakers.” On average, around 15-20 people attend the Power Lunch each week. Some program participants have noted that the luncheon sessions help them better understand how different parts of the community work and how it relates to them. This series has been a productive and fun way to engage and educate program participants while staying safe at home, and by bringing together our participants and officials in these sectors, Triangle is educating the communities we live in on the value and ability of all people!