A Pacific island village with thatched huts and palm trees. The village is set in a green valley and the blue ocean is in the background.

It Takes a Whānau

“Our partners in New Zealand are taking Check & Connect to the next level by introducing… culturally specific examples that support their expanded vision of family,” said Check & Connect director Eileen Klemm. “Check & Connect has always centered on inclusion, and on families as key partners in supporting students to stay and thrive in school.”

Bridget Winchester (MNLEND, 2019-20).

MNLEND Project Responds to Opioid Crisis

Babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) may be the youngest casualties of the opioid epidemic. Bridget Winchester (pictured) and Catherine Mapa (both MNLEND Fellows, 2019-20) work with ICI staff to provide resources to affected families in Minnesota. The NAS resources will launch from the MNLEND website in August.

“We started with just opioid resources, but the more conversations we had and stories we heard, we knew had to include food shelves, domestic violence, mental health, and other resources for people and families,” Winchester said. “It’s powerful to see how interconnected all these things are. We have to be aware of all the other things that could be happening in families.”

Casey Burrows

Alumni Update: Casey Burrows, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

“Where a more medical model would see impairments…, I try to flip the perspective to see possibilities,” said Burrows (MNLEND, 2018–19). "A client I see has a strong interest in butterflies… I’ve learned so much from him. I see more butterflies in my daily life now.”