Co-director Morgan Rogers speaks at the NLC inaugural gradution in Portland, ME. photo by Ramona du HouxMaine New Leaders Council (NLC) Fellows celebrated their inaugural graduation Wednesday at Tiaq in Portland after six months of leadership training.NLC is a nonprofit that works to recruit, train, network and promote Maine's leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The graduating fellows were joined by Dr. Anne Hallward, founder of Safe Space Radio, who delivered the keynote speech.Fellow Will Getties, a teacher and economists delivered the class address.Singer songwriter Miranda Diperno also performed throughout the evening."We are the only training and networking institute in Maine that brings young leaders together from a diverse perspective with no financial barrier," said NLC's board chair Alex Cornell du Houx. "The trainings each month are aimed at personal development and to increase our fellows’ ability to promote civic engagement and effectively champion important issues facing Maine and our nation."Dr. Anne Hallward, founder of Safe Space Radio, who delivered the keynote speech. Photo by Ramona du HouxThe 16 fellows are leaders in the business, nonprofit, political, arts, sciences and law. Of the 45 applicants, Marshall Archer a Veterans Specialist for the city of Portland, Dr. Heather Alvarez who runs Health & Education Support Solutions, Emily Cramer who is the Grants Administrator at the Lerner Foundation, and Todd Martin who advocates for the environment with NRCM were selected.Co-directors Morgan Rogers and Jenna Cruite welcomed a packed room and thanked everyone for their support. "Our yearly fellowship program, is made possible by partnerships with allied organizations, professional trainers, and businesses so we may strengthen each fellow and build life long partnerships that ultimately helps move Maine forward," said Rogers.This year of over 45 well-qualified applicants, 16 were selected. NLC is the only training and networking institute in Maine that brings young leaders together from a diverse perspective with no financial barrier."We are the only training and networking institute in Maine that brings young leaders together from a diverse perspective with no financial barrier," said NLC's board chair Alex Cornell du Houx (center.) Photo by Ramona du Houx"NLC Maine provides a platform where we are able to create efficient and sustainable changes in Maine as well as across the nation through our larger NLC network," said Cruite. "We brings together leaders from across sectors and political perspectives, which is important because solutions are found in collaboration rather than disagreements and opposing forces."Applications for next years fellowship will be opening in August and more information can be found at http://maine.newleaderscouncil.org."I not only learned a great deal about how I can contribute to our community in a positive way, but made some wonderful friends; several of whom will likely be life-long," said NLC Fellow and small business owner and photographer Shannon Thibodeau. NLC provides a wonderful opportunity and I will do my part to make sure this group continues for many years to come."