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I started Break the Norm Leadership after working as a leadership and development consultant in corporate America. I realized that true leadership development needed to start much earlier than when adults age into management positions. I believe that every person is a leader with unique strengths and by starting to develop leaders at a young age, we can create the change in the world we want to see. Leadership skills are life skills. My favorite food is ice cream because you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner because it has dairy in it ;)




Copy Editor and Curriculum Development

I believe that leadership is unlocked in everyone when given the right opportunities, support and resources. BtNL provides students with the opportunities to learn, the support to grow in their confidence and the resources to make a difference in their community. It is important to develop leaders at a young age who are self-aware, creative, and active around the issues that affect them. Young people need to learn how to work together for a common goal and how their unique strengths and passions are essential to a team’s success. 


I prefer a bag of Sour Patch Kids to ice cream or chocolate.





My name is Ben Gillette. I help with the junior cycling team, and I’ve also worked as an assistant coach for one of the EmpowerDI teams. I have loved cycling ever since riding on my first road bike to school everyday. I think leadership is about learning to work with other people in a way that encourages the sharing of ideas and creates a good working environment. To me, a good leader is someone who is friendly, open-minded, and is always a good role model for their peers. Leadership is such a great skill to teach youth because it starts to build the ideas of teamwork and communication that are important for everyone to learn.





My name is Alex Redshaw and I help coach the junior cycling team. I believe leadership development is important for everybody. When someone can think like a leader, making decisions which help and benefit everyone, society improves dramatically. In a school setting, youth who possess leadership qualities are capable of guiding their peers to success through teamwork, which is a valuable life long skill.


A fun fact about me is that I love sushi, mostly because of how customizable it is and how each roll seems unique. I have also completed a century bike ride.





My name is Arya Massaray and I have been working with BtNL for about a year. I would say growing as a leader has really helped me step out of my comfort zone, become more extroverted and a stronger team player. To me, leadership is the act of stepping up and working as a group to reach an end goal. Although a leader is often portrayed as the person who takes charge and is telling everyone what to do, this is not always the case. Since joining BtNL, I have met and worked with many amazing people and watched them grow as leaders, while also growing in my own leadership skills.


A few things about me are that I love soccer and have been playing since I was 5 years old. I also do Track and Field and my favorite event is Pole Vault. If I could go anywhere in the world I would choose to go to Iceland to visit the Blue Lagoon. Finally, my favorite food is Sushi.


Administrative Assistant



My name is Veronica and I am the Business Administrator for Break the Norm Leadership. I believe that all kids should learn leadership skills because it makes them more confident. A leader who is confident will be more trustworthy and likeable. Break the Norm Leadership programs help expand the minds of our youth and build their self-confidence. 

A fun fact about me is I probably know more about Pokemon than most kids.





My name is Auveen Hajar and I have worked with BtNL for over a year. For me, growing as a leader has been so important because I have more confidence and am a better team player. Leadership is an amazing skill I can apply in many different parts of my life. I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about leadership is that leadership is dictatorship; rather, leadership is all about working with others and driving towards a common goal. Leadership has been so important in my life and it is one of the skills I am most proud of. 


Now, a little bit about me: My favorite food is pizza and I love to play soccer—in fact, I’ve played for more than 12 years!

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