It is said that “leadership is an action, not a position.” When Chris Dunn joined Thrive Support & Advocacy’s Virtual Adult Men’s Group, he was just looking to get together with a group of guys and have “dude” talk. Little did he know that it would become something much more. Through his concern for helping others, he instinctively stepped up as a leader in the group and exemplified what it means to be a Thriver.
At their first meeting, Chris noticed that some of the participants had trouble connecting with others. “Chris jumped right in and started asking questions attempting to get everyone involved,” shared Mike Diggins, Thrive’s Director of Family Support. From there, Chris’ commitment to the guys took off.
“I know who is interested in what topics, and I try to make sure we cover those topics so everyone feels connected. If I notice that one of the guys is not participating, I try to direct the conversation toward something that interests them, so they become involved,” Chris caringly shared. “Some people with disabilities have trouble being socially comfortable or asking questions. I love to talk, so I feel like it is my responsibility to help them come out of their shell,” he added.
This group is not Chris’ only experience with being a leader. He is a recent graduate of the Waypoint Adventures Leadership-in-Training program, which teaches leadership skills through outdoor adventure. Chris is using what he learned to make changes in his own life. Like many, the pandemic has created an opportunity for him to live a healthier lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating right, and getting plenty of sleep. Also, he recently accomplished a long-term goal of moving out of his parents’ home to a shared living situation, all while working as a janitor for a local collaborative.
“I can’t say enough about Chris’ compassion, attitude, and desire to help,” said Mike. “The fact that the guys are excited to come back every week and are encouraging their friends to join the group demonstrates the impact that Chris’ leadership has had on these guys.” Thank you to Chris for bringing your love of helping others to Thrive and making a real difference in people’s lives.