Mary Riddle believes in bringing different groups and community partners together to work towards a common goal: a uniting vision for our community that embraces all people. Since graduating from MCLP in 2013, Riddle has put her skills and connections to work in Bloomington-Normal and beyond.
Using her ability to engage community members, Riddle has become a role model for professionals in the human services fields. She was part of the team that developed the Kiwanis Aktion Club, an organization for people with intellectual disabilities. It continues to thrive with the support of other community members. Riddle has also been an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, becoming involved in Illinois Imagines, an organization focused on survivors with disabilities, as well as the butterfly coalition, which provides similar services to children. As a member of the League of Women Voters Mental Health Study, she worked with community partners to address gaps in mental health services and increase public awareness. Riddle’s expertise and leadership have helped build bridges in Bloomington-Normal, and were the reason she was asked to serve on the Community Crisis Intervention Group and other mental health advocacy work in the community.
Riddle is an advocate in the field of intellectual/developmental disabilities, serving on statewide committees to develop favorable practices in Illinois related to housing. She earned her Certification in Supportive Housing to bolster her ability to serve these populations. Locally, she serves on The Autism Friendly Community campaign, Human Services Council, Community Residential Providers Group, and the Illinois Prairie Foundation Women to Women Giving Circle.
Riddle demonstrates compassion and can truly “walk in the shoes” of others. Her service and professionalism have built her the reputation as a tireless and respected member of the community. This MCLP alum practices the ideals espoused in the program, demonstrating a passion for servant leadership. Today, she shares her personal experiences and the lessons she learned through MCLP by serving on the organization’s Community Involvement Committee. In this volunteer role, Riddle assists in the development of the personal and professional growth of new program participants, and in the process, changes not only these participants’ lives, but the countless lives of the individuals who they will impact.