Advocate Testimonials

Advocating on an issue you care about can feel intimidating, no matter if it is your first time or your 100th time.

Airole Warden

Coos Coalition for Young Children and Families

The first time Airole Warden made the three-hour drive from the North Country to Concord, it was to testify in front of a Senate Committee on the child care crisis in Coos County. She had prepared six minutes worth of testimony - but the Committee told her she had only two minutes to speak. She decided to stick to the stories she heard repeatedly in the North Country - stories of child care centers forced to close because they couldn’t find staff. Stories of police chiefs searching for child care for two new officers he had hired - but who could not work without child care. Endless stories of nurses, dental hygienists, teachers, and prison workers whose families were on long waitlists for care. Since then, Airole has made repeated visits to Concord to advocate for solutions to New Hampshire’s child care crisis, attending information sessions and direct meetings with legislators, and becoming an expert voice for lawmakers on the child care crisis.

Shawn Cannizzarro

Owner, Hope 2 Freedom Recovery Homes

For Shawn Cannizzarro, advocacy is all about helping people get the help they need. In February 2023, Shawn traveled from Claremont to testify in support of Medicaid expansion. As a person in recovery and the owner of two recovery homes, Shawn knows just how critical health insurance is to those seeking treatment. “My friend was waiting on the list for a ‘free bed’ as they call it, and he overdosed and died before he got that bed. He didn’t have insurance.” Shawn’s credits his exceptional advocacy efforts to his relationship with New Futures, saying they help remind him when hearings are coming and provide gas cards to help offset the cost of traveling to and from Concord. “I think of New Futures as this great big organization, but I come here, and it’s just people helping people.”

Carol Conforti-Adams

Executive Director, Sunset Hill Educational Institute

For Carol Conforti-Adams, helping others is just what she does. She created Sunset Hill Educational Institute to provide holistic services and programs like health promotion, wellness education, career counseling, and life skills training to adults with physical disabilities and youth of all abilities. “I’ve always been an advocate,” said Carol, “But New Futures opened up a whole new door for me. There was a collaboration of agencies and organizations that put together a plan that would address the funding issues of all areas of people who need to have Medicaid in their lives. Many lawmakers don’t realize that Medicare only provides so much for people who are aging or have disabilities - it’s Medicaid is the only insurance that will provide for home care in people’s homes and apartments, and we need to realize that if we don’t have that kind of home care, that many individuals don’t have a quality of life or can’t get up and contribute to society or go to work.” Carol’s testimony was instrumental in achieving a $130 million state investment in Medicaid reimbursement rate increases.

Brian Harlow


In his day-to-day life, Brian advocates for everything – issues relating to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery, children’s behavioral health, trauma prevention, mental health, education, reproductive rights, and survivors’ rights. Brian is the embodiment of advocacy in action, never shying away from a controversial issue. “New Futures does a great job supporting their advocates and keeping the momentum going in their advocacy journey. The legislation may pass, but it may not – the victory is that you won’t be alone.” Brian first connected with New Futures through a friend and has been advocating ever since, testifying at the State House, writing opinion pieces in local newspapers, and meeting with legislators to educate them on issues that Granite Staters are facing. “I am so grateful that New Futures has always supported my advocacy.”

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