Make a Difference! Leadership Academy graduates its second class

The Coalition’s Make a Difference! Leadership Academy graduated its second class of thirteen students yesterday. The Academy aims to train community leaders to understand the community’s impact on its residents and how to mobilize for needed change. The 12-week curriculum covers leadership and personal leadership styles, community values, ethics, teamwork, effective meetings and public speaking, conflict resolution, problem solving, delegation, community diversity and community action planning. In addition to the in-class training, the students participated in field trips around the city, including trips to city hall, school board meetings and Kingsley Plantation.

Guest speaker and Leadership Academy graduate Carmen Creighton addressed the group during the luncheon ceremony, held at City Kidz Cafe. Community action plan presentations from the graduates followed. Each graduate or team of graduates identified one community problem to address and shared their strategy to accomplish it. Presentations topics included beautification of old, established communities, addressing vandalisim and improving community safety, reducing poverty in Zone 1, addressing childhood obesity through nutrition and exercise, breaking the silence of bullying in school, improving the resident association community shelter, establishing a community watch program, voting reinforcement and engaging fathers in the lives of their children and thier children’s schools. The participants received a standing ovation from the audience, filled with family, friends,Healthy Start and Leadership Academy program staff, community partners, funders and Coalition board members.

The graduates will receive help from community partners and will continue to work on their action plans over the coming months. A new class of the Leadership Academy will begin in the Spring of 2013.

The Make A Difference! Leadership Academy is part of the grassroots “Make a Noise! Make a Difference! Prevent Infant Mortality.” initiative, funded by the Chartrand Foundation. Congratulations to the new class of graduates!

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