Twelve leaders graduate in Leadership Academy’s Spring 2016 class

IMG_0577A new class of the Make a Difference! Leadership Academy is ready to tackle the social determinants of health and other factors impacting infant mortality in Northeast Florida. The seventh graduating class, the Spring 2016 cohort, completed the 16-week program on Wednesday, June 1 with a graduation ceremony.

The goal of the Leadership Academy is to support the efforts of local residents to make changes in neighborhood factors that contribute to disparities in health and birth outcomes. The Academy trains individuals and assists them in the development of a Community Action Plan that outlines a specific project to move a community to action.

The graduating class selected the development and implementation of a personal responsibility curriculum “The Right Turn,” which addresses topics like health and wellness; healthy relationships; life principles; moral character; and financial independence.

IMG_0534Board member and E3 Business Group National Director Anthony Butler inspired the graduates with a keynote speech about empowerment and forging their own path to success. He challenged the graduates to consider how the difference they make will be different than what others have done.

“Make a difference by making yourselves better,” he told the graduates.

The graduates also shared what they learned over the course of the grassroots leadership program: public speaking; how to be a good listener; time management; how to take responsibility for your own mistakes; how to build leadership skills in others; and working together as a group, among other skills and lesson.