Make A Difference Leadership Academy graduates first class

The Coalition’s Make A Difference! Leadership Academy graduated its first class of seven 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.

Guest speaker Dr. Diane Clark from Pride In Action Community Services gave a motivational address at the luncheon ceremony, held at City Kidz Ice Cream Cafe, followed by group community action plan presentations from the graduates. Each team identified one community problem they wished to tackle and shared their strategy to achieve it. The first group’s goal is to empower fathers to become more involved in their neighborhood schools, and their plans include fundraising, conducting focus groups with fathers to identify needs and barriers, and actively engaging those fathers using collectively identified strategies based on the fathers’ feedback. The second group plans to hold a funraising car wash to help reduce the rate of infant mortality in their community. The team identified community partners already committed to help make the event a success, and they hope to raise $600 to provide at least 25 expectant mothers with gas cards to help them get to and from doctor’s appointments.

The graduates will continue to work on their team plans over the coming months, and a new class of leadership students will begin the academy in June.

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.