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Participants sought for 2014 Neighborhood Leadership Institute

9/26/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Neighborhood Leadership Institute of Summit County, presented by United Way of Summit County (UWSC) and the Akron Area YMCA, is seeking participants for the sixth class that kicks off in February.

The Institute — coordinated by Devoe Johnson, UWSC’s senior director of community impact, and Aundrey Somerville, program director at the East Akron YMCA — is a collaborative designed to increase grassroots leadership engagement in the community. The goal is to train and empower local residents and community leaders, allowing them to promote positive changes in their own community.

Up to 24 men and women from neighborhoods throughout Summit County will be chosen to participate in the program. The cost is $600, and scholarships may be available for individuals who can show need.

The Institute begins with an orientation Feb. 20 and an overnight retreat hosted by The University of Akron (UA) Feb. 28 and March 1. The Institute’s nine classes, most of which will take place at UA’s Martin University Center, will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays between March 6 and May 8. Applications are available at www.uwsummit.org/NLI/NLI.htm.

The classes offered will cover topics ranging from criminal justice to communication and engagement. The classes are intended to introduce a wide variety of skills, including how to serve as an advocate for families and communities, how to find and utilize resources, and how to work with government agencies and social service providers, according to UWSC officials. Participants also will gain insight on community development, coalition building, how to assess their neighborhood and their own potential as leaders.

Other organizations partnering in the development of the program are: Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Akron-Summit Community Action Inc., Akron Urban League, city of Akron, East Akron Community House, Leadership Akron, Perkins Street Area Action Group, Summit 2010: Quality of Life Project, Summit County Executive’s Office, Summit County Department of Job and Family Services, UA, University Park Alliance and University Park Development Corp.


Stephanie Kist contributed to this report.

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