By Sandra Kluk
If you are passionate, committed and dedicated to taking an active role in improving your community and would like help enhancing your leadership skills, the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is now seeking applicants for its 2021 program.
Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (nldpcleveland.com) is a free community engagement training program for residents of Cleveland and its inner ring suburbs, who are working on projects within the City of Cleveland and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities. It was established in 2006 by the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation and is directed by former Cleveland mayor, Michael White.
NLDP has helped emerging neighborhood leaders reach their potential by expanding their knowledge base and personal development through education, coaching and ongoing interaction with their peers and other leaders. Participants and graduates also have ongoing access to the services of a program coach who will give advice and support tailored to the needs of the participant. The program covers topics such as program planning, marketing, communications, program fundraising, conflict resolution and negotiation, community engagement methods and more. After the application process, 20 committed individuals will be chosen for the program year. NLDP participants and graduates are a diverse group with many interests and are working on a wide variety of issues to improve life in their communities.
Alex Robertson, a NLDP graduate, is one such person who is taking on an impressive community project. Helping leaders create and implement a vision is part of the NLDP curriculum. Alex knows first- hand about making sure his vision for his organization, Recess Cleveland, remains a reality.
“NLDP’s programming in one word: Transformational. Five years ago, before NLDP, I found myself struggling to manage my full-time job, and Recess Cleveland was in its idea phase. Now, thanks to the lessons, relationships, and continued support from NLDP… Recess Cleveland is my full-time job, said Robertson. “I would highly recommend NLDP to anyone looking for the perfect blend of inspiration, strategy, camaraderie, resource development, and know-how needed to scale their organization’s impact.” *
Recess Cleveland helps build active, healthy, and connected communities using recess, organized sports, and playful learning. They are best known for their Restore Recess programming where, during the summer, they organize community “pop-up Recess” events featuring kickball, dodgeball, soccer, bounce houses, zorbs, art, music, and play activities for people of all ages and abilities. Their goal is to have neighbors come out to exercise, socialize, and build relationships with each other in a fun way and to connect residents who don’t usually attend community meetings or events to resources they can use to increase their quality of life such as foodbank, books, health screenings, sanitary items, employment opportunities, school supplies and more.
This year, their focus will be empowerment for the event participants by bringing community stakeholders to them and connecting attendees with valuable resources they need while they are having fun in a controlled recess-like inclusive environment.
This year their staff aims to reach 6,000 people by hosting more than 70 Restore Recess events this summer. Of the 50 events already confirmed, 40 will take place in Cleveland recreation centers, 10 are in partnership with the Salvation Army in East Cleveland. They also have a goal of 10 Restore Recess Events in each of the following neighborhoods Midtown/Hough Union-Miles, Glenville, Central, St Clair Superior and Detroit-Shoreway. It will be a busy summer.
The 16 NLDP sessions are on Saturdays at Trinity Commons at 2230 Euclid Avenue beginning September 18. The application period is now open and the deadline is August 15, 2021. For additional information and to view the curriculum and online application, visit www.nldpcleveland.com or call 216-776-6167.
Think you have what it takes? Apply to make a difference!!
* If you would like to learn more about Recess Cleveland visit http://recesscleveland.com/about/ or on Facebook and Instagram via @RecessCleveland.