(Plain Press, June 2018) With recruiting underway for the 2018 Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP), the program highlighted a past graduate who exemplifies the work that program participants do in the community.
Letitia Lopez is the person on the Near West Side that the program chose to highlight this year. Lopez is the Executive Director of The Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center. Her dedication to the work of her organization and her passion for its programs led her to NLDP to enhance her leadership skills.
One such program, directed by Yasin Cuevas, a seven year volunteer, works with young girls ages 13-17. It is a mentoring program that teaches basic life skills, table etiquette, self awareness and self care. They discuss employment skills and conduct mock interviews for the youth while providing field trips geared toward arts and culture to The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
Lopez has continued her own personal involvement in the arts as well. She helped to create the first Latino theatre ensemble and continues to be an active advisory committee member and actor of Teatro Publico de Cleveland.
Lopez credits the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program with enhancing both her personal and professional growth. “NLDP brings people together who are truly committed to their communities. I am very grateful to the program. It has strengthened me as a person which has strengthened me professionally.”
Every NLDP participant has ongoing access to the services of a Program Coach. NLDP coaches give advice and support tailored to the needs of the participant.
The 16 sessions are on Saturdays at Trinity Commons at 2230 Euclid. The deadline for applications is August 3, 2018. For additional information and to view the 2018-2019 curriculum and online application, visit www.nldpcleveland.com or call 216-776-6167.
In 2006, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, along with former Cleveland Mayor Michael White, established a leadership training program for engaged neighborhood leaders. The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program is a free, 16 session 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.
After the application process, 20 committed individuals are 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.