There is no charge for the program in order to make it available
to all community residents and assure that program cost
is not a barrier to participation.
there is no charge for the program, all participants are
made aware that there is a cost - their time and commitment
to full participation since they are learning from each
other. Participants have responded to this challenge and
the program has had extraordinary attendance. Ninety percent
of the participants miss one class or less.
are recruited for the program from community-based organizations,
through NCA neighborhood centers, and through community
development corporations (CDCs). One of the most effective
forms of recruitment is through our graduates who identify
individuals like themselves whom they believe will benefit
from the class. Each class has become easier to recruit
as people in the community become more aware of the course
and as graduates expand their networks. There is currently
a waiting list to get into the program. At the end of each
class, participants are asked to evaluate the class overall
and what difference it has made. The results of the evaluation
have also been very positive. When asked whether they felt
they had made positive working relationships with participants
from other neighborhoods through the program, the average
response was that participants "strongly agreed"
they had made connections. In terms of overall satisfaction,
participants were very satisfied. On a scale of 1 to 5 with
5 being extremely satisfied, the average response was 4.25.
evaluation report from the last class concludes: "When
asked about three things that the NLC program provided that
enhanced the participant's development most as a leader,
the participants were fairly consistent in their answers.
Many cited the opportunities to network with leaders from
other neighborhoods as the most helpful.
referred to their increased understanding of resources available
to them, and the sharing of information. Some participants
referred to specific skills such as learning how to facilitate
a meeting or an opportunity to examine and refine a goal
statement for themselves and their neighborhoods. In general,
the participants referred to a reinforced commitment to
make changes in their neighborhoods, an increased appreciation
of diversity, and a greater awareness of resources available
to them in their capacity as community leaders."
is still a great need for the program since it has only
reached a small percentage of committed leaders. In addition,
to successfully address neighborhood problems, a larger
network of leaders needs to be created in all neighborhoods
in order to work on common issues and provide needed support.
first class began six years ago with a major grant from
the Kellogg Foundation and local support from the George
Gund Foundation, Cleveland Foundation and Sohio. The program
is now supported through small foundation grants and program
sponsors. The cost for the training is twelve hundred dollars
($1200) per participant which includes all materials and
fees. Currently, Cleveland City Council and Neighborhood
Progress Inc. fund about one-third of the slots in each
class for individuals that they believe would benefit from
has demonstrated that there are active and committed volunteers
in our neighborhoods who care deeply about their children,
families and neighborhoods who are willing to find time
in their already overwhelming schedules to enhance their
skills. Based on this commitment and desire of community
residents to actively work for change, efforts are underway
to enlarge the activities and identify additional community
partners that can provide on-going support for the program.