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 (NLDP) is a free, 15 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 have many interests and are working on a wide variety of issues to improve life in their communities.
Mary Kauffman and Seronica Powell are two such people.
Mary is an MJCEC Manager (Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Center). Seronica is Director of Operations / IT at University Settlement. Increasing access to communications and technology for low income communities has been one of their long time goals.
Along with other NLDP graduates, they have developed a project called TechREVIVAL, designed to empower, strengthen and educate the community around technology for the home, work/school and play.
TechREVIVAL will be a tent event with a kick-off on July 13,” Embrace Your Geekness Day”, and will take place on the grounds of University Settlement and virtually at several other locations via web conference. The Revival will move to different locations and take place at various times and days throughout Slavic Village. It will be a fun-filled, engaging and interactive event that the audience will partake in. For example, the audience will use available mobile technology in order to interact with the information they see, hear or touch while learning different ways to use technology to improve their lives.
This is just one aspect of the work they are doing to increase connectivity in their communities. Both increased their leadership skills through their course at NLDP saying that “NLDP provided avenues for connecting to other people working on similar projects.” They found the NLDP self-awareness assessments very helpful saying, “we don’t really take the time from our busy schedules to stop and think about who we are and how other people see us. That was an important step.”
Seronica credits NLDP with “helping her to take a step back and realize she could not do everything herself and that as a leader, she needed to bring others along and not just be concerned about her own growth but about the growth of those with whom she worked. She learned to “let go” and trust others to do things”.
The 15 sessions take place on Saturdays at Trinity Commons at 2230 Euclid Avenue beginning August 27. The deadline for applications is AUGUST 1. For more information and an application, visit nldpcleveland.com or call 216-776-6172.