In 1998, a small group of grassroots individuals came together with an idea to form a program that would help foster leadership skills in neighborhoods and communities in an effort to better serve children and families. They decided this program should nurture natural grassroots leaders in communities and organizations where they were already engaged in local collaborative groups and community mobilization efforts. Since 1998, 700 individuals from communities and organizations throughout Kern County have graduated from this Leadership Development training program.
Specific goals of this Program are to:
- educate participants by increasing their understanding of public issues and human relationships,
- mobilize participants to lead others effectively in areas of community health and well-being and
- organize participants by assisting them in building a network of allies and peers linked to other citizen action groups with common interests.
The Leadership Development Program includes 56 hours of instruction time in nine subject areas including:
- powerful public speaking
- effective time management
- facilitating effective community and organizational meetings,
- strategic planning for communities and organizations
- conflict resolution practice
- community mobilization techniques
- resource development
- media and marketing relations
- legislative advocacy
Participants learn how to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves and how to pass these skills onto others. Participants also develop a network of allies among fellow team members and trainers who can be called upon for advice, assistance and guidance. Each participant is expected to take what they have learned back into their own neighborhood, community and organization – helping make positive systems change for children and families in Kern County. Additionally, participants are encouraged to seek out new and upcoming grassroots leaders to mentor in their own communities or organizations. Working within a small group of fellow classmates, participants select and complete team projects benefiting children and their families in our communities. In addition to offering participants a chance to work closely with classmates towards a common goal, these projects also provide participants opportunities for community involvement and increased public awareness. Each project provides a window of opportunity for solving community problems and making positive changes in a small facet of our society.
If you have any questions about this program please call Tom Corson at 661-636-4488.