Neighborhood Leadership Development Program Seeks 2018 Applicants

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.

Kirby Suntala, a Lakewood resident, was a participant this past year. 

Kirby’s passion revolves around his work at the Rainey Institute in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland.

Rainey is an arts organization dedicated to performing and visual arts education and participation for Cleveland youth. It is a model in how nonprofit community arts programs can collaborate with an urban public education system to provide arts and music education. A musician himself, Kirby firmly believes in the power that music and the arts have in changing lives. His dream is to expand mastery based art and music education opportunities for underserved children and youth regardless of income and geographic location. Rainey has several outreach programs such as “El Sistema”, a Venezuelan program for youth using a holistic approach through music designed to create healthy human beings and strong citizens and not just great musicians.

Kirby says his time with NLDP allowed him to gain the skills needed to help in his work by strengthening his character and his resolve in serving others. “NLDP helped me with so many skills in community engagement, time management, fundraising and emotional intelligence in how I work and relate with others.”

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 or call 216-776-6167


Sandra Kluk

Program Administrator for the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 6:08 PM, 07.03.2018