Cleveland leadership program seeks applicants for 2016
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.
Greg Bell of Washington Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, and a recent NLDP graduate, is one such person.
Bell has worked for many years on programs meant to strengthen youth in his community, and is currently working on several projects. Primarily, he works as the coalition coordinator for East Cleveland Bridges of Hope for the Northern Ohio Recovery Association. An accomplished athlete, Bell focuses much of his attention on projects involving sports. He played professional basketball overseas and finished his sports career with the Harlem Globetrotters. As a young person, Bell claims people positively influenced his life, inspiring him to want to give back as an adult. Currently, he does so as athletic director for the Education Measures Success (EMS) Rams, a youth development corporation. He is also in the process of starting the Bell Sports Foundation to provide scholarship dollars to youth for community recreational programs; to revitalize or build areas for recreation, such as fields and playgrounds; and to issue scholarships to high school seniors.
Bell credits the NLDP with providing him the many skills to help in his work with youth. “NLDP taught me to create balance in these programs and to see how they can all be interconnected to strengthen youth. I learned how to work better with people to get things done, and how to network with other leaders in my group. I would recommend that people look at what the program offers.”
For more information and an application, visit www.nldpcleveland.com or call 216-776-6172. The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 1. The 15 sessions take place on Saturdays, beginning Aug. 27, at Trinity Commons, 2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.
Sandra Kluk is a 30-year Heights resident and program administrator for the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program.