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The Neighborhood Leadership Academy is turning community members into leaders

Posted at 9:14 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 21:14:44-04

TALLAHASSEE FLA. (WTXL) — The Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a way to encourage people to be part of the change they want to see in their communities.

Tallahassee's Neighborhood Leadership Academy is bridging the gap between community members and the people who are working to protect them.

For graduate Sonya Jackson, the academy gave her a new perspective on Tallahassee.

"I left the academy having a lot of pride for Tallahassee being an ambassador for Tallahassee," said Jackson.

Jackson was part of the 2021 Neighborhood Leadership Academy class.

She said she joined to learn more about the city after moving here from Michigan.

What she got in return is something she never imagined.

"I am Tallahassee proud. I am proud to be a resident of Tallahassee," said Jackson.

That's something Jackson said she never thought would happen.

The goal of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is to be the voice for your community.

It gives people an opportunity to be empowered and understand how the local government operates.

People get to engage with community leaders to learn about the city programs and where to go if they need something fixed in their neighborhoods like a pothole broken traffic lights or trees that have fallen down.

Ashley Edwards is the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Director.

She said this academy has been around for more than ten years and Tallahassee isn't as small as you think.

"There's about 240 neighborhoods in the city limits," said Edwards.

Edwards said those neighborhoods need leaders to make a difference and the academy serves as a resource to do just that.

"So if you or your neighborhood has a challenge has a question has an issue you'll know right who to call you'll know the employee that's responsible for those services," Edwards said.

Applications for the 2022 Neighborhood Leadership Academy are open, only 25 spots are available.

You have to be at least 18 years old and live in the City of Tallahassee.

You also must be willing to commit to one night per week for ten weeks.

The program begins Tuesday, September 20.

There will be no session the week of Thanksgivng.

If you're interested register on the City of Tallahassee's website.