Resident Leadership Academies

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Resident Leadership Academies (RLAs) are multi-week training programs for San Diego County residents who want to learn how to improve their local communities. Training sessions focus on topics such as community leadership, crime prevention and safety, land use and active transportation, and healthy food systems. Residents learn skills and best practices to address the issues that most affect their communities, and they work alongside their neighbors to help improve quality of life where they live. Upon graduation, attendees have new knowledge and access to a support network to help them lead community improvement projects.

RLA Updates and Opportunities

Many individuals and organizations are involved in Resident Leadership Academies across the County. The latest updates can be found on social media.

RLA Curriculum

Those who would like to facilitate a RLA can find the Facilitator/Train the Trainer and Participant materials below. The RLA Curriculum consists of a Participant Manual, modifiable PowerPoints, and various templates and handouts. The curriculum covers subjects such as Community Building Principles, Social Determinants of Health, Land Use and Community Planning, and more.

The County of San Diego currently has two approved RLA curriculums available. For groups funded for a particular RLA session or project, the version of the curriculum to be used will be determined by your funder (see links below). For all other groups, either version, or elements from both, may be used for the trainings.

  • 1st Edition Curriculum
    1st edition curriculum covers resident-driven community improvement efforts, including community building principles, neighborhood assessment activities and strategies for stakeholder engagement.
  • 2nd Edition Curriculum
    2nd edition curriculum expands on the 1st edition to include embedded activities, reflection questions and content on smoke-free environments and climate change.

RLA Resources & Opportunities

Bi-Monthly RLA Council Meetings
Meetings to provide additional training, discuss RLA updates, and to engage with other RLA practitioners. Anyone in the RLA network (graduates/residents, facilitators, CBOs and agencies supporting RLA) is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Technical Assistance (TA) for RLA Practitioners
TA is provided by the County to any RLA Practitioner involved with RLAs. TA may consist of assistance with planning of future RLAs, and development, refining, and implementation of Community Improvement Projects (CIPs), for example. For groups funded for a particular RLA session or project, the TA provider will be determined by your funder.

RLA Network Supplemental Training Workshops for Current RLA Practitioners
Supplemental trainings are available to anyone in the RLA network (graduates/residents, facilitators). These trainings focus on expanding leadership skills and offering opportunities for current RLA practitioners to engage with one another. The supplemental trainings may cover, but are not limited to, such topics as: Presentation Skills, Meeting Facilitation, and/or Applying for Resources.

New Facilitator Training/Train the Trainer Seminars
Seminar participants attend 3-4 full days of training, which consist of a detailed review of the curriculum, facilitation practice and tips for RLA planning and coordination. One or more new facilitator trainings per year will be offered through 2019.

Contact us for additional information on any of the resources listed above, or to learn about RLAs happening in your community.

RLA Success Stories

Soccer Fans Who Get a Kick Out of Reading Score Tickets

Post Date:04/28/2023 9:35 AM

April newsletter banner Traveling Stories Soccer club

By Emily Moberly, Traveling Stories CEO and Founder


San Diego Loyal SC has teamed up with the local nonprofit Traveling Stories to launch “Loyal Readers,” a new program to inspire youth in San Diego to read more often.

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to become “Loyal Readers” by submitting book reviews online. Each month through October, one book review will be selected and its author will win a four-pack of tickets to any SD Loyal home match during the 2023 regular season.

“Reading has the power to change your life and can even make you a better athlete,” said SD Loyal Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Landon Donovan. “Our club is proud to partner with Traveling Stories and we can’t wait to see what youth in San Diego are reading.”

Launched in 2019, San Diego Loyal Soccer Club is a member of the USL Championship, a United States Soccer Federation-sanctioned Division II league and one of the most competitive professional soccer leagues in the world. The club plays at Torero Stadium and is engaged in the community year-round.

Traveling Stories is a San Diego-based nonprofit that helps children build confidence and strong reading skills through personalized reading support and mentorship. Since it was founded in 2010, Traveling Stories has helped more than 7,000 children across San Diego County.

“Making reading fun is our top priority,” said Emily Moberly, founder and CEO of Traveling Stories. “We’re excited about our partnership with SD Loyal because it frames reading in a new way and shows that you can be interested in both athletics and books. For youth who don’t yet enjoy reading, we hope the Loyal Readers program makes it a bit more enticing.”

Students who would like to submit a book review may do so online through the Traveling Stories website. The website also has free, printable flyers that can be used to encourage more students to participate.

About Traveling Stories

Traveling Stories exists to empower children to achieve their dreams. Through its Virtual Story Tent program, the organization matches students in 1st through 3rd grades with trained reading mentors for weekly one-on-one reading sessions via video.  To learn more about Traveling Stories’ programs and volunteer opportunities, visit

About San Diego Loyal SC

For more information on San Diego Loyal SC, visit




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