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

3 Ways to Increase Happiness by Decreasing Financial Stress

Post Date:05/09/2023 12:36 PM

 May News SDCCU 3x1


By Michael Colon, Community Relations Officer, San Diego County Credit Union 


While money can’t buy happiness, it’s safe to say there they’re connected. Research shows financial security can lead to a positive outlook on life.  


Here are three simple things you can do to reduce financial stress and live a happier life.  


1. Stay Organized -- Whether you’re saving for a vacation, new car, or emergency fund, creating a budget and keeping track of your funds is the foundation for good financial health. Tracking your income and expenses helps you monitor your money and reach your savings goals. Decide what your long-term and short-term goals are. Try different saving and budgeting methods that work best for your lifestyle. Get a piggy bank, open a savings account or talk to your financial institution.  


The important part is to start now, because financial health plays a critical role in overall health. Having your finances in order can decrease your stress levels and can empower you with options for spending your money and creating the life you want.  


2. Eliminate Additional Expenses -- There are many ways to cut costs in our daily lives, and over time the savings can really add up. Whether you want to start cooking at home, cutting subscriptions and memberships that you no longer use, or find ways to save when shopping, here are a few tips:  


  • Cooking at home can save you money and is also a healthier option than eating out. Whether it’s buying food in bulk or cutting coupons, you can eat healthy while helping your bottom line. 

  • Consider purchasing the off-brand/store brand version of items. They are often the exact same product, materials, ingredients and taste -- just a different label. 

  • Review subscriptions and memberships you are no longer using and close these accounts to eliminate monthly fees. 

  • Set weekly or monthly budget amounts for groceries, entertainment and eating out to make sure you are not overspending. 


3. Take Advantage of Free Activities -- Local no-cost activities allow you to put the cash you would have spent on pricey entertainment into your savings account instead. Many companies and organizations have transitioned to all-virtual platforms. For example, libraries allow you to rent books, including audiobooks and movies online or via an app. Social media has provided many avenues to participate in free networking events, concerts, Q&As, webinars and more. Gyms and fitness trainers are providing free online workouts, SDSU has a great list of virtual workout resources. Now is a perfect time to get outside, get fit and explore new areas in San Diego.  


Remember, proper money management helps eliminate financial stress, puts money back in your bank account and gets you closer to achieving financial freedom, ultimately putting a smile on your face and increasing your happiness.  


Visit our Financial Knowledge Blog to learn more tips on setting up a solid financial future. Also, join us for free Financial Wellness Wednesdays webinars

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