Author: Terri Foster, Administrative Analyst, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency – Office of Strategy & Innovation
Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) is a leadership training program that teaches residents from underserved neighborhoods how to advocate for positive changes through skills and knowledge. This monthly blog is part of a series highlighting the accomplishments of the individuals and organizations participating in Resident Leadership Academies throughout San Diego. So far, Resident Leadership Academy has been replicated 55 times and has graduated over 700 residents in San Diego County.
RLA Highlight of the Month:
In December 2018, the Bayside Community Center successfully completed their 8th RLA cohort. This was Bayside’s third youth RLA and consisted of students from 5th to 9th grade representing seven schools throughout San Diego.
The students presented community improvement project ideas during a graduation ceremony attended by nearly 50 community members, parents, funders and supporters. This included representatives from the offices of Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Scott Sherman. The graduates identified projects that would encourage residents to take ownership of their local community space, Kelly Park. It included volunteer projects to pick up trash, remove graffiti and improve lighting. They also identified the need for a full access community pool and plan to collect signatures in support of their project. These projects will have real life impact on the quality of life in their community and will address residents’ needs.
“The RLA class taught me how to communicate my ideas effectively to a larger group of people. It taught me that I could make a difference in my community.” – A Recent RLA Youth Graduate
Other exciting accomplishments from Bayside’s Youth RLA cohorts included a joint Financial Literacy workshop held in November 2018. Several graduates from Bayside’s first two Youth RLA cohorts had participated in a “Financial Literacy: Train the Trainer” workshop hosted by Jewish Family Service and then facilitated their own Financial Literacy workshop to more than 15 current and prior Youth RLA students. The workshop covered materials relevant to their personal financial concerns and addressed the financial needs of their community improvement projects. Topics included debt, credit, savings and fundraising. Bayside had never previously engaged all three Youth RLA cohorts in one setting!
Congratulations to the Bayside Community Center Resident Leadership Academy graduates of 2018!