Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy Graduates Class of 17

On November 14, over 100 guests gathered at Broad Street Presbyterian Church to celebrate the graduation of the inaugural class of the Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy. The graduating class consisted of 17 participants who live, work, and/or worship on the Near East Side, and completed the six-month, 40-hour program. The Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy equips aspiring neighborhood leaders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to become transformative agents of change in their respective communities. A place-based adaptation of the United Way of Central Ohio’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy, the program includes a capstone experience, a community project which participants pursue as members of larger project teams.

In addition to a wonderful sit-down dinner, prepared by Chef Henry and the team at Creole Kitchen (1052 Mt. Vernon Ave.), guests enjoyed project presentations from each of the teams, as well as an inspiring keynote message from Rev. Dr. Johannes J. Christian, author of Face of Forgiveness: A Memoir. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of gifts to graduates celebrating the completion of the program. Each graduate received a custom piece of art – a painted brick from the former buildings at Poindexter Village. The bricks were painted by local artist Lanai Ashé and were uniquely crafted for each graduate. Graduates will spend the next 12 months actively engaged in the community, implementing their projects. PACT was able to offer the Near East Side Neighborhood Leadership Academy to the community thanks to the support of the United Way of Central Ohio and Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing. Applications for the 2018 program will be available via the PACT website beginning February 1.