UPDATED (Jan. 6, 2014): Application deadline extended to January 10.
- Become an advocate for your community
- Spanish interpretation, childcare provided
- Apply by January 10, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. – Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County's free, eight-week Neighborhood College program. This civic engagement and leadership development program encourages residents from across the County, to get involved in local issues that affect their day-to-day lives.
Applications are due January 10, 2014. The program begins Feb. 13, with sessions held once a week.
“This program helps our diverse residents who care passionately about our community and neighborhood better understand the County's processes and learn important skills that will help them work effectively for constructive change,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada.
Participants will learn and practice core communication and influencing skills. They will learn how to give and receive feedback, build consensus and organize for action. Sessions will include dialogues with representatives from the County Board office; County Constitutional offices; County Manager's office; Arlington Public Schools; the Department of Human Services and Community Services Board and the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee and Neighborhood Planning.
Graduate Nicole Lewis: “insight and tools to become an advocate”
Here's how 2013 graduate Nicole Lewis describes her experience: “My interest in public policy and advocacy goes all the way back to grade school, and into my professional career. Though I had worked on these issues as a congressional staffer and in the corporate world, Arlington Neighborhood College gave me the insight and tools to become an advocate and voice where I believe it matters most – in my own community.”
“I made invaluable connections and really learned the building blocks of local government,” Lewis said. “All the things you've ever learned about civics in school are analyzed and applied to real-life situations.”
Class starts February 13
Sessions will be held from 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings from February 13 to April 3, 2014. Each session offers participants dinner, free childcare and simultaneous Spanish interpretation.
The sessions will take place at Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, 9th Floor Conference Room, Arlington, VA 22201. Free parking is available.
The graduation ceremony will take place at the County Board meeting in spring 2014.
Neighborhood College is a key component of Arlington's civic engagement infrastructure. The program seeks to strengthen our community by building broader, more diverse participation in Arlington's civic life. Its goal is to give Arlingtonians skills that will help them raise and address issues in their neighborhoods, or in the County as a whole, and to encourage their involvement in volunteer activities.
Some 263 participants have graduated from Neighborhood College since its inception in 2000. Many of those graduates have gone on to become neighborhood leaders. Graduates have become members of advisory groups and commissions; officers in their civic associations; leaders on special neighborhood improvement projects, and managers of Neighborhood Conservation plan development efforts, among other efforts.