- Category: Local News
- Created on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 16:01
San Diego, California - About 100 San Diego County residents in low-income areas will be trained to be leaders in their communities and push for projects to improve the health and safety of their neighborhoods.
Thanks to a new $100,000 federally-funded grant through the California Department of Community Services, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) will establish a Resident Leadership Academy (RLA), an innovative project to build grassroots leadership throughout the region. RLAs support the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative, an ongoing effort to improve the health and well-being of area residents.
“This project will train leaders to take an active role to improve the health and safety in the areas where they live,” said Nick Macchione, HHSA director. “Supporting residents to lead real change efforts in their neighborhoods is a great example of what Live Well, San Diego! is about.”
During the first phase of the project, 10 to 12 people will be trained to teach the RLA classes, which consist of 10, three-hour sessions on community building principles, safe and pedestrian-friendly communities, improving access to healthy foods and how to conduct assessments on community improvement needs.
The trainers, most of whom will come from community-based organizations, will then train about 90 people in six, low-income regions of the county. The new leaders will work on a project to put their ideas into action, resulting in positive changes in their communities.
RLAs have been proven to be successful in the past. Graduates from HHSA-sponsored academies in Oceanside, Lemon Grove, Southeast San Diego, and National City have launched 13 community projects. These projects have focused on improving safety and pedestrian access to schools and parks and increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables by establishing farmers markets or planting school and community gardens.