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Empowering Residents

Promoting Positive Change
in Summit County Neighborhoods


Be An Advocate For Your Family
& Your Community

The 2015 Neighborhood Leadership Institute Graduates

The Neighborhood Leadership Institute of Summit County is designed for increasing grassroots leadership engagement. The Institute has an 11 session curriculum that includes classes on leadership topics ranging from strategic planning to neighborhood development.

Through participation in the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, grassroots leaders learn a wide variety of skills, including how to:

  • Serve as advocates for their families and communities

  • Collaborate with others to get things done

  • Make public presentations

  • Work with government agencies and social service providers

  • Find and utilize resources

Just as importantly, neighborhood residents come away from their participation in NLI’s programs with an expanded sense of their own potential as leaders, a newfound appreciation for the assets of their communities, and a connection to a network of other grassroots leaders who share the same challenges and the same hopes for their families and communities.

We envision safer, more beautiful, more empowered neighborhoods as a result of greater organization and engagement, and enhanced neighborhoods that add value to our business community and strengthen our economic development efforts.

Our Mission:
To train and empower local residents and community leaders to promote
positive changes in Summit County neighborhoods and communities.

Purpose Statement:
  • To broaden the participants understanding of the community;
  • To expand the pool of skilled neighborhood leaders;
  • To build upon and/or develop participants’ experience;
  • To encourage and assist the establishment of networks among neighborhoods and their leaders;
  • To enhance the ability of neighborhoods to resolve problems on their own or in cooperation with other neighborhoods and/or institutions.

11 Training Sessions:
Most sessions are on Thursday Evenings, February to May and will be held at Quaker Square

The Schedule includes:

1. Overnight Retreat , Friday night, Saturday, Orientation, Leadership, Team building, Personal relationship skills, Group dynamics, Conflict resolution, Learning and listening skills/styles.

Classes on Thursdays - 5-6 dinner, 6-8 class, 8-9 discuss community projects, end at 9p.m.

2. Assessing Your Neighborhood, (Asset mapping, Overview of Summit County, SWAT analysis, Surveying your neighborhood)

3. Coalition Building

4. Community Organizing Models/Community Development, (Neighborhood Housing)

5.  (SATURDAY, TOUR of neighborhoods)

6. Strategic Planning (goal setting, personal goals)

7. Criminal Justice (Theory of crime, Community policing, Gangs, mapping neighborhood crime, code enforcement)

8. Managing Funding, (Fundraising, Financial Ethics; Project management)

9. Communication & Engagement (Communication Skills, Media, Community Calendar)

10. Government 101 & Neighborhoods (Attend Government Meeting Prior to; Working With Government; Shadowing)

11. Group Project Presentations & Graduation

For more information contact:
Devoe Johnson, United Way of Summit County at 330.643.5511 or 
Aundrey Somerville, Akron YMCA, 330.319.5035 or

The 2014 Neighborhood Leadership Class

The 2013 Neighborhood Leadership Institute Class

The 2012 Neighborhood Leadership Institute Class

The 2011 Neighborhood Leadership Institute Class

The 2010 Neighborhood Leadership Institute Class

The 2009 Inaugural Class of the Neighborhood Leadership Institute


2015 Graduation Photos

Follow us on Twitter

Neighborhood Leadership Graduates are Improving
Summit County!

Find Out How


Apply for the 2016 Class

View the NLI Curriculum

For more information contact:
Devoe Johnson, United Way of Summit County at 330.643.5511 or 
Aundrey Somerville, Akron YMCA,
330.319.5035 or


Class of 2015
Graduated Thursday, May 14, 2015
Graduation Photos on Facebook
Andrea Allen
Trenell Allen-Bowie
Toni Rochell Code
Jennifer Coppinger
Ann Davis
Robert Deck
Sherrell Haines
Lamon Harris
Charles Harrison
Christopher Henderson
Joyce Ingram
Niiya Isichei
Elizabeth Johnson
Veronda L. Jones
Roslyn Jones-Hill
Constance Longmire
Dwyke Mitchell
Megan Moreland
Glorya Porter
Chanda Santee
Toree Stokes
Alice May Terry
Angela Whorton
Gloria Williams

Class of 2014
Graduated Thursday, May 8, 2014
Graduation Photos on Facebook
Monica Armstead
Beverly Baddley
Rachel Braswell
Rebecca Byrne
Brenda Costarella
Candace Crandall
Michael Davis, Sr.
Marjorie Drinan
Sylvia Gage
Artenese Hailey
Rosemary Hickin
Julie Katz
Pastor Felecia Lucas
Jason Miller
Barbara Myers
Pastor Jeff Ortiz
Amy Peck
Christina Porter
Christel Silas
Sharon Sines
Phoebe Skipper
Jeffery Smith
Andrea Strickland
Quintella Walters
Michael Wilson
Patricia Wyatt

Class of 2013
Graduated Thursday, May 9, 2013
Graduation Photos

Shar'dae Alexander
Larvett Carlton
Adriane Clayton
Chontel Fields
Don Freeman
Jonathan Greer
John Hafford II
Dan Hennon
Kwa Hill
Gay Holmes-Carter
Toni Johnson
Marilyn Laster
Janice Lawson
Yaminah Martin
Darnella McNeil
Terrie Nurse
Shante' Robinson
Tom Schmidt
Aundrey Somerville
Chandra Taylor
Jennifer Toles
Kimberly Trenary
Malikah Williams

Reception/Retreat Photos

Class of 2012
Graduated Thursday, May 10, 2012
See the Photos

Lori Anderson
Myrtice Bridges
Deltrece Daniels
Malcolmnette Green
Jessica Harris
Steve Hawthorne
Darci Jackson
Tamara James
Paul E. Kuhn
Sanches R. Lewis
Andrae Long
Adora Mays
Tameaka Morris
Rachel Nypaver
Trina Marie Owens
Candy M. Ramsey
Janice H. Robinson
Roberta G. Rogers
Tanya Ross-Lane
Miranda Saddler
Stacie Swarner
Joseph J. Tucker

Class of 2011
Graduation Thursday, May 5th
See the Photos

Elizabeth Allen
Lynette K. Brown
Brenda Carter
Angel Dardie
Ana Paula De Oliveira
Peggy Dougherty
Melanie K. Drouin
Rhonda Gaines
Erica Hailstock
T. W. Jackson
Donnie Kammer
Nicole l. Lewis
Ericka Laura Malone
Michael B. McNeely
Darrell L. Merritt
Yolanda Parker
Becky Richards
Keith Thomas
Valerie Denise Walker
Denise Nichole Williams
Spencer C. Woods

Class of 2010
See the Graduation photos
West Akron

Steven Arnold, Diane Gamble, William Green, Jennifer Jeter, Jerica Roberts, Richard Sayers, Terrence Shelton

North Hill
Belinda Barton, Tania Paden, Deborah Price, William Warren, Jr.

South Akron
Sue Boware, Kelly Crosby, Effie Stewart

East Akron
Sharon Connor, Rita Hosch, Nathaniel Miller

Cuyahoga Falls
Jodi Hupp, Susan Marazza

University Park Area
Lawrence Parker, La'Chelle Sales

Highland Square
Kevin Turner

Members of the First Class:
Graduated May 2009

Barberton: William Judge, Martha Scott, and Eric Spooney

Buchtel area: Jonathan McCray, Gerald Gould, Ayesha Nurruddin, Jerry Williams, and Mexie Wilson.

Firestone Park: Jacquelyn Lewis

Lakemore: Marlene Hill and Kelly Kortvejesi.

Summit Lake: Rosa Dortch-Robinson, Shirley Finney, Michael Starks, Danmark Cunningham, and Paul Ware, Jr.

South Akron: Dilisa Townsend

Twinsburg: Kelly Harris and Ada Hazly

University Park: Deborah Cunningham, Debi-Ellen Beckett, Jack Bird, Ann Lane Gates, and Khamseng J. Vue.


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United Way of Summit County
90 North Prospect Street
< Akron, OH 44304-1273 < Phone: 330.762.7601

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