GNLI announces class of 2014

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute recently selected 24 rising leaders from across Gwinnett County to participate in eighth months of training.

The GNLI class of 2014 represents many diverse backgrounds and experiences coming together with a common goal: to promote civic change within the county. GNLI is a program of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services and is funded through the Justice Assistance Grant, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, Walton EMC and other community sponsors, including the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District.

The program, in its 18th year, is an eight-month program where participants are trained through a series of comprehensive workshops to address community issues. The members are required to develop community improvement projects based on the representing needs. Examples of past projects include a food security program, safe routes to schools initiatives, senior resource support and transportation initiatives.

“Projects like this help better our local community and give participants an up-close view of the challenges but also the opportunities that exist,” said Nicole Hendrickson, GNLI program director. “Gwinnett County has poverty, homelessness, a growing immigrant and senior population – issues no different than DeKalb or Fulton. However, there are fewer resources and infrastructure to address these needs.

“It is the citizens who ultimately have to take action to address these issues. GNLI provides that forum. There are citizens at all levels that are interested and want to get involved because they believe they can make a difference. We [GNLI] bring them together, build their knowledge, increase their networks and hopefully empower them to make lasting changes.”

GNLI is offered each year from August through May. Applications for new classes are accepted from January to April. To learn more go to www.gnli.org.