Gwinnett organization seeking future leaders

The Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services is calling out leaders for Gwinnett’s future.

The coalition is seeking applications and nominations for its upcoming Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute, a program offered in Gwinnett for more than 18 years.

“GNLI was started as a way to get everyday citizen’s involved in improving their neighborhoods and communities,” said Ellen Gerstein, executive director of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services.

The Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute is an eight-month program that begins with a two-day weekend retreat and continues with participants meeting one Saturday a month. The program provides participants a training program, provided by the UGA Fanning Institute, which focuses on five core areas: understanding community leadership, effective communication, group decision making, building communities through collaboration and leading community change. One of the most valuable components of the program and a requirement of graduation is a community improvement project, which allows participants to put their training to work, all while making a practical, tangible difference in the community.

“Projects like this help better our local community and give participants an up-close view of the challenges but also the opportunities that exists,” Gerstein said. “Gwinnett County has poverty, homelessness, a growing immigrant and senior population — issues no different than DeKalb or Fulton. However, there are less resources and infrastructure to address these needs. It is the citizens who ultimately have to take action to address these issues.”

For more information about the upcoming 2014-15 class of the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute, visit www.gnli.org or call Nicole Hendrickson, program director. at 678-377-4137. The application deadline is April 1.