The Capital District New York (CDNY) – New Leaders Council (NLC) wrapped up 2016 with an intense recruitment and selections phase. Giovanna Joseph coordinated four recruitment events around the capital area and Lauren Ford continued leading our selections efforts as Selections Chair. Their hard work and the dedication of our executive and advisory board members resulted in CDNY’s largest number of applicants and interviews ever. 2017 is already in full flourish but first we must thank our outgoing board members and in particular Alejandra Diaz and David Rozen, our 2015-2016 Chapter Co-Directors. Their efforts led our chapter to expand the number of fellows we train and to our winning the 2015 Commitment to Diversity award at the 2015 NLC National Retreat. David Rozen is now the Mentorship Chair for New York City’s NLC chapter and a National Life Entrepreneur (LE) Trainer. Alejandra continues on the executive board as our Alumni and Community Engagement Chair and has the following message for our new Co-Directors and 2017 Fellows.
New Leaders Council trains and connects the next generation of progressive leaders. I have been proud to serve as a Co-Director for the Capital District New York chapter from 2014 to 2016. In the Capital District, I have been part of a team of progressives who have invested time and energy to train and connect progressive peers working in policy, program implementation, advocacy, business and development. Together we have brought three classes of CDNY NLC fellows together, establishing the chapter and its place in the local progressive community.
I am very happy to have passed leadership of the chapter to Meghan Keegan (CDNY Board 2015-16) and Bronce Perez Matos (CDNY NLC Fellow 2015 and Board 2015-16). The 2017 Class of Fellows is CDNY’s largest to date and I am excited to continue working with this team of progressives as a member of the board.
2017 began with our first Institute weekend held on January 21st and January 22nd when our fellows gathered together for the first time. The New Leaders Council has introduced me to a new family of friends. I had a great time opening up to new people, and I know we're going to build great things together in the very near future – said 2017 Fellow Frank Sainato.
The weekend featured LE trainers Rob Houston and Erin Belitskus. They led our 20 fellows in life entrepreneurship activities including sharing their life experiences and envisioning their futures. Rob and Erin also led the fellows in a new activity examining how power and privilege affect their lives. I'm so honored to be a part of this group. Life entrepreneurship workshops gave me guidance that I didn't expect from NLC and I'm all the more grateful for the focus this is providing me. NLC could not have come for me at a better time in my life – said 2017 Fellow Katherine Stephens. Carmen Duncan also joined us this first weekend to introduce the fellows to the Capstone project.
Councilman Steve Napier and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner helped to close out our first Institute with a discussion on what it takes to be a political entrepreneur. They provided thought provoking and personal stories on their experiences running for office and offered advice to future political entrepreneurs. The weekend ended with Liska Wilson and Jordan Lesser of the Mentorship Committee introducing the fellows to the Mentorship Program. As I reflect on the first weekend of the institute, it's amazing to me that I already feel like I've gotten from it what I'd hoped -- which has created that much more excitement for what's to come. Between learning from and about our facilitators and other fellows to the guided introspection and self reflection we so rarely make time for, I am already more focused, motivated and engaged in what I can create for my future and my community – said 2017 Fellow Rebecca Daniels.
We look forward to our next Institute weekends in February and March. Stay tuned!