Citizen’s Leadership Academy has been in the city for the past 10 years and has ushered in more than 200 graduates who have gone on to become involved and committed to affecting change in the community.
“The major goal of the academy is to cultivate communities through communication,” said James Hammond, communications coordinator. “The academy is designed to educate residents about the structure of the city government, provide clarity and inform residents about the services and responsibilities of city departments.”
During 11 weeks of classes, participants in the academy are exposed to the varying levels of city government and departments that help run the city.
Classes give residents a closer glimpse through presentations, one-on-one interactions with department heads and an open forum to give feedback and ask questions.
Hammond said the benefits are twofold, for both participants and the community at-large.
“The community benefits because they get an opportunity to hear information first-hand from the city council, city manager and department heads about the goals and objectives of the city government,” he said. “The residents have the opportunity to have their questions answered, as well as get a greater understanding about the processes that go into the city-handling business.”
Overall, Hammond said the academy lends a hand to a greater degree of governmental transparency.
“This program has stood the test of time and the information that has been shared with participants in the program has proven to be valuable to the community,” he said.
Applications were accepted for the program beginning July 1 and through Aug. 15. No more than 25 residents were accepted into the academy.
In order to be eligible to participate, applicants had to be current East Point residents or business owners.