Parent Leadership Training Institute: Empowering and Equipping Community Advocates
June 19th, 2015 marked a new beginning in New York City: the birth of a new kind of parent advocacy and leadership in the heart of the Bronx. 20 parent leaders proudly walked across the stage, donning caps and gowns as graduates of the first graduating class of the NYC Parent Leadership training institute, the first ever NYC chapter of the nationally renowned parent advocacy training organization, the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI).
The program, run in partnership with New Visions for Public Schools, with support from the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, trained 20 emerging parent leaders, from both district and charter high schools, to become civic-minded advocates, and equipped them with the tools and resources to effectively tackle problems they identified in their communities.
Launched in Connecticut over 20 years ago, PLTI has graduated over 4,000 parent leaders from institutes across the nation, teaching them public policy, the impact of socio-economic trends on children and families, civic skills, government and culminating with a capstone project in which the parents design an advocacy solution to a real-life problem.
The graduation ceremony took place at the Kingsbridge Library Center in the Bronx, with families of the graduates, New Visions staff and school administrators as well as representatives from the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz present to celebrate with the parent leaders.
Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene (pictured to the left) was the keynote speaker, inspiring graduates with her own history of advocacy in the Bronx, while Valedictorian Shenia Rudolph and Salutatorian Roque Bonilla, Jr. tearfully reminisced on the bonds shared between the parents over the 20-week program and spoke to the promise of leadership and advocacy to come through the knowledge they had gained.
Culminating projects by the parent leaders included the reopening a community garden, immigration workshops for the Bronx West African community, and college preparatory programming in local high schools.
New Visions hopes to train the second cohort of parent leaders starting early next year.
View additional photos from the graduation.
For more information about the New Visions PLTI program, contact Eunice Alicea, Community Engagement Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (646) 486-8140.