Neighborhood Leadership Institue |
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We’re Neighborhood Leadership Institute.

Together we share a common goal—to improve the quality of life for people in greater Cleveland’s diverse communities through grassroots leadership development and engagement.

Neighborhood Leadership | True2U Mentoring | Community Health | Youth Engagement


New Community Book Club offering begins Sept 12th

Welcome to the 17th edition of NLI’s Community Book Club! You are invited to join us beginning September 12th, when the club will be reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins. More than 500 community members have contributed to ongoing dialogue on social justice and important topics since NLI began the Community Book Club during the pandemic in 2020. We now invite you to join us as we begin discussions on this latest book offering. The group will convene weekly on Tuesdays until October 3rd. Guests will participate in discussions led by NLI facilitator GiGi Elder. Participants should be ready to discuss the Introduction and Part 1 at the first session.  


Community Organizing 101

You are invited to join Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland alumni and other community leaders for a 2-day training on community organizing. Refine your skills and knowledge surrounding the principles of community organizing, as we dive into the dynamics of power, self-interest, and one-to-one dialogues. The event is free. $20 donations are appreciated. Seating is limited. Dates: Friday October 20 (6:00 – 9:00 PM) and Saturday October 21 (9:30 AM – 2:00 PM)


True2U Mentor Recruitment Starts for 23/24 School Year

True2U is the hands-on volunteer mentoring program that helps 8th graders explore their true selves and prepare to make the most of high school as an important step on the path to career readiness. The mentoring program started in 2015 and now serves all 2,500 8th graders in Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), in 63 school buildings, with the support of hundreds of volunteer mentors. True2U mentors are dedicated facilitators, working in teams to help students find their strengths, explore their interests and career pathways, check out their 30+ high school options in the CMSD portfolio, and accept and celebrate who they are. Check out our True2U page to learn more.


Connecting with Cleveland’s Future Leaders

In the True2U mentoring program, volunteers  work with small groups of 8th graders in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to help the students consider their strengths and interests, create a vision for their future and weigh their high school and post-secondary options so they can set off with confidence down the path to their future.

Mentors are still needed. Do you remember being in the 8th grade? Did you know who you were and what you were going to be, or did someone help you think it through? Just sharing your story with Cleveland students, and being a steady partner along the journey, will have ripple effects for the students and our city, for years to come.

Schools As Neighborhood Resources:

Building Youth and Families from the Ground Up.

Our flagship program for community engagement, Schools as Neighborhood Resources opens six school buildings for recreation and enrichment programming for all ages.

SNR is the longest-running school-community initiative in Cuyahoga County. It’s a model of school, family and community collaboration that turns schools into community gathering places designed to improve the educational environment and social development opportunities for students and families.

Community Engagement

Building Leaders from the Ground Up

Neighborhood Leadership Institute provides leadership training, resources and development to individuals in Greater Cleveland’s diverse communities. We take pride in elevating an individual’s natural leadership talent. Together we share a common goal—to improve and positively impact our communities through courageous leadership, collective ownership, empowerment, inclusion and accountability.

Neighborhood Leadership Institute partners with agencies and institutions to engage ordinary citizens in change initiatives and to strengthen emerging leaders within their communities with targeted trainings.


Our network of more than 1,800 grads builds community from the ground up.

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