Engaged Citizens. Innovative Ideas.


WHAT is this program: This *FREE* multidisciplinary neighborhood leadership development program is designed for individuals enthusiastic about positively contributing to the community in which they live, work and play. Participants not only develop leadership skills and gain knowledge and tools to help make their community strong, safe and vibrant, but also build life-long relationships through this cohort-model program.  Since the program began in 2015, we’ve proudly graduated a diverse group of 104 Heights change-agents.

WHO should apply: Cleveland Heights and University Heights residents or stakeholders who not only care about their neighborhood but want to gain skills and resources to take action right where they live.  We especially encourage anyone who is interested in working on a project seeking a FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grant to participate in our leadership workshop series, though that is not a requirement to qualify for the mini-grant program.

WHEN is it happening: The 2024 dates are January 28, February 11, February 25, March 10, and March 24. All sessions take place on Sundays from 3pm-6pm. Participants must commit to attending all five sessions in order to be accepted into the program.

WHERE is it happening: Our workshop sessions take place at FutureHeights, located in the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. building (2843 Washington Blvd.)

WHY should you consider applying: Do you have questions about the program or want to chat more before filling out an application?  Join an NLWS Info session or reach out to Sarah (swolf@futureheights.org) to set up a time to gain a greater understanding of how participating in the workshops could benefit you.

HOW to apply:  The 2024 application period is September 1, 2023 through January 12, 2024. Click here to get started.

If you are unable to fill out an electronic version of the application or if there any are other potential barriers to your attendance or any special accommodations you might need, please let us know so we can work with you to find a solution.

Any additional questions, reach out to Sarah – swolf@futureheights.org.

Interested in learning more about NLWS before applying?  Attend an info session!  These virtual office hours allow you to drop in and get your questions answered about our skills-based program.

2024 Info Sessions:

  • Wednesday, September 6, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, September 20, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, October 11, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, October 25, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, November 8, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, November 29, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, December 13, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, January 10, 4pm-5pm

Advanced registration via Eventbrite is required to receive the Zoom link.  If you are not able to attend any of the info sessions but would still like to chat with Sarah before applying, reach out to her at swolf@futureheights.org to set up a meeting time of your convenience

Click here to learn more & get signed up for an info session!


About our recent program graduates…

  • Spring 2020 had 15 graduates representing 12 different neighborhoods.  9 of the graduates are in known community leadership roles. 
  • Fall 2021 had 6 graduates representing 5 different neighborhoods.  5 of the graduates are in known community leadership roles. (This program ran “off-season,” thus the lower enrollment number — but what a fantastic cohort of incredible leaders!)
  • Spring 2022 had 11 graduates representing 6 neighborhoods. 10 of the graduates are in known community leadership roles.
  • Spring 2023 had 13 graduates representing 9 neighborhoods. 10 of the graduates are in known community leadership roles.

The NLWS Alumni Association…

In Spring 2022, the NLWS Leadership Alumni Association began!  33 previous program graduates are currently participating in our quarterly meetups, which happen in February, May, August, and November — or whenever an alumni member suggests an activity or a spot to meetup!

While Sarah helps to facilitate this group, the group members are the true leaders of what the Alumni Association does.  It’s a great opportunity to do some skill-share, community-building, idea swapping, and have some good old fashioned conversation.

Group members can opt to be part of a private Facebook Group and email list to keep in touch in between meetups.

A few NLWS Alums at Millikin Playground