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 122 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: Stay tuned for the 2025 dates! 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.)

You should consider applying if…..

If you said YES to any of that, you should apply!

We expect that applications for the 2025 cohort will open in September 2024.

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.



Some program feedback from the 2024 NLWS cohort:

  • “My biggest a-ha moment was realizing I am not alone in caring about and wanting to positively affect my own slice of Cleveland Heights!”
  • “The workshops give you the tools you need to bring your project to life.”
  • “Inspiring, refreshing, motivating. Great forum to expand community.”
  • “You would benefit greatly from applying to this program.”
  • “The series has inspired me to go forward with my project.”
  • “This whole experience was a tremendous nurturing treat for me at a difficult time in my life.”
  • “I now feel a greater sense of community belonging and responsibility.”
  • “Each session prepared us for the next session. This one was a great step into small group collaboration and mutual support with all the separate small groups.”
  • “I didn’t want the Series to end. This experience will always be with me.”



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.
  • Spring 2024 had 18 graduates representing 9 Cleveland Heights neighborhoods and 4 representing University Heights. 13 of the graduates are in known community leadership roles.

The NLWS Alumni Association…

In Spring 2022, the NLWS Leadership Alumni Association began!  Previous program graduates are welcome to particiapte in our meetups which take place 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, a private LinkedIn Group, and email list to keep in touch in between meetups.

A few NLWS Alums at Millikin Playground


HELP US KEEP NLWS FREE!  Become a FutureHeights Supporter here.


Any questions about the program or the alumni association, please connect with Sarah at swolf@futureheights.org.