The San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy: Now taking applications!

Do you want to improve your community, environment and health?
Do you want to offer your volunteers additional advocacy training?

The San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy is a training program available to 12 Greater Los Angeles-area residents to develop advocacy skills on behalf of their community. The academy is part of San Gabriel Mountains Forever, a diverse coalition of religious and nonprofit organizations, businesses, and community leaders all working to:

  • Create a federal National Recreation Area that would include urban communities along the San Gabriel River.
  • Obtain federal Wilderness designation for unprotected wilderness sections of the San Gabriel Mountains.
  • Obtain Wild and Scenic River federal designation and protection for the San Gabriel River

San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy is seeking people emblematic of the communities that cherish the San Gabriel Mountains: students, working people and retirees; individuals with community organizing experience and those new to the movement; multi-lingual individuals; women and men excited about the San Gabriel Mountains Forever campaign and the opportunity afforded by this academy.

Academy participants are individuals and organizations working with San Gabriel Mountains Forever. Participants must be able to commit to the complete six-month schedule of bi-weekly classes that last approximately three hours. Each class is structured to allow ample time for discussion and practice. Topics include, but are not limited to, organizing and outreach strategies, strategic planning, public speaking, and the legislative process. Participants help determine the curriculum of each Academy session.

Organizations with volunteers participating in the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy are expected to contribute to the academy by: 1) regularly assisting and supporting their volunteer through weekly updates and bi-weekly meetings, 2) teaching one to two classes during the academy, 3) hosting one to two classes, and 4) providing one to two meals for class meetings.

  • There is financial aid available to participants for travel costs and other related needs, such as childcare.
  • Participants are eligible for a $500 stipend upon completion of the program.
  • There is a mini-grant of up to $1,000 to organize an event, activity or project that engages the community in support of the three goals of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition.

Student projects vary depending on each student, her or his community, and the organization for which they volunteer. The project must fulfill four basic requirements:

  1. Each project must be relevant in the community where the student works.
  2. Each project must coincide with the goals of San Gabriel Mountains Forever.
  3. Each project must have at least one quantifiable measure of success.
  4. Each project must have an action plan, including preparation, task delegation and follow-up activities.
Current projects include:organizing political and community support for a native plant garden at an elementary school; San Gabriel Mountains-inspired student art projects; creating lessons on wilderness protection and the San Gabriel Mountains for elementary school students; organizing volunteer networks for San Gabriel Mountains Forever; organizing mountain trips for community college students.

If you have questions or are interested in applying, please contact George B. Sánchez, the
academy coordinator, at (213) 379-0564 or

Academy Participant Application

Sponsoring Organization Application

The deadline to apply is March 7, 2012.  Both applications need to be submitted.

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