The stress caused by COVID-19 has had a strong impact on the Colorado Springs community, creating numerous challenges for families, small businesses and nonprofits. To recover and rebuild in the days ahead, the city will need the support of strong community leadership. For those who want to be a part of leading the charge but seek direction on where to begin, there’s an organization ready to help you get started. Local nonprofit Leadership Pikes Peak, a community leadership development program with a 40-year track record of serving Colorado Springs, is now accepting applications for its 2020 community leadership programs, which convene this August.
Leadership Pikes Peak offers two different program options for individuals who wish to develop their community leadership skills: The Signature Program and Leadership Now!
Participants in these programs are largely sponsored by their employers, although there are limited funding options available for those who do not have employee sponsorship.
The Signature Program is the organization’s flagship leadership program cultivated for established professionals. Participants are immersed in community work throughout the 10-month curriculum and provided with ample networking opportunities and facetime with experts in a variety of fields. Not only that, they are also guided through the process of learning their personality preferences, passions and strengths.
For young professionals who are still establishing their careers, Leadership Now! offers similar opportunities for growth and networking along with leadership development education that has a community focus. That community emphasis is a key differentiator that sets Leadership Pikes Peak apart from other organizations operating in the same space.
“When participants graduate from one of our programs, they have the confidence, the abilities and the belief that they can go out and make a difference in our community,” says Dr. Hillary Reed, the organization’s executive director and a graduate of both Leadership Now! and the Signature Program. She points to several recent examples of community work performed by Leadership Pikes Peak participants: the creation of an independent living guide for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Pikes Peak Region, development and incorporation of the “Manitou Made” brand in Manitou Springs, the planting of an urban garden at The Place (formerly Urban Peak) and a community needs assessment for Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS).
Dr. Reed is confident that the organization’s alumni and future participants will play a powerful role in helping the community recover and grow strong in the aftermath of COVID-19.
“We’re seeing our alumni who have gone through our programs step up and get involved. We have a lot of our alumni that are out volunteering and helping out at Care and Share [Food Bank for Southern Colorado] and at Pikes Peak United Way and a lot of other organizations that are at the front line and addressing the challenges that we’re experiencing with COVID-19,” says Dr. Reed. “That’s why programs like ours are important — because we help people hone those skills and abilities and develop the contacts to know where and how they can go out and get involved in our community.”
Individuals interested in joining the session beginning in August can apply online at leadershippikespeak.org. Dr. Reed notes that requirements, such as letters of recommendation and interviews, differ between the two programs. The education provided, however, is equally exceptional at turning out strong community leaders.
“Every single one of our alumni makes a difference in our community,” says Dr. Reed. “We’re excited to see all of them come together and help during this crisis and to then help the community recover and succeed after it has passed.”
Sign up for all 2020 Leadership Pikes Peak programs by visiting leadershippikespeak.org.
— This branded content advertisement was paid for by Leadership Pikes Peak.