Coro Southern California, a national nonprofit organization that provides free training for potential community leaders, will accept applications through Monday for a leadership training course in Pacoima.
The Los Angeles-based group is looking for 16 community members interested in participating in the Neighborhood Leaders Program.
The three-month course will include instruction on improving critical thinking and communication skills, conducting successful interviews and meetings and networking with community leaders. The final phase of the program will include a group community improvement project, said Raul Bustillos, program trainer and coordinator.
The goal "is not only for people to get involved, but to be effective," he said. All seminars are hands-on, with an emphasis on decision-making and problem-solving, Bustillos said.
Since the program was launched in 1989, more than 160 neighborhood leaders have graduated. Training was conducted this year in North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Panorama City and Arleta. The organization selects cities based on community involvement by residents.
"We chose Pacoima because there is a strong sense of community, but also there are a lot of needs," said Bustillos. The seminars will be conducted at different locations in Pacoima, such as churches and schools, so that participants learn about the resources available, he said.
The free workshops, which are funded by the James Irvine Foundation, are worth $5,000 per person, said Bustillos.
The group will meet every Tuesday evening for three hours and one Saturday per month beginning in February. Applicants must be at least 17 years old and either involved in the community or interested in getting involved.
Those chosen will be notified by January.
Applications can be picked up at several locations in Pacoima or by contacting Bustillos at (800) 366-1521.
Applications may be sent by fax to (213) 680-0079.