new orleans launches national parent leadership initiative.

The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), founded by the Connecticut Commission on Children, trains, inspires and empowers parents to become effective advocates for children. Applications for the inaugural class of the Parent Leadership Training Institute of New Orleans (PLTI-NOLA) are now being accepted.

In other communities, PLTI graduates have gone on to lead community organizations, serve on local school boards, and win election to the state legislature. The local program (PLTI-NOLA), will be hosted by the Orleans Public Education Network, thanks to funding recently awarded by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Brochure | Application | Website

The Parent Leadership Training Institute is a series of 20 sessions on leadership training, civic literacy, and civic participation skills. A primary goal of this initiative is to transform how we do business in supporting parents and creating a safe space for parents to connect around the commonality of 21st century parenting and building the community, city, and state our children deserve.

Deirdre Johnson-Burel, Executive Director of Orleans Public Education Network (OPEN) proclaims, “If you can envision an initiative based on diversity that focuses on and effectively reaches members of our community spanning from St. Charles Avenue to St. Claude Street and beyond, then you can imagine the Parent Leadership Training Institute.”

This unique leadership opportunity is made possible by the collective and collaborative work of the PLTI Civic Design Team–the governing body of the Parent Leadership Training Institute. According to PLTI-NOLA Civic Design Team member Barbara LeBlanc, LCSW, Director-The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital, “PLTI offers parents from every New Orleans neighborhood a unique opportunity to get to know one another and join forces around important issues affecting the families in our city. I look forward to seeing how this first group of parents uses the training to better our community.” PLTI Facilitator (instructor) Bonnie Goldblum shares, “I think that this is a great opportunity to bring together diverse communities to achieve a common goal, which is positive outcomes for our youth.”

Prospective participant, Katherine Hutton is a single parent of 3 school-age children. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for our parents in New Orleans. PLTI will provide a beautiful foundation for parent leadership. It will give parents an opportunity to develop a good foundation for leadership in New Orleans”, said Hutton. Catherine Robin, Director of K-12 initiatives for Agenda for Children believes “it’s important that parents develop skills and techniques to be able to advocate on behalf of their children and community. PLTI provides this opportunity in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Each year this opportunity is offered to 25 participants who are screened and selected based on their availability and readiness to become effective change agents on behalf of children, youth and families. This initiative develops parent leadership through trust, participation, skills building, hope and high expectations. These ingredients offer parents, who seek to create change for their children and others, a ladder towards leadership. Previous national PLTI classes have included a cross-section of people including young adults to grandparents, single moms, dads, couples, those with community leadership experience and those who are just beginning the journey of civic engagement. Through this 20-week training, parents are offered leadership training that includes the following:

  • An initial retreat on February 16, 2013;
  • 20 weekly classes; Tuesday evenings, 5:00pm-8:30pm; February 19, 2013- June 25, 2013;
  • Two 10-week sessions that focus on knowledge about the change process, skill building, and tools of civic engagement; and
  • The development of a personal community project.

Sessions include, but are not limited to, training on using the media, public speaking, forming useful coalitions and building community, understanding policy and municipal budgets, and becoming familiar with city, state and federal law.

Where and when?

The hosting agency for the initiative is Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans. The location of the sessions is Junior Achievement, Delgado Campus, 5100 Orleans Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124. Child Care and Transportation Available. Two PLTI Tasters (Information Sessions) are scheduled for interested applicants on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at Junior Achievement, 12noon-1:30pm and 6:00pm-7:30pm.

Who should apply?

Parents, single parents, grandparents, other family members, young adults, foster parents, community members and others who wish to receive training to become effective leaders and change agents on behalf of children, youth, and families. This opportunity is only offered to 25-50 participants who are screened through an interview process. PLTI-NOLA is offered free of charge.

In exchange for FREE registration, participants give the commitment of time reflected in class attendance and a community project. If the Parent Leadership Training Institute is the right opportunity for you, please apply. For more information, or to request a hard copy application to participate in this exciting program, contact Carol Alexander-Lewis at 504.821.4004 or via email at

Application deadline is January 25, 2013.

Written by Ashley Bond

Ashley Bond

Founder of parenting blog, entrepreneur, underestimated disorganized overachiever.

Skip to toolbar