Saturday, February 9, 2013

Leadership is All in the Family at Catalyst

Written by Gina Ha, Parent Leadership Training Institute Coordinator

What is Family Leadership?

According to Indya, a lovely and bright eight-year-old leader in Catalyst's Family Leadership Training Institute, it is simply "Leadership as a family. Something that the whole family can do together because things are better when you do them as a family, like watching a movie."

Family Leadership links different generations and walks of like to the common path of self-empowerment. Parents and children grow together; strangers and acquaintances grow together, inward and upward together. And like Indya said, things are better together.

Family Leadership is not only shared between relatives but between colleagues, neighbors, childhood friends, and even strangers. A family is the coalition that will support you through good and bad times, the close-knit group of young children that inspire you and the wise adults that guide you. Every member has a unique role and sense of responsibility, and each member honors the strength of the family in big and small ways.

The Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) houses this type of unique connection between individuals. Our participants are parents, grandparents, single mothers and fathers, nonprofit professionals, community organizers, and young leaders from toddlers to pre-teens. Raiza, Indya's mother, joined the institute for this very reason. Raiza had participated in various workshops and programs prior to FLTI, but never found one that actually included her daughter. She is currently working on a community project, developing a program to educate families that are building lives and reconnecting after reentry. Indya is also working on a community project, a book/toy drive for Camillus House.

FLTI "has been an extraordinary experience for my 8 year old daughter and I," Raiza said. "We have really understood what leadership truly is and how it impacts our families, friends, schools and community. We have gained an awareness that has allowed us to identify our personal power to think outside the box and make things happen not only within our family, but in our community as well. " 

What is Family Leadership and What Does it Look Like?

Catalyst Miami is currently accepting applications for parents, children, and child advocates to join FLTI. Our family leadership program encompasses Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) for adults and Children’s Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) for students in grades K-5. The next class will start February 23, 2013 and meet weekly for 20 sessions on Wednesday evenings.

Who Can Join: Parents, guardians, child advocates, working professionals, community leaders, concerned residents…anyone interested in making a difference in the lives of children!

How to Join: Complete and submit an application or contact Gina Ha  at for more information. Children attending the program with a parent/ guardian will automatically be enrolled in CLTI, a parallel leadership program that uses a multiple-intelligence-based curriculum to maximize learning.

What to Look Forward to: 20 sessions that gradually build your advocacy skills, including: Using Your Voice, How a Community Works, What is Public Policy? and How the State Works. Guest speakers about media, local and state government, and community based organizations! A unique leadership opportunity for the entire family! Free dinner and childcare!

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