“My City Academy” Leadership Program


  The City of Roanoke Office of Communications and Community Engagement will launch its first cohort of My City Academy this month. My City Academy is a free, leadership-training program designed to educate and equip those serving as natural helpers. The program will feature representatives from many city departments sharing their services, responsibilities, and programs, as well as engaging participants in activities and relationship building. Various community service providers will also attend in order to build participants’ capacity in active listening and empowering questions, trauma-informed care, effectively setting boundaries, and making referrals. Each session will be held at a different location to give participants a better understanding of the variety of services offered in the city. My City Academy will conclude with a resource fair, introducing participants to local helping organizations and their staff. 

   My City Academy will take place from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm on four consecutive Saturdays: Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov.12, and Nov. 19. The intended audience for this training program are members of Roanoke’s immigrant and refugee community who have lived in the city long enough to be proficient in navigating systems on their own and are therefore often asked to help neighbors, family members, and friends. At the end of the training program, participants will return to their respective communities and networks equipped to help others interact confidently and effectively with city departments, from requesting a trash bin to reserving a park, from speaking before Council to serving on a board or commission. 

   Applications and nominations are currently being accepted and can be accessed online at https://www.roanokeva.gov/2434/Welcoming-Roanoke, or by emailing Kathryn.hedrick@roanokeva.gov. 

   For more information or if you have questions, please contact Katie Hedrick, Community Inclusion Coordinator, at 540-853-1283 or send an email to: Kathryn.hedrick@roanokeva.gov.