Only Neighbors Can Build Neighborhoods

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That was the theme for this year’s Community Leadership Institute (CLI).  And, it really captures the essence of the CLI as well as ROC USA’s purpose.

I truly believe it; one doesn’t build a neighborhood.  Only people – the neighbors – create a neighborhood.

The four days at the CLI are about the people – the volunteer community leaders themselves, and the neighbors they serve and care about.

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The CLI includes more than 800 volunteer community leaders, each focused on making neighborhoods better places for their families and neighbors.  It’s rare to have so many people learning and celebrating community in one place.  It’s really inspiring.

It demonstrates that there are very good things – and very good people – in many, many neighborhoods who are offering helping hands, generous hearts and focused minds.

There is so much of it at CLI that it led Donna from Barrington Oaks to say to Anne and me on Saturday afternoon: “You know, it’s really easy to think that the world is full of people and businesses looking to take advantage of other people but here it’s so cool to see so many people just motivated to make their neighborhoods better places – people who are not looking for personal gain, just a good and safe neighborhood.”  She concluded by saying, “I’m so happy I came.  I feel so good.”

Donna captured “the magic of CLI” at a high level.  Hope is renewed!

Thank you to our 48 CLI participants and three spouses from 24 ROCs, as well as the seven TA providers and five ROC USA staff for making the 2016 CLI another magical year!

We don’t yet know where we’ll be next October but there’s no question ROC USA will be there.  We invite you to apply next spring.  Let Deb know if you’d like to be on the notification list at or watch for news.  If we’re able to take you, you will be glad you came!

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