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An Inspiring Story of Civic Leadership: The Hillsboro Leadership Academy

This spring, our home base at Portland State University, the National Policy Consensus Center, worked with the City of Hillsboro to engage and prepare a diverse group of residents to serve in a range of civic leadership capacities within the city. 

The group of 12 participants came together for six weekly sessions to learn new skills and insights as they also collaborated on an project important in their community, a housing report to the City.  The goal of the Hillsboro Leadership Academy was to learn about the role of government and public issues in the Hillsboro community, figure out how participants might take on some form of civic leadership within the City, and forge new relationships and connections with fellow Hillsboro residents.

Some thoughts from the Hillsboro residents themselves (above, holding the street signs with their names that they received upon completion!) on the Hillsboro Leadership Academy:

From the first night we met, I was excited to see that passion for our Hillsboro community was a shared value amongst the diverse group that has been selected to participate in this inaugural program. Passion and diversity were necessary components of the product we are presenting to you tonight.

I would like to be more involved in my community so that I can encourage other Latinos to do the same. We can be a voice for those that are afraid or shy to participate. Leading by example is the best thing I can do to encourage them.

I was interested in getting more involved with the City and I applied to the Academy to get a feel for what would be involved with being on a Board or Commission or City Council. After experiencing the academy, I am more aware of the level of commitment it takes and I am tremendously grateful to all those who commit their time to serve our City. I have recently volunteered to help on the Hillsboro Transportation System Plan Steering Committee.

If your community is interested in bringing a similar training to your city or county, let us know!