By Donna Fowler
Metro State is helping to open a new chapter for the Denver Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation by establishing its first Hispanic LeadershipDevelopment Program (HLDP).
Over a year ago, the chamber identified the need for a culturally relevant leadership development program for local professionals to support Latino advancement in the civic and business community. They contacted the Metro State President's Office as well as several other urban institutions.
“I’m proud to add this program to Metro State’s latest achievements and collaborations with the community,” says Metro State President Stephen Jordan, who is a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board member. “We knew instantly that coupling Metro State with the Hispanic chamber to develop a regional leadership program would be a great fit.”
Jordan contacted Metro State's go-to guy on teaching leadership, Political Science Professor Norman Provizer, who developed a proposal for the program's curricula. "I based the new program on the leadership courses I teach already," he says. Provizer developed Metro State's minor in leadership studies.
Once Provizer's proposal was accepted, Metro State's Extended Campus Program stepped in to assist in overseeing the nuts and bolts of the program's implementation. Associate Director Arliss Webster has been handling the administrative and financial aspects of the program. She says that while this is not a revenue-generating program for the College, the chamber will be making a lump-sum payment to cover certain expenses in developing the program as well as speaker stipends.
Leroy Garcia, incoming foundation board chair, says, “We are fortunate to have partnered with Metro State and believe this program will serve a tremendous role in fostering growth and personal development within the Hispanic community. Without the hard work and vision of our tremendous board of directors and the support of Metro State and the business community, this project would never have become a reality.”
Cheryl Lucero, foundation executive director, said that the leadership program will identify a diverse set of professionals representing multiple industries and service sectors. Monthly sessions held at the chamber and taught by Metro State professors and community leaders will address leadership topics such as identity, culture, policy, purpose, and principles.
Lucero says that the program includes training on understanding the cultural differences with regard to leadership, focusing on a dialogue between participants and veteran Latino leaders at both a business and civic level. The goal is to teach the emerging leaders how to overcome obstacles that traditionally hinder Latinos from receiving promotions.
Although the HLDP was established to help chamber members develop stronger leadership skills, the program will encourage and recruit outside participation to ensure diversity of thinking and backgrounds. The program is the first of its kind in Colorado, but it follows a proven model used by other chambers across the country.
The six-month program kicks off in February 2012 with a goal of securing 25 participants in the inaugural class. Program applications are already being accepted and the deadline for submission is Nov. 30, 2011. Scholarships are available to applicants that qualify from program sponsors such as MillerCoors, United Healthcare, PCL Construction and State Farm. For full details about the program and application visit http://www.hcefdenver.org/.
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