Community Leadership Development Council

Table of Contents

History and Outline

The Community Leadership Development Council (CLDC) was founded in September 1997 by Horace Williams, PhD. The purpose of the Council was to identify, recognize, and empower youth and their families to reclaim their dignity and motivation.

The pressure on these young people and dysfunctional adults to take drugs, join negative street gangs, and exhibit destructive behavior is very strong. CLDC felt that through our efforts and unique method of counseling we could make a difference in their lives. We also believed that the provision of a "reward for effort" would be an effective tool for motivation and an incentive for raising the self-esteem of our students.

Through a small project working with at-risk teenagers, we observed that when they learned techniques for reclaiming their intellectual self-esteem, they began to attend school regularly, work harder at their studies, and become productive members of the community. CLDC initiated this training tool as "Re-evaluation Counseling."

Our first group of teenagers (nine total) had diverse backgrounds with respect to their peer groups and families. They were given a nominal stipend if they maintained their grades and performed community service. They were also required to remain free of drugs and not associate with or continue their involvement with their former street gang.

As a result of our Re-evaluation Counseling, two graduated from high school and are attending college and a third recently entered college. Three other students are still attending high school on a regular basis.

The adults in CLDC are trained to work with the youth as well as to remain free of drugs and not have any membership in street gangs. These adults, as well as our mentors, volunteers, and donors, provide a positive outreach these youth have never been privileged to receive.

The Community Leadership Development Council's goal is to continue raising funds to expand our services to encompass more youth throughout the San Gabriel Valley. These donations are used exclusively for the needs of the clients. All members of the Community Development Leadership Council volunteer their services. Donations to the CLDC are tax deductible through the Crown Cities Community Development Corporation.

Testimonial

I am Johnny Sanders, born and reared mostly in Pasadena. I am 24 years old and will be entering my senior year at St. Mary University of Leavenworth, Kansas. My major is sports management, and I expect to graduate in May 2010. I was the first person in my immediate family to receive a high school diploma and will be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. My college education has been funded through athletic scholarships, loans, the Community Leadership Development Council (CLDC), and relatives.

I am grateful to the members of the CLDC for encouraging me to attend college and stick with it. There have been discouraging times, but the members of the CLDC were always on the sidelines rooting me on. Without the help of the CLDC, I don't think I could have kept a strong enough mindset to go from living the life of a young street thug to where I am now, a mature adult heading toward a college degree. I learned a personal counseling technique from them that has helped to keep me focused and manage my anger. Upon graduation, I plan to give back by giving a helping hand to others like it was done to me. Thank you for your help!