Building Civic Leaders through Community Engagement

Emerging civic leaders from around Colorado  recently learned firsthand about the legislative process at the Colorado State Capitol. In addition, on Monday, April 24th, The Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) of Colorado at Colorado State University Extension received a tribute in the Colorado House of Representatives. Representative Jeni Arndt (House District 53) has taken a special interest in FLTI, and presented this on the house floor, with an estimated 125 family and community leaders from Denver Five Points, Eagle County, Lake County, Larimer County, and Prowers County in attendance.

“The Leadership Day at the Capitol is an opportunity for our participants to learn about state government, the legislative process, and current policy priorities of the 2017 legislative session,” said Patti Schmitt, FLTI of Colorado Assistant Project Coordinator. Colorado State University Extension coordinates this annual event to provide participants the opportunity to meet their elected representatives and senators to advocate for policies that are responsive to the needs of children, youth, and families.

This year participants also heard from Jose Esquibel, director of the Colorado’s Attorney General Office of Engagement. Esquibel will be speaking about the importance of family leadership and civic engagement. FLTI leaders  had the opportunity to tell elected officials about the many unique civic projects they are developing and implementing in their communities to address the numerous health equity issues facing Colorado.

Graduates of the most recent FLTI program join nearly 1,000 alumni from across the state since the program began in 2009. Current FLTI training sites include: Aurora, Boulder County, Denver Five Points, Denver Montbello, Dolores/Montezuma Counties, Eagle County, Lake County, Larimer County, Prowers County, Pueblo, and Summit County.

About the Family Leadership Training Institute of Colorado

FLTI is a first-of-its-kind family civics program. Program graduates spend more than 120 hours over twenty weeks to develop skills needed to become effective leaders in their communities. “The curriculum integrates personal and child development, leadership skills, civic literacy, and civic engagement”, said Kyle Christensen, FLTI Project Coordinator. “Diversity is a primary objective of the training and participants grow individually and collectively through interactive experiences designed to address the most essential issues affecting our communities today.”

FLTI is supported by many local, state, and national partners which allows the course to be offered free of charge.

FLTI increases civic knowledge

Research demonstrates that FLTI leaders increase their civic knowledge when comparing pre- and post-survey results at the completion of class. Some evaluation results include:

  • 86% of participants reported knowing how state budgets were made, compared to only 11% before receiving FLTI training;
  • 92% reported knowing how state laws were made, compared to 33% before the training;
  • 82% reported knowing who their elected state representative was, compared to 29% before the training;
  • 86% reported knowing who their local representative for city government was, compared to 29% before the training.

For more information, contact:
FLTI/Colorado State University Extension

(970) 491-6379