National Award for Community Civic Engagement

The Family Leadership Training Institute in Colorado accepts participants from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, ages 12 and up, who want to improve systems for youth. Once accepted into the program, they participate in a 20-week curriculum that integrates personal and child development, leadership training, civic literacy and participation skills.

Each year, the National Health Outreach Conference and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) seek nominations in four categories: individual/family program, community program, innovative program and leadership. All nominations are peer-reviewed and evaluated based on meeting defined needs of their communities, documented positive impact and its ability to be used by other communities.

Colorado State University Extension recently received the 2017 Priester Community Award for their program, Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI). Jan Carroll (left), Extension Director of Federal and Civic Engagement, accepted the award on behalf of her team at the 2017 National Health Outreach Conference in Annapolis.

“The Family Leadership Training Institute provides opportunities for community engagement which are essential for community building and community success,” said Lou Swanson, CSU vice president for Engagement and Extension Director. “This national award is an excellent recognition to the dedication of the staff, volunteers and partners who make this program work for local communities.”

The purpose of the award is to honor Extension programs that positively impact the health of people across the United States and provide leadership to expand Extension’s capacity to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The award is in the name of Jeanne M. Priester, and honors her accomplishments and contributions to the national Extension System.  She was a leader in advancing health education during her tenure at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The annual award recognizes sound and innovative health and wellness programs at the county, state and national level. This year, the Awards Committee selected the FLTI program for the Community Health award. “Our FLTI team, led by Kyle Christensen, at Colorado State University, believes that when understanding and utilizing the tools of democracy, family and community leaders will positively influence policy/program change for health and well-being of children, families, and communities,” said Carroll.

Since its inception, FLTI programs have reached over 800 people in 14 communities throughout Colorado. Results reports show 82% of participants improve their ability to be agents of change, 79% improved their self-confidence, 70% were able to work with professionals in their community and 68% of graduates reporting engaged in at least one community action following graduation related to public health priorities.