NLDP Babies

Meet our first two NLDP "Cohort 36" applicants!

Last year, Cohort XI graduate Rebeca Neria was the first participant to have a baby during her NLDP year. Isabella Grayce Neria was born a few months early, between sessions 12 and 13 and  her mother did not miss a single session. She is now 8 months old and is doing really well. She sits up on her own and has started crawling. Her mother continues to be committed to helping residents of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. Rebeca coordinates the satellite HEAP office at Metrowest for CHN Housing Network. She is also passionate about economic empowerment through computer education and has worked with Metrowest to increase programming to support computer education in the neighborhood.  We are so proud of Rebeca and Isabella Grayce.

Rebeca was the first, but she wasn't the last! There must be some thing in the water, because this year we had another NLDP baby. Cohort XII participant Chanell Boyd was pregnant when she applied to NLDP and committed to participating in the program as she welcomed her third child. Though little baby Boyd was expected to arrive in October, he decided that was not soon enough! Chanell and her husband welcomed Assan Keen Donald Boyd on September 21st. Eager to meet the world, Assan Keen did not wait until his  mother arrived at the hospital and instead decided to arrive in the car on the way there, delivered by his mother.  Chanell is a passionate advocate for increased parent engagement and leads  a number of activities for families, including "Books and Blankets with the Boyds" which is a summ er reading group that engages children from her community. She is currently working on building a stronger PTA and has organized 2 PTA events, with a third coming in December. We are excited to see everything that Chanell and Assan will accomplish.
Breaking News...NLDP Graduate Holiday Party this Thursday! RSVP to Yuolanda Murray today...216-776-6167

Graduate Spotlight
Kathy Loseto 

Kathy Loseto has been helping the homeless for over 30 years. She got her start serving meals at a soup kitchen on her lunch breaks and today she is the President of the Board at the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and runs her own homeless outreach "My Trunk Lifestyle" where she provides food and hygiene products right out of the trunk of her Jeep.Kathy is a graduate of NLDP Cohort VII and said that NLDP helped her understand that her work with the homeless is not just something that she does, it is an integral part of who she is. She says of NLDP that she wishes she could "do it all again," because so many of the classes were helpful and meaningful. Kathy has taken the lessons of NLDP and not just continued her successful direct service, but used those lessons to help be a change agent in Northeast Ohio. 

Kathy first got involved with mobile outreach 10 years ago when she started volunteering with Restored Paths Ministry. She quickly found herself volunteering every week and taking on more responsibility. These days Kathy explains that what she does for the homeless is not really a "project" or a "program" it is simply the way she lives her life. She believes in listening, talking, never judging, and always having compassion. For Kathy it is all about building relationships with people. She has longstanding relationships with many of the people she helps. If she can help someone get off the streets that is wonderful, but if they cannot stay inside because of substance abuse or mental health, Kathy never judges and simply continues to meet them where they are. 

Kathy continues to work hard bringing people food and basic hygiene products, but she has also taken on an important leadership role in advocating for the homeless in Cleveland. In January of 2016, Kathy joined the board of NEOCH. Kathy enjoys the fundraising events that NEOCH puts together, including Taco Tuesdays and NEOCH-toberfest, but she feels the most important thing she does with NEOCH is listen to the needs of the homeless individuals they are hoping to help. The Cleveland Street Chronicle is one of Kathy's favorite programs of NEOCH. It is a newspaper almost entirely written and distributed by homeless individuals. It provides both a voice and means of income. Kathy joined the NEOCH board at a time when they were struggling with their bottom line and in need of strong board leadership. After only about a year on the board, Kathy was elected as Board President. She helped get NEOCH out of the red and into the black so that they can continue their important work advocating for vulnerable individuals in Cleveland. Kathy is an incredible advocate and servant leader who will continue to provide support to homeless individuals and work to empower them and uplift their voices to build a better Cleveland. 

 "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." ~ Barack Obama

Contributed by Lavita Ewing, Cohort XI
Graduates...RSVP for the Holiday Party
RSVP Deadline is tomorrow!

Cohort XII
Ready to Lead

This next group of Cleveland leaders is ready to take on the world and bring positive change to Cleveland. Among the participants of Cohort XII is a barber who helps his community stay healthy, an entrepreneur who uses her marketing skills to give back, several young CDC employees who are bringing new ideas to the communities they serve, a woman living with visual impairment who won't let that stop her from helping young people and families create healthy lifestyles, a young woman empowering girls to be the best versions of themselves, a pastor helping entrepreneurs support each other, and a teacher helping students master the art of dance. Each member of Cohort XII is bringing a unique set of skills and experience to the table and they are all excited to be change agents in the community and empower others. As they head into the seventh session of NLDP, they are building strong bonds with one another and learning the skills that will help them make the change they want to see in the community.

Cooking with Grads
Jon Rivera

Are you looking for a new holiday drink to make? Cohort IX graduate Jon Rivera suggests you give Coquito a try! Jon works in workforce development and organizes a wonderful summer camp for CMSD students that teaches them about careers in  manufacturing. Jon's family is from Puerto Rico and his mother is a master at making Coquito, which is a Puerto Rican drink similar to Egg Nog, but with lots of coconut!


2 cans (12 oz. each) Evaporated Milk
1 can (15 oz.) Cream of Coconut
½ cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 can (13.5 oz.) Coconut Milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish, if desired
Cinnamon sticks (optional)


1.  In blender, add evaporated milk, cream of coconut, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Blend on high until mixture is well combined, 1-2 minutes

2.  Pour coconut mixture into glass bottles; cover. Refrigerate until cold.

3. To serve, stir or shake bottle well to combine. Pour coquito into small serving glasses. Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, if desired.

Graduate Shout Outs
Special congratulations to...

Gwen Garth  on being selected as a Cleveland Foundation Creative Fusion Artist.

Anita Gardner  on being awarded a Community Service Award by the 4th District Police.

Maria Campanelli  on being appointed to the Board of Directors of Midtown Cleveland.

KC Petraitis  on starting a new job as Director of Real Estate at University Circle, Inc.

Indigo Bishop  on starting a new job as Choice Neighborhood Administrator at CMHA.

Holly Davenport  on graduating from EDWINS Leadership Academy and starting a new job in their  Development Department.

Kathy Loseto  on being named president of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.

Caroline Peak  on being awarded the Resident of the Year award for Ward 8 by the 5th District Police.

Save the Date!
Fireside Chat

The Fireside Chat is an opportunity for NLDP graduates to learn  from the leadership journeys of successful Cleveland  Leaders. Graduates have an opportunity to hear the speaker's story and to ask questions about the challenges that the leader has faced.

Coming in 2019....

The Graduate Board Match Project
Have you ever wanted to serve on a non-profit board, but weren't sure how to find the right fit or how to be a great board member?  To date, 29% of NLDP graduates are sitting on non-profit boards.This is an amazing benefit to our community. Because NLDP recognizes what an impact graduates can have by serving  on non-profit boards, we are launching a new initiative that will connect graduates to non-profit boards and help them be the best board members they can be.  Stay tuned for more information in 2019.

The Graduate Support Grant Program
Start planning now for your 2019 Graduate Support Grant project! NLDP wants to support graduates in their efforts to help the community and to help graduates become better acquainted with the grant seeking process. Funding of up to $5,000 will be available to help NLDP graduates serve the community in 2019. More details coming in January!

Upcoming Events in 2019...

Thursday, January 3rd
Graduate Support Grant Period Opens
Tuesday, February 12th
Graduate Support Grants Due at 5pm
Wednesday, April 17th
Fireside Chat
Monday, April 29th
Cohort XIII Application Period Opens
Thursday, June 13th 
Cohort XII Graduation at Trinity at 6pm

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program is a Program of 
the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.