The INVST Community Leadership Program
The INVST Community Leadership Program (CLP) prepares CU undergraduates to be leaders who work for social and environmental justice.
Each year, we admit up to 18 CU students who want to make a positive difference in the world.
This life-altering training exposes students to what is, and cultivates them as leaders to work forwhat could be.
CLP students attend two theory classes, Facilitating Peaceful Community Change and Nonviolent Social Movements; four skills-training classes; and two month-long summer service-learning experiences, one domestic and one international.
In the domestic experience, students learn first-hand about energy, power, extraction and sustainability in the U.S Southwest, and in the international learning experience, students travel to Central America and study immigration, globalization and economic justice.
During the school year, CLP students serve at least six hours per week as volunteers with community-based organizations in meaningful internships. This offers first-year INVST students the chance to experience a service agency or non-profit organizationfrom the inside, and make a positive difference for our local community. Organizations that have hosted unpaid INVST interns include the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, Intercambio: Uniting Communities, Natural Capitalism Solutions, New Era Colorado and the Community Foundation of Boulder County. More than 300 Boulder and Denver agencies have offered community-based learning opportunities to INVST students.
In their second year of our two-year program, INVST students collectively research, design, implement and evaluate their own community leadership projects. Recent successes by small groups of INVST students have involved the development of a local urban farm, the writing of a people's history of the Valmont Butte, and an expansion campaign for Boulder Food Rescue.
Throughout the INVST Community Leadership Program, students learn about social change, democracy, nonviolence and community transformation. Students also practice skills such as meeting facilitation, collaborative decision-making, conflict resolution, fundraising,grassroots organizing and public speaking.
Students participate with INVST staff in policy-making for the program through a consensus-based Directors' Committee that is unique in higher education. Together, students and staff determine curriculum design, hire and evaluate staff, and manage relationshipswith donors. INVST offers CU students the unique opportunity to learn by doing in a non-hierarchical organization.
Upon completion, students receive the Certificate in the Study and Practice of Leadership, which is equivalent to a Minor at CU. They are also eligible to receive education awards from AmeriCorps toward their tuition.
When they complete our rigorous training program, young people are skilled and inspired to transform their communities and our world!
"Both Summer Service-Learning Experiences were formative, powerful, and challenging jouneys. Both trips taught me how much I did not know, brought me in contact with persons of immense knowledge and experience, and left me with a greater sense of direction for my own personal development and life choices.
They left me with invaluable lessons in emotional intelligence, strategic communication and group facilitation. They also left me with a more nuanced sense of what it means to be fully human in this world -- something that many people in INVST did for me."
--Brett West, INVST Graduate