PTLI launches leaders at graduation


City Council Chambers provided the perfect backdrop to recognize the efforts made by this year’s Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) graduates. 

Having completed PLTI’s program, graduates had a noticeable sense of pride in accomplishment as they accepted their certificates from Mayor Euille.  TC Williams High School’s fantastic chamber choir set the tone by providing a lovely musical presentation. 

Elected by her classmates to be their representative speaker at the ceremony, Doris Stanley expressed her thanks for being part of the PLTI community.  Doris, raising her 3 grandchildren, presented a project entitled, “Grandparents Raising Alexandria’s Children Effectively (G.R.A.C.E.),” to help others in a similar situation.

Cassandra Ford is another stand-out in this 2008 PLTI class.  Since graduating from the PLTI course, Ms. Ford was appointed to the Alexandria Social Services Advisory Board and has received an award for a credit union she initiated in the Prince William County School where she works.  Because of this school-based project, she won a Business Partnership of the Year Award.  The awards garnered by those associated with PLTI continue. 

The latest recognition came at the Alexandria Commission for Women’s 28th annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet on March 31 to honor 29 outstanding individuals nominated by their fellow residents for their enormous contributions to the Alexandria community.  PLTI’s Board of Directors Chair, Joyce Woodson, shared the Marian Van Landingham Legislation and Public Policy Award with Fay Slotnick, its Executive Director.

 “Every time I hear from a City Council or School Board Member about how they have witnessed increased growth and self-assurance of PLTI class members and alumni advocating for children’s benefits, I smile.  This program is helping the public face of Alexandria to change.  I expect the need for the PLTI program to continue for the foreseeable future.  This can only happen with the strong support of our community,” said Slotnick.

The free program is 20 weeks in length with a mission “to enable parents to become leading advocates for children.”  Dinner, childcare and translation services (if needed) are provided.

In addition to class participation, each student must complete a community-based project.  Students may actually be anyone wishing to become a community change-agent for children. 

Although the course is presented in an easily understandable manner, it has been compared to a Harvard University course in leadership.