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A New Class of Leaders

By: Scott Forlenza, FLTI Site Coordinator, The Arc Arapahoe Douglas Counties

My name is Scott Forlenza, and I am a Family Leader. I worked hard to earn the title of “Family Leader” by graduating from Colorado’s first class of the Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) in 2009.

There were just two sites offering FLTI classes in 2009 – Arapahoe/Douglas and Adams Counties – graduating 32 Family Leaders. In 2015, FLTI classes were held at 11 sites across Colorado, including Spanish only and multi-lingual sites. The alumnus now includes hundreds of graduates from 13 Colorado Counties; all armed with powerful leadership and civic skills.

For the past two years, I have been the Site Coordinator for The Arapahoe & Douglas FLTI class. Two years ago, The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties became the new FLTI host site for those counties. The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties Executive Director, Carol Meredith, together with the staff and The Arc’s board of directors, provide the infrastructure and resources to grow FLTI and build Family Leaders in our communities.

Who takes FLTI classes? People just like me… And you!

2009 FLTI State Graduation

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My graduation speech on the steps of the State Capitol

Here’s a snap shot of the 2015 FLTI Arapahoe/Douglas cohort, and a few things they said about FLTI:

Everyone is so different, how does that affect the class?

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“We began as strangers, but connected as a family.”

Why does FLTI work?

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“It’s not just about learning advocacy, but about making us better people.”

Is diversity important? How do you break down “barriers”?

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“We might look different on the outside, but through hearing each others life stories, we learned that we had many similarities.”



FLTI is a Free 20-week program that includes:

  • Advanced Leadership and Civics training  • FREE weekly Dinner & Childcare
  • FLTI day at the Capitol to see civics in action and meet Legislators
  • Local and State civic and community guest speakers

FLTI Day at the Capitol for Arapahoe/Douglas 

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“Senators and House members actually wanted to know what I thought!”

Local class speaker Hanifah, quoted Michelle Obama in her graduation speech:

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“Courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.”

The Colorado Family Leadership Training Institute
Applications for the next training available soon!

To apply, learn more about current Family Leaders, or to become a community partner and help support FLTI classes in 2016, contact: Scott Forlenza at [email protected] Or FLTI online.

Photo Credits: Aubrey Dreher, Scott Forlenza, and Zara!

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