Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Leadership Academy - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Leadership Academy

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By Ursula Madden - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Community leaders are tag-teaming with area non-profits to make Memphis a better place to live.  It's what they do at Leadership Academy

It starts in a room where people brainstorm ideas, and turns into a Community Action Project - or CAP - that has the potential to make Memphis a better place.

Tyree Daniels is a Leadership Academy fellow.

"The whole idea of the CAP is to find something that fills a need for a non-profit," he said.

Daniels and his class are just getting started, but previous leadership groups have found ways to make improvements, even in a place you wouldn't think needs help.

At the city's 911 call center, dispatchers were having a tough time keeping Spanish speaking people on the line before they could be transferred to an interpreter.

"We have little cards we give our dispatchers, and it gives them the phrase not to hang up," center supervisor Stephanie Barryman said.

And the little cards have been place through-out the Latino community.  Kevin Ritz was part of the Leadership Academy team that wanted to make sure the Latino community was able to receive emergency services.

"If there's a fire or an armed robbery they need to respond to it, where ever it happens in the community, whoever it happens to," Ritz said.

Ritz was proud to be part of the team to produce a CAP that could improve the quality of life for Memphis residents.

"We didn't presume to solve the whole problem, but we hoped to make some sort of small contribution," he said.

And that's what Tyree Daniels hopes to do - make a contribution. If Daniels has his way, he and his leadership academy fellows will work on a way to improve education in city schools, with a project that targets negative influences on students outside the classroom.

Daniels is excited about the possibilities of Leadership Academy.

"You would see the kind of energy and the kind of passion people have for making Memphis a better place, and that kind of synergy will be reflected in our CAP projects," he said.

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