Recent success of New Leaders Council Philadelphia is a strong foundation for growth
Posted by Kellan White, Co-Director of New Leaders Council Philadelphia on Knight Blog, of the Knight Foundation, on March 19, 2015.
2014 was a monumental year for the Philadelphia chapter of New Leaders Council. Our annual Fellows’ Fundraiser raised more money than the previous two years combined. Our chapter received support from Knight Foundation and our alumni were being recognized everywhere. New Leaders Council fellows were saluted by Politics PA, Billy Penn and Leadership Philadelphia for their contributions to the city and the region as a whole. By the end of 2014, we had emerged from the shadows of the Center for Progressive Leadership and we began to establish ourselves as the premier leadership training organization for young professionals in Greater Philadelphia.
We cannot rest on the laurels of perceived success, as there is much work yet to be done. We can look to the landscape of leadership in Philadelphia and see that there is a clear lack of young professionals in decision-making positions. Much has already been made about the ages of the 2015 mayoral candidates--an average 62 years old, compared to 50, the average age of all nine previous at their inaugurations. Contrast that with the fact that we are in the midst of an unprecedented millennial population boom and the math does not make sense. The closer you look at the landscape, the more clear it becomes that Philadelphia is fertile ground where New Leaders Council ought to be able to plant seeds and prosper. Philadelphia is ripe with opportunity, but faces two challenges that we must seek to solve: How do we develop the growing millennial population into transformative leaders capable of driving Philadelphia forward, and how do we make Philadelphia a more progressive city as a whole?