Frequently Asked Questions              FAQs



What is CLC? | What is CLC+? | What is CLC Alumni Association? | What is a CLC PARTNER? | What happens in CLC programs? | Who participates? What's the Benefit? | How much does it cost?  | How can I apply and who can give me more information? 

What is Cleveland Leadership Center?

Cleveland Leadership Center, or CLC, is a central community resource that provides education, connections, and civic engagement opportunities for leaders of all ages and experience levels. Five interconnected flagship programs educate, connect and engage committed citizens in the economic, social, and political context of our region. These flagship programs target different areas of leadership development:

• Leadership Cleveland (established leaders)
LC2 Fellows (Leadership Cleveland Alumni)
Cleveland Bridge Builders (committed leaders)
(i)Cleveland (college students / corporate internship programs)
Look Up To Cleveland and Summer Leadership Academy (high school students)
Civic Leadership Institute (leaders of any generation)
• Civic Engagement Boot Camp (leaders of any generation).


What else does the Cleveland Leadership Center do? What is CLC+?

CLC+ includes programming that happens outside the flagship programs. Every year, Cleveland Leadership Center tries out new civic leadership programs. Some of these pilots – like Civic Leadership Institute and Summer Leadership Academy – extend the flagship offering. In 2012, the pilot for Civic engagement Boot Camp was introduced. New pilots are CLC+ and compliment the CLC flagship program offerings in new, dynamic and immediate ways.

Special events and partnerships also enable CLC to implement mission. Throughout the year, CLC staff work with other community organizations to offer learning, networking and involvement events that reach out to alumni and the general public.

In addition to new pilots (CLC+) and special events, the CLC Alumni Association reaches out to keep graduates engaged in the mission and vision of CLC – to work together to ensure Cleveland’s excellence.

What is the CLC Alumni Association?

Every year over 500 participants graduate from CLC programs. They are automatically part of the CLC Association Network – as of 2012 there are over 4,000 graduates of CLC programs. CLC Alumni Association is led by an alumni committee, staff and board of CLC with the goal to continue meaningful leadership development, networking and engagement opportunities beyond the program experience.


Who is a CLC Alumni PARTNER?

Alumni PARTNERS are graduates who support CLC with financial gifts. They know that their gifts are used to support teen and college leadership programs; subsidize alumni activities so they are affordable for all; and serve as seed money to start and analyze new programs.

What goes on in each Cleveland Leadership program?

  • Leadership Cleveland (LC) is a 10-month leadership development and civic engagement program for recognized and established leaders. The program seeks to identify, educate, and channel established leaders into effective civic engagement. Participants develop leadership capacity through a highly interactive curriculum small group discussion, presentations from community leaders, engagement in team projects, informative trips, and review of best practices in collaborative and civic leadership across sectors.
  • LC2 Fellows is a 9-month program for Leadership Cleveland alumni who are interested in developing a project that addresses a civic issue of interest. LC2 Fellows focus their individual and collective energies on a specific topic, from idea stage to completion/transition as a co-branded initiative. 
  • Look Up To Cleveland (LUTC) is a highly recognized high school development and diversity awareness program with the goal of developing leadership, team building and a deep appreciation of our community for teens. Diverse students from public, private, charter and parochial schools in Cuyahoga County participate in sessions that address Cleveland’s Economy, Arts & Culture, Government, and Neighborhoods, a team project, and civic involvement beyond the program. The core program takes place over 6-months during the school year, and Summer Leadership Academy (SLA) is a one week summer program.
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders (CBB) is 10 months to grow and hone civic leadership skills for passionate leaders. Relationships are built and enhanced through hands on learning. LAP (Leadership Action Project) ties practical and theoretical leadership skills together. Approximately 60 CBBers graduate every year; there are over 600 CBB alumni. 
  • (i)Cleveland develops, attracts and retains the next generation of Cleveland’s leaders with a summer program of short-term, experiential civic education. (i)Cleveland showcases Cleveland’s community assets, builds relationships and fosters lifelong civic engagement.
  • Civic Leadership Institute (CLI) is a program that reaches out to established and aspiring Clevelanders who want to get informed, invigorated, engaged and involved.
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camps are one day deep dives into examining civic issues for learning and empowering participants to make changes. 

Who participates in each CLC program?

  • Leadership Cleveland participants represent a broad spectrum of business and industry leaders, educators, government employees, and non-profit executives. They are diverse in age, race, gender, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, profession, and sector. They must have the full support of the organization or corporation where they are employed. Candidates are nominated by the head of the organization they represent or by an alumnus of Leadership Cleveland if the candidate is the head of the organization they represent.
  • LC2 Fellows is available to any graduate of Leadership Cleveland. 
  • Look Up To Cleveland core program participants are juniors at a high school within Cuyahoga County; demonstrate leadership ability; are academically sound and involved in school and/or community organizations; are self-reliant and self-motivated; commits to the program attendance policy; and receive full support of school and parental consent. Applications for the core program are evaluated by a committee comprised of staff, board, program alumni and school representatives. Look Up to Cleveland Summer Leadership Academy is for rising juniors and seniors. Participants have parental support and must complete an application.
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders are everywhere. Participants are diverse in age, race, gender, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, profession, sector, and experience level. Participants are selected through a blind selection process and are accepted based on problem solving skills, commitment to community, leadership roles and interpersonal skills.
  • (i)Cleveland is 140(+) young adults, average ages 19 to 22. Most are summer interns sponsored by their employers or are undergraduate college students.
  • Civic Leadership Institute citizens who want to be better - more informed and engaged - employees and civic leaders. Participants come from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds in for profit, nonprofit, and government organziations. 
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camps are open to the public; any adult who wants to participate can register and attend. 

How much of a time commitment are these programs?

  • Leadership Cleveland consists of six full-day sessions throughout ten-months, a two and a half day opening retreat in September, an overnight retreat in February, and a two day class trip in May. The program is spread over a ten month period, from September to June. Topics covered include civic engagement, economic development, education, human services, quality of life and government.  
  • LC2 Fellows meet for seven half-day sessions, starting in September and ending in May. Sessions typically start at 7:30am and end at 11:00am. Additional meetings and programs might be added during the program based on the Fellows' inclinations. 
  • Look Up To Cleveland’s core program includes seven full-day sessions (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) one school day per month October through April, and an overnight retreat held on a Sunday night. Attendance for the opening retreat is mandatory. The program requires participants to miss a total of 7 school days, and students must receive permission from their schools and parents. Students who miss more than 2 program days are subject to dismissal from the program. Look Up To Cleveland Summer Leadership Academy participants attend one full week of all day interactive programming.
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders is five full-day sessions over ten-months with a two day opening retreat in September and graduation in June. In addition to sessions, participants work on team-based Leadership Action Projects (LAPs), which focus on addressing meaningful civic issues. An hour of each session day is dedicated to team meetings, and teams also meet on their own time, periodically, between session days.
  • (i)Cleveland summer sessions are from late June to early August. 5 sessions and 2 power lunches take place after the workday. Two tracks are offered for participant and employer convenience.
  • Civic Leadership Institute is six compact, dynamic morning sessions in convenient downtown locations from 7:30-9AM. It’s 9 hours of of some of Cleveland's best know how, know who and know when.
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camps include a required pre and post program day dinner from 6-8pm, and the full Boot Camp day is 7am - 8pm. 

What benefits do participants get out of these CLC programs?

  • Leadership Cleveland empowers participants with the knowledge, skills, and connections to carry out both personal and civic visions.
  • LC2 Fellows deepen their understanding of the chosen topic and work together to develop and deliver a project/initiative. 
  • Look Up To Cleveland graduates – both core and summer – gain leadership and team-building skills and get to know a diverse peer group outside their usual environment. They have an appreciation and heightened civic awareness of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders respond to the question, “What bridge have you built?” with inspirational answers that range from connections, optimism and growth to vision and legacy.
  • (i)Cleveland interns get a head start on leadership: networking, civic education and exposure to resources and opportunities that make Cleveland a great place to live, work, and play. (i)Cleveland employers get an amped up internship program: increased visibility and connection to talented college students, higher talent retention rates, and training for potential employees.
  • Civic Leadership Institute is good for companies and participants. It's a proactive way to gain connections, and engage in networks and conversations, while building community and business. CLI shows participants what's being done to make our community stronger, shares who's doing it, and invites them to join.
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camp participants are empowered to engage in the community to make a difference in the topic featured during their Boot Camp day. 

How much does each program cost?

  • Leadership Cleveland tuition is $5,000. This amount may be paid by the individual, or by the business or organization which they represent. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for participants from non-profit organizations.
  • LC2 Fellows tuition is $1,000 per participant with a nonprofit/government rate of $500. 
  • Look Up To Cleveland’s core program is free to all participants, funded through the generous support of corporate, foundation, CLC Alumni Association, community and individual sponsors. Summer Leadership Academy's tuition is $350 with need based sliding scholarships available.
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders tuition is $3,000. Each participant is required to contribute a minimum of $250 personally; the individual, an employer, or some other source may pay the remaining balance of $2,750. Partial scholarships are available for participants. 
  • (i)Cleveland tuition is $250, payable at the time of registration, and employers may sponsor interns.
  • Civic Leadership Institute tuition is $500 per participant with a nonprofit/government rate of $350.
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camp cost may vary in price depending on the Boot Camp topic, check the program page (HERE) for live registration and pricing, or contact Earl Pike at (216) 592 - 2277. 

What is the application process for the programs and who can give me more information?

  • Leadership Cleveland applicants must be nominated by the head of their organization or an alumnus of Leadership Cleveland if the applicant is head of the organization they represent. Candidates must then submit an application electronically (application accessible through prior to the March deadline. Two letters of support from Leadership Cleveland alumni are required. Contact Dr. Marcy Levy Shankman at (216) 592.2259 or for more information.
  • LC2 Fellows register during the summer by contacting Dr. Marcy Levy Shankman, at (216) 592 - 2259 or
  • Look Up To Cleveland application cycle begins in September for the core program, open to all high schools in Cuyahoga County. Interested students should inquire with their guidance counselor in September, or contact CLC to connect with the appropriate contact at their school. Each school may nominate up to 3 students. The application is short answer questions and 2 letters of recommendation from non-family adults. Summer Leadership Academy applications are available online in March.  For further information about either program Contact Stacey Talley at (216) 592-2296 or 
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders applications are available online in February. Applicants must submit a supervisor acknowledgement of support, two completed reference forms, complete four short answer questions, and pay $25 non-refundable application fee. Contact Rachel Ciomcia at 216.592.2280 or for further information.
  • (i)Cleveland online employer registration begins in March for upcoming summer. Any college student interning in northeast Ohio is eligible. No intern information (name, department etc) is required at registration. To register interns contact Jill Pecoraro at 216.592.2226 or
  • Civic Leadership Institute is offered 2 to 3 times per year. To register visit, call 216.456.8005 or email to be put on the CLI notification list.
  • Civic Engagement Boot Camp does not have an application process; simply visit the indicated registration page by clicking on the register button on the Civic Engagement Boot Camp page (HERE).