Strategic Rationale

A unique element of the Leadership Class for established leaders is the inclusion of six Issues Initiative projects performed by Leadership Class teams during the year. These carefully identified strategic projects allow all Class members to gain in-depth knowledge about a specific community problem, to interact with those most involved with that issue and to connect their resources and networks to make a positive difference. Issues of concern in the community are identified in conjunction with the mayor and other content experts. Teams of eight – ten class members work throughout the program year in order to present their deliverables to key constituents, community audiences and the LFW membership at large.

Goals – Issues Initiatives

Six high-impact projects reflecting the following attributes:

  • Objectives that clearly benefit the community
  • Specific, tangible outcomes
  • Supporting data (research component)
  • Meaningful engagement of external resources
  • Knowledge transfer to key constituents
  • Documented action steps for sustainability


What will be different in our community because of each Issues Initiative project?Is the plan realistic? Are the results tangible? Will the results stick?


Recruiting Local Foster Care Families

Problem/opportunity: an inadequate number of local families are signing up as foster parents, so children have to move to different cities. Project description: an improved strategy / toolkit for recruiting local foster parents; training pilot(s) with recruiting staff. Partner-expert: Our Community.  Our Kids. (A division of ACH Services)

Creating a Trauma-Resilient Community

Problem/opportunity: trauma is pervasive in the lives of individuals and communities.  Consequences include illness, reduced income, crime, job loss, etc. Project description: comprehensive communication plan for reaching key community stakeholders; pilot with selected stakeholders. Partner-expert: Mental Health Connection

Preventing Financial Exploitation of Seniors

Problem/opportunity: financial exploitation of vulnerable adults is a largely silent problem in Tarrant County.  Until recently, perpetrators were rarely prosecuted. Project description: create infrastructure for tracking client / community contacts.  Engage banks through a targeted communication plan. Partner-expert: Guardianship Services

Overcoming Misconceptions about the Veteran Workforce

Problem/opportunity: highly qualified veterans experience difficulty in obtaining jobs because many employers hold multiple stereotypes. Project description: create and pilot: 1) high-level employer presentation, and 2) 2-hour workshop for hiring managers. Partner-expert: Fort Worth Veteran Professionals and Rotary Club – Veterans Service Committee

Providing Community Board Training/Board Bank

Problem/opportunity: no ongoing, community-wide program is in place to recruit and train emerging, diverse leaders for nonprofit board service. Project description: development and implementation of community-wide nonprofit board training / board bank. Partner-expert: Leadership Fort Worth and United Way


Child Abuse Prevention

Develop an adaptable marketing and implementation plan for engaging and educating Fort Worth organizations to become “No Hit Zones,” a program designed to take a stand against child abuse.

OVERCOMING STUDENT BARRIERS: Success for Higher Education

Many structured programs and systems are available to students with the potential to pursue higher education. But in many cases, students don’t know how to access them – so these resources go unused. The Project: Develop an action plan that helps FWISD students overcome these barriers and provide a roadmap for them to continue and complete their education after high school graduation.

Creative, Inviting Bus Stops/Shelters

The majority of our city’s bus stops don’t provide shelter for riders; many don’t provide seating. The project: Research bus stop concepts; identify funding sources; create a PR campaign; install a prototype shelter.

Supported Employment

Develop marketing/educational materials to explain the benefits of hiring people with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). Develop and implement an appreciation program to incentivize employer participation.

SPACE-SHARING: Matching Churches with Social Service Programs

A key factor for the success of many social service programs is that they be delivered in a convenient, accessible location. Often, services are more successful in an environment that is non-threatening to client families. Office settings are not ideal. So where? A possible solution is unused church facilities.

The objective of this Leader Class project is to develop a viable, scalable business plan to make this happen.

Financial Mentoring/Coaching

Develop a targeted marketing plan for recruiting and retaining volunteers who mentor single mothers, at-risk young adults and those re-entering society to help them overcome barriers to economic stability.



Homelessness and Higher Education

Work with Tarrant County College to develop a summer “bridge” program for 11th grade homeless students. The program will provide a transition to college and allow students to gain college credits while still in high school.


Develop a model micro-park in the Near Southside. For sustainability, create and distribute a how-to guide for use by neighborhood groups, property developers and others.

Crisis Text Services

Create the business/funding plan for MHMR’s new text-based crisis hotline.

Health & Fitness

Work with Blue Zones to develop a plan for a food truck in an identified food desert.

Early Childhood Learning

Collect and analyze budget data from private, local and federal agencies and groups involved in early childhood learning. Identify needs, opportunities and priorities in funding.


Increase Catholic Charities’ driver volunteer pool; develop a marketing and outreach strategy to provide transportation solutions for those in need.



Public Transit & Mobility

Engage LFW alumni and the general public in surveys and other opportunities to provide community input to the Master Plan.

Health & Fitness

Develop a resources packet geared toward after-school programs at community centers, including recommended activity/food plans and resources for families.

Water Conservation

Develop a campaign to promote water conservation and distribute through personal networks and selected homeowners’ associations and community partners.


Develop an online networking tool to connect homeless job seekers with willing employers. This platform will feature video testimonials and employer success stories.

Early Childhood Learning

Create a “playhouse” prototype model to develop parents’ knowledge of teaching (play) strategies that can be incorporated into their everyday routines.



Water Conservation

Develop an implementation plan for an internet-based advisory system that will let residents know exactly how much water their yard requires on a weekly basis.


Conduct a web-based opinion survey soliciting responses on a proposed circulator trolley/bus system that would serve specific city center areas.


Create a “students teaching students” video with high school students developing recipes, scripting and starring in cooking demonstrations for elementary school kids.




Work in conjunction with the City on TEX Rail.


Engage Leader Kids alumni as beta group to address Stay in School concerns.


With Tarrant County Public Health, implement a water bottle project in elementary schools.

Human Needs

Work with Directions Home on employment for the homeless. Arts: Develop a report for the Arts Council addressing sustainability concerns and solutions.