community leadership program

Program Overview

Since 2004, Sherwood Trust has invested in developing the community leadership capacity of individuals through the Community Leadership Program curriculum developed by The Ford Family Foundation and Rural Development Initiatives, Inc (RDI).  We are grateful for the collaborative with RDI and the support of our trainers: Noelle Colby-Rotell and Brie Bridgeland.

This skill-based program consists of a structured curriculum that emphasizes an interactive and facilitative style, which draws on the knowledge and skills of the participants as well as the curriculum.  The program is offered for free to participants, including meals and supplies, so each participant is asked to contribute their time, talent, and enthusiasm for making our community an even better place to live.

A typical class consists of 20 to 30 individuals ranging from community college students to retired seniors and with varied leadership experience ranging from emerging to seasoned.  Diversity among class participants is a priority.

Curriculum concepts include:

  • Social capital and community capacity
  • Personality types and leadership styles
  • Community development models
  • Catalytic leadership model
  • Asset mapping
  • Conflict resolution skills and models for group decision-making
  • Communication strategies
  • Fundraising and volunteer recruitment

Each class selects a project to complete within a year, which provides participants a unique opportunity to apply the skills being taught by the curriculum to a real-life situation.  The classes are eligible for a Sherwood Trust grant to support the class project; amounts may vary each year.  Participants are expected to volunteer outside of the class to complete the project.

Why join the program?

Cohort members were asked to share their takeaways from the experience, and they said as a result of the program they had:

  • Become even more passionate about our community
  • Made new friends
  • Shared new ideas and insights with other community members
  • Learned new skills that they have applied in other situations
  • Become more willing and able to address conflict
  • Started new nonprofits or joined a nonprofit board

Renewed their commitment to community service

To learn more about the program and how to apply for a future cohort, contact us at

STCLP Cohorts


Andrea Weckmueller-Behringer, Ana Alcala-Rodriguez, Amber Larsen, Nikki Sharp, Brenden Koch, Buthiana Hassan, Sandy Flores, Jose Luis Beleche, Jennifer Lemma, Joshua Wisner, Jill da Silva, Kathryn Witherington, Lisa Ponce, Leann Griffin, MerriAnne Huber, Michael Taylor, Renee Harms, Marcos Medina, Ruben Hernandez, Kimberly Rolfe, Rosanna Lugo, Sierra Knutson, Genie Crowe, Tamara Fritze, Tobit Salazar, Veaney Martinez, Michelle O'Connor, Yazmin Bahena, Amanda Trejo-Perez, Joaquin Avalos

The 2017 cohort organized “Diversity is Lit,” an education summit for high schoolers and the adults that support them to explore how diversity makes our society stronger.


Alex Aikens-Helford, Bradley Beckner, Ana Bueno-Salazar, Kyle Chiasson, Katie Christianson, Kain Evans, Kathy Farrell-Guizar, Abbee Flint, Joanie Fullen, Allyn Griffin, Delia Gutierrez, Bruce Hallowell, Megan McGavock, Liz Morin, Tom Osborn, Monica Ramirez, Sandra Ratliff, Sarah Reilly, Melissa Santana, Erica Walter, Jessalyn Waring, Ron Williams, Kris Youd

The 2016 cohort supported the launch of Youth N Action by marketing and developing a #YOUTHTHINK program for local students, ages 14-17.


Daegan Acevedo, Glenna Awbrey, Jim Baker, Jennifer Beckmeyer, Rick Brown, Jennifer Casper, Kerstin Fenton, Dan Guzman, Pete Hickerson, Nicholas Holce, Randy Hallowell, Atziri Jimenez, Merrikay Locati, Jeff Matthias, Sergio Pena, Jim Robles, Tracy Thompson, Jenna Watts

The 2015 cohort built Walla Walla Free Little Libraries to support literacy and community.  You can learn more about the project on their website.


Elaina Avery, Maggi Banderas, Kelsey Beckmeyer, Douglas Carlsen, Bertha Clayton, Barb Commare, Jessica Cook, Arnulfo Espana, Elizabeth Hernandez, Colby Kuschatka, Casey Moller, Carla Nibler, Lindsey Oldridge, Shelby Paulsen, Helen Powell, Brenda Putnam, Luis Rosales, Katherine Schaffer, Keith Swanson, Luke Waggoner, Bobi Womack Goodson

In collaboration with the City of Walla Walla’s Park & Recreation Department and the local softball club, the 2014 cohort project added new playground equipment to enhance the experience of families using the playing fields at the Mill Creek Sports Plex on Tausick Way in Walla Walla.


Matt Banderas, Antonio Barbosa, JoAnn Collins, Jessica DeLa Rosa, Kristina Duncan, Roger Esparza, Ruben Garcia, Dean Halter, Denise Kammers, Charlie Kuich, Jennifer Maxon, Mindy Meyer, Ryan Munsey, Mary Neal, Deborah Peters, Joshua Powell, Donald Priest, Annett Ridenour, Denise Shives, Carina Stillman, Tom Stokes, Adrian Tello, Leah Wilson-Velasco

In collaboration with Noon Rotary of W.W., the City Park & Recreation Department, and Commitment to Community, the class project is to provide added amenities designed to improve and enhance the users' experiences at the Fountains for Youth splash pad at Washington Park.  With input from neighborhood residents, the amenities included shaded seating and picnic areas in a creative blending with educational elements.


Andrea Burkhart,  Louis Hammock, Brian Hatley, Brooke Herman, Holly Howard, Tiffany Jenes, Sharon Longmire, Rebecca Morse, Trevor Moses, Christopher Neal, Sonja Pipek, Angela Potts, Chris Price, Tom Reilly, Annett Ridenour, Kristina Savelesky, Carlos Virgen

In collaboration with the Walla Walla Housing Authority, Commitment to Community, and Blue Mountain Action Council, the class helped renovate the Housing Authority's gymnasium, which is used as a neighborhood gathering place for youth and families in the Washington Park area.  The class was active in community outreach to engage residents to support the project as well as help complete a mural on the exterior of the gymnasium.


Debi Allessio, Jenna Bicknell, Brianne Bridgeland, Justin Buley, Christina Connerly, Augusta Farnum, Yesenia Guevara, Susan How, Linnea Keatts, Terry Kirkpatrick, Meaghan Lambert, Diane Madison, Alisha Marshall, Samantha Morales, Alyssa Morena, Maria Platner, Nancy Ramstedt, Alex Rodighiero, Vince Ruzicka III, Damien Sinnott, Dick Swenson, Bonnie Szuch, Joshua Van Donge

Restored a portion of Garrison Creek just east of Myra Road in Fort Walla Walla Park.  The stream restoration project replaced invasive species with native plants and included a living classroom/interpretive walking path along Garrison Creek.  It was a collaborative project with Kooskooskie Commons serving as project sponsor.


Conrado Cavazos, Jovanna Centre, Christine Daudt, Jane DeWitte, Barbara Fryhling, Wendy Gonzalez, Sandra Graham, Ted Koehler, Julia Leavitt, Lupe Mares, Shane McCauley, Lina Menard, Daryl Pearson, Jose Quijano, Julie Reese, Vicki Ruley, Lucy Sandoval, David Walk

Installed an interactive water structure in the form of an arched mister in collaboration with the City Parks & Recreation Department at the Mill Creek Sports Plex on Tausick Way in Walla Walla.


Amy Anderson, Samantha Bowen, Annie Capestany, Kayla Chitwood, Lee Coleman, Shauna Delay, Herschel Fullerton, Lili Hungerford, Carlos Jaques, Gabe Joseph, Janice King, Tim Melia, Daniel Rose, Anne Schulz, Christina Stamper, Becky Stanley, Mindy Stevens, Barbara Stubblefield, Katrina Suckow, Cassandra Teal, Gary Wass

Designed, renovated, and furnished an Early Childhood Learning Center to be used by the community in collaboration with the Senior Citizens Center at the Center at the Park in Jefferson Park.


Sara Archer, Lisa Bonsall, Bridget Copler, Michael Davidson, Karl Eckhardt, Matt Eppelsheimer, Bill Eyestone, Nereida Garcia, Viola Hernandez, Becky Hopwood, Beth Luxton, Lindell McWhorter, Jaqueline Monyak, Lance Rea, Efrain Reyes, Mariela Rosas, Barbara Rutzer, Thomas Shaver, Amber Teichroeb, Deana York

Selected the design, purchased, and installed public art in the form of wind sculptures near the Early Childhood and Education Center at the Walla Walla Community College and in Lion's Park in College Place.


Joey August, Fernando Avina, Jr., Jessica Baser, Larry Brown, Jennifer Castro, Laura Dobbins, Armando Escareno,  Mike Gobel, Louis Gonzales, Shaun Gordon, Tim Hall, Gretchen Hormel-Tomkins, Marci Knauft, Adan Longoria, Jr., Gary Lunden, Sarah Michelson, Doug Morton, Anabel Muro, Tami Olmstead, Teresa Sinclair

Designed, purchased, and installed an educational model of our solar system in the form of a Planet Walk consisting of the sun and eight planets to scale between Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, and Blue Ridge Elementary School.


Ben Brink, Max Carrera, America Carrion, Joe Denny, Regina Eilertson, Roger Esparza, Esteban Florian, Linda Kastning, Gina Laib, Shane Laib, Jerry Martinez, Christine Mascarenas, Kate Morrison, Chris Owen, Kariann Savelesky, Cynthia Selde, J.R. Van Slyke, Brian Walker, Heidi Wells, Marie Wister

Designed, purchased, and helped install children's playground equipment in collaboration with the City Parks & Recreation Department in Washington Park in Walla Walla.

Fall 2005

Anita Baker, Brian Black, Skip Carpenter, Jessica Coffey, Patty Eng, Kevin House, Marchand Hovrud, Deanne Johnson, Candy Jones, Mandi Konen, John Laib, Libby McCaw, Shellie McLeod, Chelsea Miller, Rosy Nechodom, Tanya Patton, Sarah Paul, Cleome Rowe, Susan Skeeters, Becky Stevenson, Ann Strode

Designed and constructed a Touchet Valley Unity Wall in the form of public art and highway signage along Highways 124 and 12 connecting Prescott, Waitsburg, and Dayton, Washington.

Spring 2005

Sandy Alinares, Alfredo Avalos, Teri Barila, Doug Barram, Mark Baugher, Erika Boettcher, Amanda Brown, Chalese Calhoon, Victor Chacon, Yasmeen Colis, Nicholas Croghan, Federico Diaz, Debbie Dumont, Erika Gonzales, Dianne Hufford, Vince Jimenez, Stan Ledington, John Lohrman, Brian Maguire, Coleen Rehn, Kirsten Schober, Anne-Marie Schwerin, R. Randall Son, Sandy Trentham, Jill Zagelow

Designed and constructed a Children's Art Wall and re-surfaced an outdoor basketball court in Washington Park in Walla Walla.

Fall 2004

David Abajian, Punkey Adams, Toni Alvarado-Jackson, Mary Campbell, Julie Elmenhurst, Yolanda Esquivel, Evelyn Flores, Lindsey Frallic, Joshua Gonzales, Kip Kelly, Rory McClellan, Janet Narum, Amy Osterman, Juan Pedrosa, Lia Prins, Taffy Remington, Michael Reyes, Jennifer Ross, Carla Schettler, Kevin Scribner, Margaret Smart, Beth Thiel, Quinn Tomlin, Rick Tuttle, Karen Wolf, Taylor Wolf

Designed, purchased, and helped install children's playground equipment for the community playground at the Farm Labor Homes in Walla Walla County.