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FOCUS Greater Syracuse seeks applicants for a Citizens Academy

A previous FOCUS Citizens Academy
A previous FOCUS Citizens Academy group listens and interacts with panelists.

Syracuse residents who want more of an active role in their city, community and neighborhoods might consider joining an upcoming training program in the new year.

FOCUS Greater Syracuse is an organization hoping to brighten the city's future. They're now seeking applications for their ten-week Citizens Academy. The interactive program informs citizens about how local governments function, finds effective ways to communicate residents' needs and concerns, and offers solutions to improve quality of life.

Spokesperson Jessica Lisi said incorporating a younger crowd is crucial to the region's vitality.

"These are the next groups of people who will be making decisions," Lisi said. "Who will be working towards making the community better and making sure that they have a seat at the table and have a chance to learn and engage."

Not only is the Citizen's Academy attempting to reach a younger crowd, but they also want to maintain the participation of older demographics like retirees who have lived in the city for years. Lisi said FOCUS is always looking to find new ways to engage with different groups within the community.

"We're good," Lisi said. "We're working to get better. Because I think also the nature of our county is diversifying every day, and we want an even more diverse class."

The smaller training classes are offered for a nominal fee and filled up quickly the last time.

"What you have is both the education portion, the learning, but also the facilitation of a dialogue," Lisi said. "Participants get to really sit down and talk with our panelists."

Panelists include directors of city departments. Lisi adds the goal of the Citizens Academy training program is to find a more holistic approach to educating citizens. The deadline to apply is Dec. 11. Click here for the application link.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.
Alaina is a graduate student studying broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications, expected to graduate May 2023. As a multimedioa reporter she helps produce audio and digital content for WAER. Alaina previously recieved her first masters in magazine, news, and digital journalism in May 2022 from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications and she enjoys golfing and reading in her free time.