Resident Leadership Academy

The Resident Leadership Academy empowers residents in San Diego County communities. This empowerment leads to improved quality of life in neighborhoods, with changes promoting physical activity and healthy food choices.

The RLA instills commitment to make positive changes at the neighborhood level, increasing the quality of life for all residents in these initial pilot communities: Oceanside, National City, Lemon Grove and Southeast San Diego.

The long-term plan involves empowerment of community members throughout San Diego County, the state and the nation, using a community-training curriculum, training manual and broad public outreach.

The Resident Leadership Academy is a true investment in human capital within commonly overlooked neighborhoods that in the past have not been viewed as government priorities. These communities are now provided the opportunity to build leadership capacity and create positive changes in their neighborhoods.

Several San Diego County residents celebrated their graduation from the Resident Leadership Academy (RLA).  The RLA is a 10-week specialized, comprehensive curriculum empowering community residents to make improvements to their communities that will encourage healthy eating, physical activity and safety.

Leaders among the 51 graduates unveiled and shared plans for the implementation of community improvement projects in National City, Oceanside, Lemon Grove and Southeastern San Diego. The RLA brings cutting-edge knowledge about how to create healthier neighborhood environments to local grassroots networks, where residents can decide for themselves how they would like to see their neighborhoods improved.

RLA graduates will continue working with public and private institutions in their respective communities to accomplish the goals within their action plans, which aim to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in their neighborhoods by improving public safety, healthy food access and physical activity opportunities. 


What you can do: Each pilot community is developing and implementing a community improvement project, resulting in a positive change in their neighborhoods, improving the food and physical activity environment. For information about the Resident Leadership Academy in your community, contact:

  • Southeast San Diego - Project New Village – Diane Moss – (619) 262-2022
  • National City – Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center – Amy Carstensen – (619) 434-4260
  • Lemon Grove – Lemon Grove School District – Robin McNulty – (619) 825-5655
  • Oceanside – Vista Community Clinic - Silvia Alcantar – (760) 631-5000 x7113

For general information, contact Yeni Linqui Palomino at

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