Leadership Academy Hopes to Mold New Leaders - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Leadership Academy Hopes to Mold New Leaders

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YAKIMA, Wash -- Are leaders born or made?

A new program  by the University of Washington and Heritage University hopes to answer that question by molding a new generation of leaders.

The Public Leadership and Civic Engagement Academy is designed to help community members build their skills in public leadership -- with goal a of increasing the number of public leaders in the Yakima valley.

The nine month academy began Saturday, and is funded by grant from the Department of Housing and Urban development. The participants will study topics such as public speaking, campaigning and conflict resolution.

Bengie Agulier, a former migrant worker, believes this type of training will help shape a new generation of Hispanic leaders.

Future presenters will be Norm Rice, former mayor of Seattle and Gary Segura, a professor of American politics at the University of Washington.