Neighborhood Leadership

For those leading commercial revitalization efforts in their communities— whether working in a Business Improvement District, Merchant Association, local development corporation, Chamber of Commerce or other nonprofit organization—Coro’s Neighborhood Leadership program provides our city’s top talent with the resources they need to understand how to influence meaningful change and address complex challenges within their neighborhoods. Using New York as a classroom, Neighborhood Leadership participants are deeply immersed in commercial revitalization strategies and are given the opportunity to build leadership skills through intensive training and peer-to-peer learning. Participants leave the program equipped with the knowledge and skills to drive change in their own neighborhoods and an unparalleled network of engaged civic leaders from which to continue to build and grow.

Coro has taught me how to work with colleagues who have different working styles and to distinguish between technical and adaptive challenges. It has been empowering to be with a group of intelligent and civic-minded individuals who are dedicated to improving the communities and spaces they work in. 

Regina Fojas (NL 2021)

Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff, Times Square Alliance

What will you get?

Neighborhood Leadership deeply immerses participants in building individual and collaborative capacity for practicing leadership and bringing about change in their communities.

Neighborhood Leadership uses the City of New York as a lab to explore, test and build effective commercial revitalization strategies to adapt and thrive in challenging environments.

Neighborhood Leadership connects participants to an accomplished community of Coro Neighborhood Leadership alumni, City leaders, and the broader Coro community from all industries and sectors, who are dedicated to supporting one another and to improve the City in which we live and work.

Who should apply?

Each year, the NL Program accepts 20 successful nonprofit management professionals who are leading commercial revitalization efforts in their communities—for example, working in a Business Improvement District, Merchant Association, local development corporation, Chamber of Commerce, or other nonprofit organization. Selected participants reflect the demographics of New York City, with at least half serving low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. Applicants should be prepared for an immersive, group-structured experience in commercial revitalization strategies and leadership development exploration.

Candidate Requirements:

  • Work in New York City for a nonprofit organization whose work is focused on commercial revitalization.
  • Experienced management staffer who is leading change on behalf of his or her organization around commercial revitalization.
  • Passion for developing new leadership skills germane to problem-solving in New York.
  • Interest in joining the Coro community and NL alumni network.
Key Program Features

Over the course of the program, participants develop close ties with members of their cohort through intensive training and peer consulting. Many alumni remain connected with members of their cohort long after they participated in the program.

Participants are exposed to a range of stakeholders – from commercial revitalization and government leaders to the broader Neighborhood Leadership alumni community – to explore a variety of commercial revitalization strategies and resources they can apply to their work. They also gain an awareness of multiple stakeholder perspectives and the benefits of collaboration to drive change.

Participants leave with a deeper understanding of strategies, issues, and interests that cannot be learned by simply reading a book.

During the nine-month program, participants are applying their learning in real-time to better achieve desired outcomes of a project they identify.

Neighborhood Leadership presents participants with an array of leadership development tools and challenges to push them to explore all aspects of an issue and navigate varying stakeholder interests to enhance leadership skills.

Program fees are waived due to the generous support of our funders. Upon acceptance, a non-refundable $100 materials fee is required.

Being part of the Neighborhood Leadership program has truly been a game-changer for me. The experience helped boost my confidence and comfort level in public speaking and community engagement, which are essential roles as an economic development professional. The program provides critical skills that build up the capacity of individuals. The Coro community is really like a family. You are among peers that are supportive and can relate to your experiences. It’s great to have built lasting relationships with other professionals that I can always connect with for advice and guidance.

Ricardi Calixte (NL 2011)

Deputy Director, Queens Economic Development Corporation

Participating in Neighborhood Leadership has been such a great experience for me. Besides inheriting a second family, I got additional tools to perform my job at another level. 

Raquel Olivares (NL 2019)

Executive Director, Woodhaven BID

Coro NL has had a tremendous impact. It is easy to say that the best part of participating in Neigbhorhood Leadership is the incredible network of professional colleagues, many whom are now great friends. But, I’ve also used many of the tools and vocabulary, skills and ideaology, connections and referrals that have come from my experience to be a better civic and professional participant in the work I do.

James Dean Ellis (NL 2012)

Senior Director of Community & Economic Development, Perch Advisors

The Neighborhood Leadership network that is open to us is very valuable. Professional development and mentoring enabled me to discover opportunities and contacts I didn’t have access to before.

Camelia Tepelus (NL 2021)

Executive Director, Morris Park BID

Interest Form

Register Here to receive updates and application information starting October 2022.


View the brochure or download to pass on to a friend.


The NL 2022 cohort meets from January to October. View the calendar to see important dates and events.


Questions can be directed to Cassandra Garita, Program Director at


Neighborhood Leadership is a partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services. Funding support has also been provided by Citi Bank and TD Bank.