Neighborhood Services News

Presenting the first graduating class of L.A.S.T...

Presenting the first graduating class of L.A.S.T...

Posted: 03-02-2012

“This training has allowed me to believe in the community, trust in the community, and realize that we have to make sacrifices so that change in our community can work.”
    - Participant in L.A.S.T. Winter 2012 Class

The beginning of 2012 brought with it the very first class of the LINC Academy for Social Transformation. The group of 20 journeyed through leadership development activities and dove deep into the root causes of some of the issues plaguing our community during the four day core training.

On the last day Linda Medcalf, one of the particpants, noticed that 3rd Ward City Commissioner Elias Lumpkins was sitting downstairs in Sanchel’s eating lunch. The group was currently working in small teams to lay the foundation for work in the areas of education, civic engagement and voter turnout, economic development activities, and increased funding for the 3rd Ward. Linda saw this as a perfect opportunity to bring the commissioner into their conversations and to let him share his perspective and hear their concerns.

Commissioner Lumpkins described his role within the city and specifically the Southeast community, inviting the emerging leaders to attend the City Commission meetings, meet with him to share their concerns and ideas, and become more actively involved in their local government. It was exciting to see the L.A.S.T. participants immediately take action and advocate for their community.

L.A.S.T. is LINC’s capacity building tool to promote social change and seeks to create mid- and long-term impact through lasting transformational opportunities for residents, families, youth, business owners and nonprofit organizations in our communities.

The next group will begin this journey on March 22 & 23. If you are interested in taking part please fill out this application and send it to or drop it off at 1167 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507.