TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Jose Arias was looking for a way to connect.
"Even though I was living here for so many years, I didn't really have the opportunity to immerse myself in Tucson. That's precisely what I wanted to do," said Greater Tucson Leadership Alumnus and Board Member, Jose Arias.
Then he learned about Greater Tucson Leadership. It's a non-profit that teaches people about the systems that shape our community.
"We offer programs that really help people understand how to get more involved, create positive change within our community and understand the challenges we're facing," said Greater Tucson Leadership CEO, Kasey Hill.
Greater Tucson Leadership's program "Lead Tucson" is entering its 41st year. "Lead Tucson" is a nine-month-long program that meets once every month. As applications for adults of all ages start to come in, they're already preparing new topics of discussion.
"We want to have conversations around how COVID has impacted economic development. What are we going to see in the future as a result of COVID for our community? How are we going to rebound and be more resilient as a community?," said Hill.
Greater Tucson Leadership aims to prepare community members to lead that rebound. The "Lead Tucson" program has graduated over 1,000 local leaders. A handful now hold elected positions at both the state and local levels.
"Our alumni are really taking what they learned over the course of the program and going into the community and developing the issues to tackle large-scale issues that need to be addressed," said Hill.
Arias has experienced it firsthand.
"I'm absolutely behind the mission and the purpose because I have lived the impact," said Arias.
Applications for the "Lead Tucson" program will be open through Friday, April 30th.