Alumni Spotlight – Leadership Southern California, Class of 2021

Leadership Southern California Class of 2020

For the first time EVER, we are spotlighting an entire cohort! Leadership Southern California Class of 2020 took it upon themselves to fundraise for the next cohort. We are so appreciative of the incredibly generous offer by the class, especially as the affects of COVID-19 are impacting not only our organization, but our fellows and candidates as well. It’s through these generous donations that we are able to continue our work and offer scholarships to applicants who may not otherwise be able to go through our programs.

We asked the alumni why they decided to pay it forward and donate to the LSC 2021 cohort, and there was a common theme: connections, equity, and generosity.

Why did you decide to donate?

I have always believed in service, mentorship, scholarship, and building bridges for those coming behind me, so when our cohort decided on the goal to give back by funding tuition to sponsor a future SCLN Fellow, it was a must to donate.  LA Metro sponsored me as a Metro employee, so I had to do what I could together with my cohort in order to sponsor someone else.  -Alvin Trotter (LA Metro)

I decided to donate to LSC as a pay if forward effort and an investment in a current or future community leader who will be truly blessed and inspired by the learnings offered within this program.  -Victor Ramirez (Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)

I chose to donate because I support the SCLN in their mission of promoting the values of connection, regional collaboration and leadership development. I also chose to donate because I am thankful for the life-long relationships made. -Patti Arlt ((Metropolitan Water District of Southern California)

Donating to the LSC2021 cohort was the least I could do to “pay it forward.”  How can we make this experience available to individuals who would benefit greatly from the experience, but might not have the funds. -Lindsay Amstutz (FOX Sports West)

I donated to support the future of LSC because I see value in paying it forward for the next person to also be  afforded the opportunity to grow and learn by dispelling myths, breaking down barriers, and beyond intent understanding the impact of their role in Southern California to build communities through the intersection of collaboration. -Yvette (United Way of Greater Los Angeles)

Tell us about your LSC experience?

My experience with LSC was awesome.  Both LSC leadership and my cohort were simply outstanding people, professionals, and now friends because of the experiences shared and the friendships that have developed over time.  As a result of the relationships built my network has grown larger.  In fact, because of my participation with SCLN, I have been afforded the opportunity to serve as a Committee Member through an appointment to the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee for LAUSD representing the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.  -Alvin Trotter

I honestly did not know what to expect when I decided to join the LSC program. From day one, I knew that I made a great choice that would offer a lifetime of benefits in my professional and personal life. The program offered me opportunities for self-reflection and identify blind spots to help with my leadership growth. I truly appreciate the open dialogues, deep conversations, and the wonderful relationships established with my peers. In addition, learning about the challenges facing Southern California was eye opening and fueled a fire within me to continue getting involved within my community.  -Victor Ramirez

My LSC experience allowed me to connect with so many wonderful people, outside of my industry.  These relationships have lasted well beyond our last official class, helping me both personally and professionally. -Lindsay Amstutz

In these unprecedented times, I am very grateful for my experience going through the SCLN program because of the connections made and leadership examples modeled. Staying connected is so important during these times of physical isolation. Being able to reach out to one another brings comfort. Because of the amazing leaders I met during the program, I have hope for the future. Good leadership was demonstrated by the program coordinators, the guest speakers and my cohorts. -Patti Arlt

Leadership SoCal connected me with a wealth of new relationships spanning across multiple sectors- representing thought leaders, professionals, and friends I would not have been afforded the opportunity to meet and grow with, without SCLN’s carefully crafted 9-month program, LSC. The friends I have met through LSC, have exposed and broadened my ideals of community with a regional perspective.  -Yvette Stott

What advice do you have for your fellow alumni and future candidates?

For all those in the 2020/2021 cohort and other fellow alum, the best thing you can do is keep an open mind, be authentically you, and get to know those in your cohort from day one.  What you bring to the group through your experiences, perspective, and your insight combined with your special skill set, helps your teammates to grow and they help you to grow while you all grow together as colleagues and friends.   Actively engage in discussions and workshops . . . and finally, enjoy your time together and have fun as the time will go by faster than you know. -Alvin Trotter

A recommendation that I offer to future/current participants is to keep an open mind, let down your guard, trust the process, and enjoy life changing experience. Best of luck and welcome to the LSC family! -Victor Ramirez

I encourage all alumni to remember that it is not just about getting connected, but making the effort to stay connected — which is how we make a true impact as effective leaders. It all starts with relationships. -Patti Arlt

I encourage alumni of LSC to also invest in the future of our region by financially supporting future cohort members of LSC with not just a hope or dream but a lived experience coupled with tools, resources, education, and support to make it possible- that is exactly what LSC is to Southern California. However, without our financial commitment to invest in these opportunities for others we will not holistically achieve equity for those dreaming of this moment. -Yvette Stott

Thank you to the entire cohort for organizing and donating, and to Alvin, Victor, Lindsay, Patti, and Yvette for providing us with their responses.

To learn more about Leadership Southern California, click here. And if you would like to donate so we can continue providing leadership development for hundreds of leaders across SoCal, you can do that here.