Leadership Development

We offer leadership development programs that train emerging and established professionals in new ways to lead change in their organizations and communities and enhance the vitality of the city's commercial districts:

Neighborhood Leadership Program
Neighborhood 360° Fellows

2016 Neighborhood Leadership Cohort Graduation

Neighborhood Leadership Program

We partner with the Coro New York Leadership Center to help staff from community-based organizations across New York City develop leadership skills, learn new approaches to commercial revitalization, and connect to key stakeholders and resources critical to leading change in their organizations and communities. The Neighborhood Leadership Program is made possible by Community Development Block Grant funding through the Avenue NYC program.

The nine-month program teaches innovative management strategies, how to support small businesses and strengthen commercial districts, and provides access to a network of over 2,000 engaged alumni making positive change in New York City.

Learn more about the latest Neighborhood Leadership cohort and past participants.

How to Apply

Applications are now open for the 2020 Neighborhood Leadership program. To apply for the program, which begins in January 2020, you must submit an application through Coro's website. Applications must be received by November 4, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. in order to be considered for the 2020 program.


Neighborhood 360° Fellows

Neighborhood 360° Fellows help community-based organizations complete commercial revitalization projects and connect local stakeholders to City resources. The fellows are paid by SBS and are full-time community development professionals, community organizers, or planners. We aim to build a network of leaders prepared with commercial revitalization expertise and experience in New York City neighborhoods.

Meet the current and former Neighborhood 360° Fellows.


Who Can Apply

We are looking for Host Sites that meet these minimum criteria:

  • Nonprofit community-based organization (Business Improvement Districts, local development corporations, merchants associations, and other organizations) that implement commercial revitalization projects and are operating in New York City and incorporated in New York State;
  • Able to assist in recruiting candidates and interviewing finalists;
  • Able to provide the fellow with a desk and supporting equipment (i.e. computer and access to organization's phone);
  • Time and willingness to act as a mentor for the fellow;
  • Applications to host a 2020-2021 Neighborhood 360° Fellow are now closed.

Fellows selected to participate in the 2020-2021 cohort must meet these minimum criteria:

  • New York City resident (within 90 days of the start date);
  • One or more year(s) of community outreach, organizing, and/or planning experience;
  • Have an interest in economic development and working with the host site neighborhood/community;
  • Please note, applications to become a fellow will open in January 2020. 

Read the Neighborhood 360° Fellows program guidelines for more information.

What Fellows Do

Neighborhood 360° Fellows are full-time, paid employees placed in New York City community-based organizations for 10 months to implement commercial revitalization projects and connect stakeholders to City resources. Types of projects include:

  • Business Attraction/Retention: Attract new businesses or retain existing businesses to ensure commercial districts have a diverse retail mix that serves the community and reduces the retail vacancy rate.
  • Merchant Organizing: Lead the strategic planning, outreach, and organizing efforts to create a new or revitalize an existing merchants association.
  • Placemaking: Cultivate a sense of place that capitalizes on the unique characteristics of the commercial district, incorporating key traits of the neighborhood and activating public space for the community.

2019-2020 host sites and projects are listed below.

How To Apply

Applications to become a fellow are currently closed. Applications to become a 2020-2021 Neighborhood 360° Fellow will open in January 2020.

Applications to become a host site have closed. Please check back in Fall 2020 for more information on the 2021-2022 program.


2019-2020 Host Sites

Neighborhood(s) Served: Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Bay Ridge is located in the southwest corner of Brooklyn. It is bounded by Sunset Park to the north and Dyker Heights to the east. It is an affluent neighborhood with a strong family presence, community pride, and many grassroots organizations. Transportation to the area is serviced by the R train as well as multiple bus lines. Within Bay Ridge, 5th Avenue is one of three commercial corridors with merchants representing many different nationalities owning and operating restaurants, shops, and services. We are a diverse community and home to the largest Arabic-speaking population in New York City.

Mission Statement: The Bay Ridge 5th Avenue Business Improvement District supports the businesses, property owners and residents of 5th Avenue by promoting local merchants, creating community programming, and maintaining a sustainable and vibrant commercial corridor in the heart of Bay Ridge. The BID recently underwent a complete re-branding to better highlight the individual merchants and events on the avenue.

Organization Website: bayridgebid.com

Project Information: The BID is actively working on understanding how to more effectively serve its diverse community. More information and data is needed about the priorities and issues of its stakeholders; specifically how the BID can expand and/or refine its portfolio of services.

The Neighborhood 360° Fellow will work directly with merchants, residents, and other stakeholders to attain information on merchant needs, neighborhood demographics, and BID program outcomes, to provide a more informed assessment of merchant challenges and needs. Once this information has been collected, the fellow will work with the BID Executive Director to develop resource materials for the merchants that are responsive to the identified key issues and needs. This will involve building out a system for providing technical assistance to businesses (i.e. assisting merchants with marketing, developing promotional campaigns, websites, and/or a social media presence). With improved communication and a dedicated staff member, the merchants of 5th Avenue will have more opportunities to participate in community events, shape BID priorities and programming, and gain access to resources provided by the City and the BID.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Language:
- Comfortable with public speaking: one-on-one, cold calling, and leading focus groups
- Highly organized with advanced Microsoft Office skills
- Flexible and comfortable working with small teams
- Experience developing databases or directories
- Strong primary and secondary research skills and ability to write reports and communications
- High-level proficiency in English. Conversational Arabic, Chinese or Spanish, a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Brownsville, Brooklyn

Mission Statement: Brownsville Community Justice Center (the Justice Center), an operating program of the Center for Court Innovation, seeks to re-engineer how the justice system works in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of New York City’s neighborhoods most plagued by poverty and violence. The Justice Center builds multiple off-ramps for youth who come into contact with the justice system and envisions a Brownsville where conditions of disrepair and disorder are improved and local youth have access to the resources and opportunities necessary to successfully transition to adulthood.

The Justice Center is currently piloting a new social enterprise approach, the Neighborhood Hub. The Neighborhood Hub specializes in youth programs, data collection, and marketing and start-up services. The Neighborhood Hub also trains and provides employment or employment placement services to at-risk youth. Additionally, the Neighborhood Hub offers intensive entrepreneurial training for local young adults, start-up business services, a co-working space, and a pop-up retail space to those seeking to execute creative, culturally responsive, place-based and data-driven business models.

Organization Website: https://www.courtinnovation.org

Project Information: The Brownsville Community Justice Center is looking to increase foot traffic along Belmont Avenue, develop an eco-system that is conducive for entrepreneurship and new business development, and explore the feasibility of a merchant association for Belmont Avenue. To help BCJC accomplish these goals, the Fellow will take the lead on 1) implementing a district marketing project which aims to move Belmont Avenue closer to becoming a destination for art, culture, recreation and commercial activity in Brownsville, and 2) create and disseminate a visual road map of resources to new and existing business owners.

The Fellow will begin by surveying and interviewing local business owners, residents, and other stakeholders (including Justice Center youth participants) to collect information that will inform the strategic direction and future components of Belmont Avenue’s district marketing project, “Be on Belmont.” They will also be responsible for developing a plan to increase participation in “Be on Belmont” related events and traffic to the BCJC website and social media accounts.

The Fellow will also conduct research and map services available to new and existing businesses along the corridor and identify resources that will provide support in finance, policy, professional (i.e. commercial leasing, legal assistance, accounting, business mentorship) and arts entrepreneurship assistance. The Fellow will also build relationships with government agencies, institutions, CBO’s, and business owners to determine opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Familiarity with successful marketing strategies
- Relationship building and stakeholder management experience
- Graphic Design Skills, including familiarity with ArcGIS, InDesign, Illustrator, and /or Photoshop or similar design software
- Cultural competencies and good community engagement skills
- A true team-player comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
- Familiarity with Central Brooklyn and/or Brownsville communities preferred

Neighborhood(s) Served: Highbridge, Fordham, Morris Heights and University Heights in the Bronx

Mission Statement: Davidson Community Center Inc. is a non-profit community-based organization with a 50-year history of cooperative programming serving children, families and seniors throughout the Northwest Bronx. Davidson’s programs are designed to empower families and individuals through education, training and advocacy by working together with community leaders from residents, youth, business owners, police, municipal workers and civic groups. 

The mission of Davidson Community Center’s economic development work is to promote the local business community and strengthen the neighborhood economic base, as well as to support the development and revitalization of public spaces in the district including the commercial corridors. We achieve this through a range of effective and supportive programs that enhance area maintenance, sanitation conditions, provide business assistance, economic development supportive services, improve public safety, facilitate a beautified streetscape and aid in constituent problem-solving.

Organization Website: http://www.thedccsite.org and https://www.bjtbronx.org

Project Information: As part of its commercial revitalization work, Davidson Community Center is looking for creative, innovative ways to uplift and beautify the small open spaces in their commercial corridor. These open spaces include two “triangle” parks, Devanney and Echo, which provide much needed green space but currently function as underutilized “pass-through” spaces. As open spaces with multiple access points to public transportation, including train, bus, and cycling, as well as to the dynamic commercial areas, they have a great potential to be reconceived as welcoming places for the community to gather.

The fellow will work with the Project Manager to prepare and implement a plan for transforming the triangle parks and surrounding corridors into beautiful, well-utilized community spaces. As part of this work, the fellow will explore both physical improvements to the triangle parks including street furniture and landscaping options (trees, planters, etc.) as well as propose and pilot options for public programing in the two sites. In addition, the fellow will work to envision the parks within the larger community and commercial ecosystem through evaluating and proposing options to upgrade and beautify the physical appearance of the surrounding commercial corridors. The fellow will also develop a plan to connect the corridors and parks together through a way-finding initiative that leverages the pass-through nature of the triangle parks. All components of the plan should include innovative ideas to promote and communicate the rich history of the area and excite and encourage residents and visitors alike to spend time shopping and recreating in the district.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Demonstrated interest in urban planning
- Experience with research, report preparation, writing and/or event planning
- Creative, innovative thinker
- Comfortable working in the field, experience with community engagement preferred
- Past work/internship experience with or for a community-based organization
- Experience with basic website maintenance a plus
- Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) critical

Neighborhood(s) Served: Downtown Brooklyn

As NYC’s third largest central business district, Downtown Brooklyn is the commercial and cultural center of the borough. With more than 12,000 residential units and 20 million square feet of occupied offices, the area has transformed into a 24/7 community home to jobs, residents, students, and retail and entertainment destinations as well as an urban center for the tech and information and arts and entertainment industries. Downtown Brooklyn’s thriving business culture, exceptional access to talent, higher education institutions, strong office market, and unique amenities together make it the premier live/work urban center.

Mission Statement: Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) is a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination. Working together with the three business improvement districts (BID) that it manages – the MetroTech BID, Fulton Mall Improvement Association, and Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID – the Partnership’s diverse activities include attracting new businesses and improving the environment for existing companies; facilitating the construction of public spaces and streetscapes that promote an active and cohesive community; supporting and promoting Downtown Brooklyn’s cultural assets; and encouraging a unified sense of place and an engaged civic community.

Organization Website: http://www.downtownbrooklyn.com

Project Information: Downtown Brooklyn is a rapidly growing urban center with a vibrant small business as well as arts and culture community. The area has selected as part of NYS’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) as well as DCLA’s City Canvas program to improve neighborhood infrastructure and better connect Downtown neighborhoods. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, along with community partners, is embarking on these large-scale planning projects with goal of extending the benefits of Downtown Brooklyn’s growth to better serve local residents, businesses, and workers through urban design, public art, and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Under the direction of DBP staff, the fellow will 1) increase engagement with small business owners across the three BIDs the DBP manages, and 2) work on the initial planning and implementation of select planning projects DBP is integral in leading or partnering on.

The Fellow will conduct preliminary outreach to local businesses and assist with the planning and implementation of an engagement campaign. Outcomes of small business owner engagement may include improvement of the quality of life for business and community stakeholders; increased knowledge of DBP and City services among small business owners; and greater participation in DBP/NYC events & programs (deals, Make It in Brooklyn, Small Business Saturday, etc). Outcomes of the DRI and City Canvas programs include implementation of public art programs and enhanced public realm and urban design of the district.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Demonstrated interest and/or experience in urban planning, urban design, business development, communications, or a related field
- Excellent oral and written communication skills with strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Preferred experience with ArcGIS, InDesign, Illustrator, and /or Photoshop
- Strong analytical skills and familiarity with quantitative analysis and survey work
- Eager to make a difference and contribute to Downtown Brooklyn
- Bilingual, a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Springfield Gardens (South Jamaica), Queens

Springfield Gardens is a neighborhood in southeastern Queens that is largely made up of single-family homes and a commercial/warehouse/industrial district. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) borders the neighborhood to the west, and most of the business in the area have a relationship with the airport. It is a lively community that logistics, cargo, hotel, food service and other industries call home.

Mission Statement: Gateway JFK is an Industrial Business Improvement District in Southeast Queens that is home to over 600 businesses and 150 single family households. Our members include customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping and maintenance companies that provide logistical support to the air cargo industry operating out of JFK airport. Our mission is to create a space in New York where the air cargo industry can expand, thrive, and be a good neighbor. GatewayJFK is home to 8,000 workers and is a vital part of New York’s 8.6 Billion air cargo sector. We provide effective advocacy on behalf of our members, along with district-wide supplemental services in coordination with government agencies. Finally, GatewayJFK acts as the voice of the off-airport community.

Organization Website: http://www.gatewayjfk.org

Project Information: GatewayJFK is dedicated to serving its community by ensuring a clean and safe space to live, work and invest. The BID is an important advocate for the businesses that operate in the district, the 8,000 current workers, and potential employees of the Air Cargo sector. In order to help both the community and the businesses operating in the area, the Fellow will work with the Executive Director of the BID to address two issues the businesses are currently facing: 1) illegal dumping of garbage behind industrial businesses, and 2) recruitment and training of the current and potential off-airport workforce.

To address the illegal dumping in the area, the fellow will work to install a network of security cameras in the most impacted areas most impacted and coordinate with the Department of Sanitation and the New York Police Department to determine additional mitigation strategies. The fellow will also develop a reporting protocol to aide enforcement. In addition, the fellow will help the BID to address hiring challenges in the Air Cargo Industry. The fellow will lead the development of a workforce development strategy to assist businesses looking to hire (and hire locally). Potential options include developing a job fair, planning a hiring conference for business owners, and/or connecting businesses with resources for training employees.

Both programs will have an ongoing impact and will become a core part of the BID services.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages
- A self-starter who requires limited supervision to meet goals and is confident enough to ask for assistance and questions when needed
- Excellent communication skills, including writing, editing, and proofreading
- Applicants with a driver’s license and vehicle preferred
- Ability to quickly understand and grasp industry subject matter, new trends and topics
- Possess solid customer service skills
- May require some evening work to attend events and travel throughout Southeast Queens

Neighborhood(s) Served: Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Mission Statement: The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership fosters an inclusive vibrant community anchored by Myrtle Avenue. The Partnership supports a vibrant, neighborhood commercial corridor that serves a diverse community of property owners, businesses, residents, workers, and visitors. The Partnership does this by maintaining a clean and safe environment, marketing district assets, advocating for our small business community, planning & undertaking urban improvements, producing cultural and community programming, and promoting local hiring. We do this by engaging and supporting our neighbors, cultivating partnerships, building community capacity, identifying needs and providing services that connect our neighbors to resources and opportunities.

Organization Website: http://www.myrtleavenue.org

Project Information: At the core of the Partnership’s organizational strategy is to remain connected to community issues and engage community groups and organizations in efforts to define and achieve success in their work. The Partnership’s efforts to engage stakeholders in initiatives have not only served to build community across socio-economic boundaries, but also to identify and activate community leaders of all ages. By placing an “age-friendly lens” on their work in the community, the Partnership preserves existing and builds new opportunities for those aging in place in their community. Through an intentional focus on bringing visibility to older adults and their needs and ideas, the Partnership is helping seniors to remain connected to Myrtle Avenue, to each other, and to the greater community, even as the neighborhood continues to change and evolve.

The fellow will work with the Executive Director to on engage a community of 6,000+ seniors living on or near Myrtle Avenue, the majority of whom are older adults of color. The goal is to connect neighbors to the neighborhood, and the neighborhood to neighbors, by revamping and implementing an age-friendly Myrtle Avenue marketing/placemaking initiative, supporting the Myrtle Avenue Senior Advisory Council, and developing innovative strategies to connect seniors to local businesses, public spaces and resources, such as creating opportunities for local volunteerism, coordinating community celebrations where neighbors connect, and amplifying community leadership.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Warm, professional, engaging manner in dealing with the public
- Critical thinker with the ability to be resourceful, anticipate obstacles, troubleshoot issues, and can dig in to move a project forward
- Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite helpful, but not required
- Excellent communication skills (writing, presentation, public speaking)
- Possesses team spirit, and a willingness to pitch in as time and regular duties permit
- English fluency required. Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic helpful but not required

Neighborhood(s) Served: St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton, Staten Island

Located on the New York Harbor, Downtown Staten Island is home to a variety of civic, cultural, and transportation amenities and is the gateway to the borough. It consists of several distinct towns that are linked by the Bay Street corridor, which follows the northeast coastline of Staten Island. The Bay Street commercial corridor is anchored at the north by the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at Richmond Terrace and runs south to Townsend Avenue through the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton.

Mission Statement: The Chamber acts to improve the economic climate and expand business opportunities on Staten Island. It is the largest and most influential business organization on Staten Island. The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. was created to:
- Provide continuing educational and training resources to the existing business community on Staten Island.
- Facilitate the creation and success of minority businesses.
- Foster the development of emerging technologies and companies.
- Provide business-related internships for high school and college students.
- Promote Staten Island as a place to visit and do business.
- Coordinate cooperation between Staten Island's business, cultural and charitable organizations

Organization Website: https://www.sichamber.com

Project Information: The Chamber is looking to enhance the vibrancy of commercial districts within Downtown Staten Island and increase the area's presence as a "destination" for both locals and outside visitors. In collaboration with the Project Manager, the fellow will lead the development and management of in-person and digital community engagement strategies.

Deliverables will include: creating a sustainable plan for search engine optimization for www.downtownSI.nyc and @downtownSInyc; developing and writing digital content; researching, developing, and executing at least two small-scale placemaking projects (e.g. Little Free Libraries or creating and placing wayfinding signage); conducting merchant and consumer outreach, and assisting with other placemaking and marketing projects that occur during the Fellowship.

The goals of these initiatives are to demonstrate an increase in public awareness of Downtown Staten Island's business, shopping, and entertainment options; help merchants increase sales of goods and services; attract and retain merchants and property owners; and ensure the cohesive integration of a digital presence into all other aspects of the district marketing plan.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Exceptional communication skills, including excellent writing, editing, and proofreading
- Experience with digital marketing and analytics tools, such as Hootsuite, Squarespace, Google Analytics, etc.
- Strong understanding of social media, editing, brand management, and digital strategy
- Functional understanding of web design, multimedia production, and photo editing
- Event planning experience
- High-level proficiency in English. Fluency in Spanish is a plus

Neighborhood(s) Served: Sunnyside, Queens

Mission Statement: The mission of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) is to invigorate and enrich the economic life of the neighborhood by creating a safe, welcoming and dynamic commercial district in Sunnyside, Queens. The BID is a non-profit partnership of local property owners, business owners, residents and elected officials working together to promote, beautify and enhance the Sunnyside commercial district. Our major programs include supplemental sanitation, district marketing, special events, streetscape improvements, beautification initiatives and graffiti removal.

Organization Website: http://www.sunnysideshines.org

Project Information: 2019 marks the 10th year anniversary of the creation of the Sunnyside Shines BID. Over the years, as the programs of the BID grew and evolved, so did the understanding of the role the BID can play in the community. The BID is looking to bring a fellow on board to lead a community advisory board and help the Executive Director rethink the current portfolio of public programs. The goal will be to develop a strategy for how the BID should service the community and the businesses within the overall neighborhood and district.

The fellow will be responsible for conducting a study of the BID’s current marketing program, developing new or enhanced evaluation metrics, and will ultimately produce written recommendations for changes to the BID’s existing district marketing efforts to make them more effective. The fellow will also lead the development of an updated property owner and merchant database to help the BID compile and evaluate the current retail mix, property usage, vacancies, and other critical neighborhood data.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Analytical skills (qualitative and quantitative) and ability to design survey instruments and update databases
- An interest in marketing initiatives and some experience designing or directing the design of print products, a plus but not mandatory
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to go door-to-door or speaking with business owners, other local stakeholders
- Curiosity and interest in problem solving
- Ability to speak and/or write in Spanish or other major languages represented in the community is a plus (Romanian, Bengali, Nepali, and Thai are among the many languages spoken within our business community)

Neighborhood(s) Served: Woodhaven, Queens

Mission Statement: The Woodhaven BID is a non-profit organization serving the vibrant and culturally diverse commercial district nestled along Jamaica Avenue from Dexter Court to 98th street in Woodhaven, Queens. The mission of the BID is to communicate, coordinate and advocate on behalf of Woodhaven business owners and merchants. The BID administers services to the corridor and community through its supplemental sanitation services, public safety, district and community marketing, holiday lighting and programming, and producing dynamic public events each year. In addition, the BID serves as advocate for the needs of the entire BID community, working closely with various City Agencies and elected officials.

Organization Website: https://www.woodhavenbid.com

Project Information: The Woodhaven BID is looking to bring awareness and attention to the community and businesses on Jamaica Avenue. Jamaica Avenue is the heart of Woodhaven commerce with many diverse businesses. However, there are a number of long-standing businesses that need support to attract new customers with more up-do-date marketing strategies. To help the businesses address this gap, the new Executive Director recently updated the BID’s new website to act as a platform to promote the services of the businesses.

The BID is looking for a fellow to work directly with the Executive Director to create a marketing campaign that will utilize the new website and other platforms to bring more visibility to the untapped segments of the community and the small businesses. In addition to helping to increase the visibility of individual businesses and their services, the fellow will conduct an assessment of the businesses and commercial district to determine additional needs, challenges, and opportunities. Both initiatives will help the BID preserve the culture and diversity of the neighborhood and help the new ED prioritize the necessary programs to enhance the area.

Ideal Skills, Qualifications, and Languages:
- Knowledge of marketing, social media, graphic design, etc.
- Ability to propose ideas for marketing campaign or other projects
- Well organized and detail oriented
- Exceptional communication and writing skills
- Passion for community work
- Bilingual, English/Spanish preferable

Contact us for more information.