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NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Overview and Guidelines

Exciting News!

For the last 11 years, the NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program has supported the development of nearly 200 ESP leaders in 45 states across the country. The LFT program has been instrumental in helping ESP members acquire skills and confidence to lead at the local level. Many program graduates have even stepped into state or national leadership positions. This strength and success has seeded a desire to expand its positive impact. To accomplish this, we’re happy to announce Leaders for Tomorrow will be restructured to reach and develop an increasingly growing body of ESP leaders.

The redesign effort will commence in Spring 2018 and progress towards five important outcomes, all designed to assure growth and strength of ESP and their affiliates:

  • quality and impact for ESP participants, 
  • deep and deliberate connections with local affiliates, 
  • alignment with NEA Leadership Competencies, 
  • increased number of annual participants, and
  • strategic engagement and activism of LFT alumni.

Applications for the next cohort of Leaders for Tomorrow will open shortly after the redesign is complete. Check back for updates!

What is NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow?

NEA Leaders for Tomorrow program is a three-session training process held over an eight-month period that is open to dues paying NEA ESP members who meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Candidates must be nominated for the program and have their application acknowledged and signed by their state Association.

NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a current NEA ESP member
  • Must have been an NEA member in good standing for the past three years
  • Must complete an application form and submit by the deadline
  • Must commit to participate fully in all three sessions
  • Must commit to utilize the new skills in the Association

Why Leaders for Tomorrow?

Leaders for Tomorrow trains both current and future leaders in leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge that will enhance their ability to be a visible, vocal advocates at the local, state, and national levels of the NEA.

What will I learn?

The program is broken into eleven modules: Self-Awareness and Self-Management, Risk Taking and Change, Assertiveness, Communication, Resilience and Coping Skills, Political Activism, NEA Governance and Structure and Trade Unionism, Presentation Skills, Organizing, and Effective Meeting Skills. Participants in the program will:

  • Identify personal strengths and weaknesses and learn how to utilize them as a leader
  • Build skills in areas such as communication skills, organizing and recruitment, team building, and presentation skills
  • Learn how to use the structure, resources, culture, and work of NEA effectively as a leader
  • Learn how to engage members in politics
  • Learn the history and importance of trade unionism
  • Learn how to run an effective meeting
  • Learn how to use the art of powerful questions
  • Identify their risk taking style and the risks leaders face
  • Learn internal and external organizing skills
  • Learn how to communicate effectively and how to make a presentation.

What kind of time commitment and resources does NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow require?

There are three training sessions over an eight-month period.

  • July 16-21, 2017 - Minneapolis, MN 
  • November 16-21, 2017 - Washington, DC
  • March 18-25, 2018 - Orlando, FL (includes attendance to the NEA ESP National Conference)

All participants are fully funded as allowed under the NEA travel guidelines, including transportation, lodging, meals, and substitute pay or salary reimbursement, including attendance to the ESP conference.

What happens if I cannot attend all three sessions?

We understand that personal and professional emergencies can arise, however, it is expected that selected candidates will attend all sessions completely except in cases of an emergency. Nominees who are selected must complete the entire first session in order to attend the two subsequent sessions. If an emergency arises, Leaders for Tomorrow participants commit to notifying the NEA ESP program as soon as possible.


NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Brochure (PDF)

17-18 NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Announcement (Word)

17-18 NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Candidate Application (Word)