Are you naturally curious and motivated to get involved in your community? Are you looking to focus your energy, learn and explore the many diverse arenas that make up San Luis Obispo County? Do you have a commitment to personal and professional growth? Are you willing to view community issues from a broad perspective? If so, Leadership San Luis Obispo is for you.

Over more than a quarter century, Leadership SLO has taken nearly 1,000 community members and produced hundreds of volunteers, nonprofit board members and government board, task force and commission appointees.

“My participation in Leadership SLO and in H.O.P.E. (Hispanics Organized for Political Equality) gave me the skills necessary to become a better leader in my community and be a voice for advocating for other Latinos and minorities who cannot speak for themselves,” Estella Vasquez of Class VI said.

The nonprofit strives to take everyday citizens from all walks of life through a 10-month immersion in local politics, culture, education, agriculture and a number of other sectors of the county, aiming to open minds and create better leaders and consequently, a better community.

“Many experiences in Class 22 showed me the passion of so many individuals in different fields, and each wanted to make a difference in our communities,” said Morro Bay Fire Chief Steve Knuckles. “My Leadership SLO experience increased my faith in humans.”

The application period for Leadership SLO Class XXVII is open.

The rigorous program begins with a three-day retreat in the Sierra foothills. The monthly classes immerse participants in the challenges, joys and innovations affecting SLO County in different areas including: arts, education, media, health, county and city government, law enforcement, business and manufacturing, and agriculture. Through a continuously adapting curriculum, hands-on homework, expert panels and lively presentations, class members hone their personal leadership style and work together with community members of diverse experiences and opinions.

Applications are currently being accepted for Class XXVII at LeadershipSLO.org. The deadline for applying is October 2.