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An indepth leadership accelerator
for emerging nonprofit leaders

The mission of the Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Accelerator (ENLA) is to cultivate a robust talent and leadership pipeline for the nonprofit sector in the greater Capital Region. Participants engage in professional soft skills workshops and technical trainings facilitated by subject-matter experts, and receive one-on-one mentorship and career advisement to prepare for future leadership roles. ENLA 2021 participants will meet every other week on Fridays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, January 15 - June 18, 2021. All meetings will be held via Zoom.

What Does ENLA Do?

  • Provides nonprofit leadership training and resources through 14 professional development workshops over 7 months.
  • Develops a supportive network of mutually benefitting connections with a mentor, experienced trainers, and a cohort of peers.
  • Delivers sector guidance and advice through one-on-one mentorship and career coaching sessions.

Applicant Qualifications:

  • Currently working as a mid-level director / manager / coordinator / associate at a nonprofit organization in the greater Capital Region
  • Have at least 5 years of professional experience - 2 minimally in the nonprofit sector
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree or a mix of equivalent experience and/or education
  • Have no graduate-level degree in nonprofit management

Emphasis will be placed on recruiting a diverse cohort including attracting program recipients identifying as people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and/or other represented identities.

Application Process:

  • Selected candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview
  • Final selections will be made by December 18, 2021
  • Accepted applicants will be charged a registration fee. ENLA registration is based on a sliding fee scale. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. See the chart below.

Annual Operating Budget

ENLA Registration Fee

Under 250,000 $150.00
250,000 - 1 million $215.00
1 million - 3 million $275.00
3 million - 6 million $355.00
6 million- 10 million $425.00
Over 10 million $500.00


The application deadline is Monday, November 30, 2020.



Thank You to Our Program Underwriters

ENLA is a partnership between the University at Albany's Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development and the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region. The program is supported by MVP Health Care, the Michaelson Family Fund and the Linda G. Toohey Fund of the Community Foundation.


Interested in learning more?

Join us for an virtual ENLA info session!

4:00 PM on November 18, 2020




The Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development is Proud of Our 2021 Fellows:


Brynna Carpenter-Nardone

Brynna Carpenter-Nardone, The Cathedral of All Saints

Brynna Carpenter-Nardone is an artist, art-educator, writer and Director of Cathedral Arts, a program she began in September 2018 through The Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, NY. Brynna enjoys creating workshops and assisting others in designing programming that deals with the intersection of art and faith and that welcomes the greater community into the contemplative beauty of the cathedral. She holds a bachelors of fine art in painting, a certificate in spiritual direction, and is currently completing a master’s degree in pastoral studies. Brynna lives in North Greenbush with her husband, son, and daughter and pets.

Colleen Chera

Colleen Chera, St. Catherine's Center for Children

Colleen Chera is employed by St. Catherine's Center for Children where she serves as the Centralized Intake Coordinator. Colleen has held this position for a little over two years and counting! Prior to joining SCCC, Colleen worked with other non-profits in her native Capital Region where she has also served children and families. Colleen identifies her strongest passion as advocating for children and youth and is confident that our younger generations will change the world for the better.

Erica DeNicola-Scher

Erica DeNicola-Scher, Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York, Inc.

Erica is the Director of Community Education and Advocacy Coordinator for EFNENY. Prior to this role, Erica worked with the Institute for Health and the Environment under SUNY Research Foundation, where she assisted and participated in public health research. She hopes ENLA will provide her with skills she needs to become a strong and supportive leader in the nonprofit sector, and for those who work in the field providing important programs and services to those in need. Erica earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from William Smith College in 2011, and her Master’s in Health Education from Ithaca College in 2013.

Lindsay Farrar

Lindsay Farrar, Child Trauma Institute/Trauma Institute

Lindsay Farrar is a writer, researcher, and counselor. With the support of family and friends, Lindsay’s career focuses on community programming and education, including previous roles at Siena College, The College of Saint Rose, Capital District YMCA and Equinox. Currently, Lindsay serves as a faculty instructor, consultant, and psychotherapist at the Trauma Institute/Child Trauma Insitute. Some areas of expertise are: trauma/loss, performance enhancement, learning/memory, and human development. Lindsay enjoys the outdoors, especially swimming and stargazing.

Lukee Forbes

Lukee Forbes, Soon (Something Out Of Nothing)

Lukee Forbes is a 26-year-old Brooklyn native currently running for mayor of Albany. He works as a community organizer for the United Tenants of Albany and Vocal-NY. Prior to these positions he was the administrator assistant for the City of Albany’s Summer Youth Employment Program and the office manager for the City of Albany Youth Opportunity Office. He also assists in youth engagement for the City of Albany’s OCYEA Program, is the ambassador and volunteer for several non-profit organizations in the capitol region gear towards youth development and support. These including Compass Rose, Bridge the gap, SNUG, Mission Accomplished, Citizen Action, The Center for Law and Justices, Tru Heart, Tinker & Fiddler, AlbanyCanCode and Young Futures. Lukee is a dynamic speaker and lecturer who develops and nurtures future entrepreneurs through his business 101/financial literacy sessions. His passion for mentoring and outreach to young people is inspired by his personal story. At 15 years old Lukee Forbes was present during an assault committed by his older peers, he ended up serving 7 years all together after winning an appeal that ultimately overturning the convicting. Through his redemption he sets an example to other young people that they can make positive impact in their communities. He has even worked as a production assistant on the Ed Norton film “Motherless Brooklyn” and is and inspiring film writer. He is also the Chief Executive Officer for Ah Development company and continuing to provide freelance business consulting services. He is a part of multiple campaign leading justices’ reforms in all areas.

Stephen McErleane

Stephen McErleane, New Netherland Institute

Stephen McErleane is director of the New Netherland Institute and a doctoral candidate in history at the State University of New York at Albany, where he is currently writing a dissertation on the seventeenth-century Dutch colony of New Netherland in history & memory. He also holds a master's in information science (archives) from SUNY Albany. He is from Stony Point, NY and currently lives in Troy, NY.

Takora McIntyre

Takora McIntyre, The South End Children's Cafe

Takora McIntyre is a native of Boston Massachusetts. She serves as the Communications Director for South End Children’s Cafe, a non-profit that impacts food security, addresses food equality and food justice, and enhances academic success. The South End Childen’s Cafe positively influences the physical and mental health of children living in the South End of Albany. Takora holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from The College of Saint Rose. At Saint Rose, she played on the Women’s Basketball team. During her free time, you can find her reading books, practicing yoga, and cooking vegan meals. Takora is an advocate for living a minimalistic, eco-friendly, and sustainable lifestyle and is looking to help impact the world someway, somehow.

Sandra McKinley

Sandra McKinley, Building Back, Inc

My name is Sandra McKinley, the co-creator of Building Back, Inc. We are an organization that serves individuals that have been ignored, rejected and ostracized living in the inner-city communities of Albany, NY. Our mission and purpose is to help build back hope, trust, and belief in those living in these impoverished communities by building programs that will give them an opportunity to restore, rebuild, and replenish their lives and community, with dignity and respect. Understanding the struggle of our young men/women, because I’ve been there, I know that given a chance and an opportunity it will change their life for better. Sometimes all they need is someone who will encourage and not give up on them on this journey called life. Building Back, Inc. was created to do just that.

Rachael Nelson

Rachael Nelson, Wellspring

Rachael Nelson works with Wellspring in Saratoga Springs as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Rachael has a Bachelors in Fine Art Photography from Minneapolis College of Art & Design, has completed courses toward her Masters of Social Work, and has a lifelong passion of contributing to the mission of ending homelessness.

Christina Romeo

Christina Romeo, New York Library Association

Christina started her organizing and advocacy career at 19 years old when she was the lead campus organizer of the Save Our Saint Rose Movement. After, she served as a Public Affairs and Political Research Intern at SKD Albany, was a Research and Writing Assistant and Campaign Manager for J Strategies and was as a 2019 CWGCS Women & Public Policy Fellow placed with NYSCADV. Currently, Christina is the Communications and Marketing Manager for the New York Library Association. Christina also serves as the Co-Chair and Public Policy Coordinator of GLSEN Upstate, as a Board Member for CWGCS, and a member of a statewide coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates and co-organizes the annual LGBTQ+ Advocacy Day. Christina has her BA in English from The College of Saint Rose and earned her MA in Political Science at the Rockefeller College of Public Policy and Public Affairs.

Jackie Sorensen

Jackie Sorensen, CAPTAIN Community Human Services

My name is Jackie Sorensen and I am from Waterford, New York. I grew up in Waterford and graduated from Waterford Halfmoon High School in 2010. After High School, I attended SUNY Plattsburgh and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Relations in 2014. I started working for CAPTAIN Community Human Services in 2015 as the Youth Development Specialist at the Outreach Center. After two years working as the Youth Specialist, I was promoted to the Program Manager. This past year I accepted a new position at CAPTAIN CHS as the Youth Development/Season Program Manager. Now I oversee the CAPteens, Job Assist, Summer Meals and Holiday Programs.

Carissa Streckfuss

Carissa Streckfuss, Glenmont Job Corps

Carissa Streckfuss was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and moved to the Capital Region in 2016 to attend the University at Albany. Carissa graduated a year early in 2019, with her Bachelors degree in Communications and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Since her graduation, Carissa has worked as an Outreach and Admission Coordinator for Glenmont Job Corps, where she assists students in applying for their job training and education program.

Susan Walensky

Susan Walensky, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Susan Walensky is a marketing consultant and freelance graphic designer and videographer. While attending The College of Saint Rose, she developed great pride for the Capital Region and all it has to offer. She most recently worked at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall as a Marketing Associate, where she was proud to be part of an organization focused on diverse and accessible programming. Of her many passions, she advocates the most for gun safety in America and wants to ensure youth have resources and opportunities available that will positively impact their futures. In her free time, she is an avid painter and dedicated volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area.

Sarah Walsh

Sarah Walsh, Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy

Sarah Walsh is the Conservation Director for Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, responsible for oversight of land stewardship and assisting with property acquisitions. She has nearly ten years’ experience in habitat restoration initiatives for bird habitat, riparian and wetland areas as well as experience in the protection of conservation lands, non-profit program development, and trail planning. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science from SUNY ESF in 2006 and her Master’s degree in Science Education from the University of Albany in 2012. Sarah is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys back-country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, paddling, sailing, and bird watching.

Karina Wojnar

Karina Wojnar, Albany Center Gallery

Karina is from woodsy Northern New Jersey, but has lived in Albany since graduating from Siena College. There she studied business, art, and social justice. She currently works as the Development & Membership Manager at Albany Center Gallery, a community arts non profit gallery located in downtown Albany. Karina is passionate about local causes that amplify the voices of those unheard, specifically through forms of creative expression and literacy. She’s also a member of the 2020 Albany Tulip Court through which she volunteers with numerous local organizations. Additionally, Karina works as a yoga instructor, hikes, creates art, and rollerblades.


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