Legacy Leadership Institutes: Strengthening Leadership for Community Involvement in 50+ Adults

Baby-boomers, the sizeable group of knowledgeable, competent, and motivated adults born between 1946 and 1964, view the increased flexibility in lifestyle of their later years as an opportunity to make a further contribution to society (Wilson & Simson, 2006). How can this potential be realized? Legacy Leadership Institutes, created by the University of Maryland’s Center on Aging, are designed in collaboration with community agencies through a process of needs assessment and volunteer position development. They provide intense classroom instruction in specific role competencies and non-positional leadership development, followed by supervised field placements in those agencies. The outcome is higher volunteer competence and leadership role self-efficacy, increased civic engagement, challenging volunteer roles, and ultimate enhancement of community social capital.