Program Overview

The program begins with an overnight retreat in September and continues one Thursday per month, October to May, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Below is a sampling of what the curriculum has included.

Opening Retreat

In the overnight retreat you will get to know one another and learn more about the program. Past sessions have included:

Q&A with the City Manager.

Tour of Worcester Historical Museum with Executive Director William Wallace

Guided city bus tour with the Chamber of Commerce and Regional Research Bureau

Class of 2018 at Rice Square School

K-12 Education

Get prepared with a clear overview of the Worcester Public Schools’ opportunities and challenges. Past sessions have included:

Tour some of our public schools: Worcester Technical High School, Burncoat, Rice Square, Belmont Community, City View and more!

Hear from leaders, policy experts and parents on how the design of the new strategic plan

Learn what it takes to balance the Worcester Public Schools budget with Brian Allen, CFO

Participate in the Principal for a Day program

Perceptions of Safety

Learn more about the work being done to ensure a safety net that works for all of us. Past sessions have included:

Q&A with Worcester’s Chief of Police  Steven Sargent

Conversation with the  Worcester County House of Corrections

Eat lunch with Cafe Reyes!

Learn about neighborhood development and public space activation at the Main South CDC

Hear from community leaders like Nicole Bell from LIFT, Ron Waddell from Legendary Legacies and more

Class of 2019 participants at the Worcester Police Department
Class of 2019 inside City Hall


All government is local. Learn how local, state and federal all connect in Worcester against the backdrop of beautiful, historical locations. Past sessions have included:

Q&A with Kathleen Polanowicz from the Office of Congressman McGovern

Conversation with Senator Harriett Chandler

Historical tour of City Hall with City Councilor Moe Bergman

Tour the U.S. District Court

Economic Development

What is economic development? Learn more about the history and future of Worcester’s diverse industries and how we are working to grow economic prosperity for all. Past sessions have included:

A slew of entrepreneurs, featuring Paul Wengender, CEO of Greater Good Brewing Co., Ryan Canuel of Petricore Inc, Steve Rothschild of Ivy Corset and Stacey Chin of Hydroglyde

Tour Table Talk Pies with President Harry Kokkinis 

Mass Biomedical Initiative

Bo Menkiti, CEO of The Menkiti Group

Arts & Culture

What’s current and exciting? What are the possibilities? How do we support our creative community? Past sessions have included:

Tours of  American Antiquarian Society, Sprinkler Factory, Technocopia, and Acoustic Java Roastery

Hear from City’s Cultural Development Office & Discover Central MA

Jessica Walsh, Owner of Worcester Wares, Worcester Walls

Creating space for creative community with Creative Hub, Pride Worcester, Poet’s Cauldren and more

Public Health

“If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything”.   Examine the ways in which we are improving access and addressing socio-economic determinants of health. Past sessions have included:

Panel of health experts including David Seltz, Dr. Eric Dickson, Richard Burke and Abigail Averbach

City perspectives with Dr. Mattie Castiel, Dr. Sarai Rivera, David Fort and Dr. Laurie Ross

Tours of Family Health Center and House of Corrections

Class of 2016 group discussion
Class of 2016 group discussion

Urban Sustainability

What are the assets and challenges of our urban environment? How are we working to offer a sound quality of life rooted in sustainable infastructure? Past sessions have included:

Tour of waterways from the reservoir barn and water filtration plant to the underground waterways

Explore sustainable transportation with Walk Bike Worcester, Worcester Regional Transit Authority and more

Tours of our community’s expansive green spaces like Beaver Brook Park, Newton Hill and Green Hill Park

Behind the scenes tour at the EcoTarium

Stand on top of the municipal solar farm and hear about the Green Worcester Plan

Food Insecurity

What are some systemic issues getting in the way of equitable access to food? Learn about food deserts and anti-hunger policy. Past sessions have included:

Tour of the Worcester County Food Bank, REC gardens

Conversations about grassroots efforts from community members