EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The City of El Paso Department of Community and Human Development is celebrating residents who completed the 16th annual Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) by hosting a graduation ceremony.

This year, 45 participants graduated from the academy at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 at the Center for Civic Empowerment, Blue Flame Building located at 304 Texas Avenue.

The residents who participated in the NLA gained “in-depth knowledge of how their city government works,” according to a release sent by the city.

The city says “participants received first-hand information about city services and programs through comprehensive presentations from city department leaders and on-site field trips to various public facilities.”

Over 560 residents have graduated from the NLA since the program’s inception in 2007.

The city adds participants who graduate from the NLA have gone on to serve on city boards, city committees, establish their own neighborhood associations and some have even been elected to serve as city council members.

To learn more about the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, call (915) 212-1680, (915) 212-1681 or visit here.