Section Progress:

Find a great coalition leader

The leader could be you, or it could be someone you assist. It should be the person best suited to lead the group. This person should be organized, work well with others, and be committed to child passenger safety.

An effective leader has many of these qualities:
  • Knows the community well
  • Strong role model
  • Trusted and respected by many in the tribal community
  • Communicates well
  • Self-motivated
  • Stays organized
  • Ream player
  • Open-minded
  • Aware of different learning styles
  • Listens to others
  • Respectful of others
  • Realizes their role is not the most important
  • Relates well with others
  • Has enough time to commit to the cause
  • Can manage everyone’s passions and skills

In addition, in our experience, it really helps if the leader is a certified child passenger safety technician (CPS Tech). This certification lends a great deal of credibility to the coalition leaders’ ideas, and it also enables them to provide the most up-to-date information and share it with others.  For more information on becoming a certified child passenger safety technician, visit Module 7 – Provide Child Passenger Restraint Education.

Kootsie’s story, below, can give you a good example of the type of person that may be able to help lead your coalition.  There are many different kinds of leaders, and in your community, it is important to find the person that can best bring people together.

Alice “Kootsie” Cunial, Community Health Representative, Head Start Teacher (Klamath Tribes)
Kootsie’s Story: A Coalition Leader in Action

This is Kootsie.  She is the Native CARS Site Coordinator and a leader that helped develop the coalition for child passenger safety in Klamath.  She is a Head Start Teacher, who has provided guidance in early childhood to two generations of Klamath children.  She cares deeply about child safety and knows many, many parents.   Because she is a caregiver, she is trusted by the community, and as a teacher, she is a natural leader, who listens and is aware of different learning styles.  She is also a Community Health Representative, and she got certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician.  In addition to helping to develop the coalition in Klamath, Kootsie lead community events, provided training, and oversaw mural production and completion of media PSAs. In Klamath, she often travelled to the outlying areas. Because she went beyond the central areas of Klamath Falls and Chiloquin, into rural areas, she was able to distribute flyers and posters throughout these locations, serving as a good link to the outlying area population.  Her knowledge of the whole local population really made a difference in how many people were reached and who joined the coalition.

The next section will help you recruit great coalition members.