PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Do you want to make changes in your neighborhood, or become involved in advocating in your community? The Philadelphia City Planning Institute is taking applications now to help you take that next step.

Applications are being accepted through March 21 for the 7-week program.

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Ariel Diliberto of the Citizens Planning Institute, who graduated from the program, says the goal is to make city government more transparent and benefit communities in the process.

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It costs $100, but scholarships are awarded to all who request them.

“We’ve had citizen planners go on to do amazing things,” she said. “Somebody organized the first clean up of their neighborhood park in 20 years after going through the course. We had someone get a mural painted on the side of a vacant building in their neighborhood as part of a bigger beautification project that they were inspired to do.”

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To learn more about the course, or file an application, go to or call 215-683-4648.