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Leadership Programs
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Leadership for a thriving St. Louis Region

FOCUS offers a continuum of leadership programs to engage leaders from high school students to senior executives. Program alumni have been inspired to launch new nonprofit agencies, start businesses, and run for political offices. They serve on hundreds of boards and provide thousands of hours of volunteer service. FOCUS alumni are leaders who make a difference.


Youth Leadership St. Louis (YLSL)

Since 1989, YLSL has brought together high school juniors from public, private, and parochial schools for an entire school year. The program allows participants to develop leadership, strength of character, and team-building skills. Teacher-liaisons also have the opportunity to receive specialized training.


Coro™ Fellows Program in Public Affairs

Since 1972, this intense, nine-month, full-time professional development program has combined exposure to nonprofit, government, business, labor, and electoral politics with rigorous, hands-on training. It is an experiential learning program that provides training in critical thinking, communication, and project management. Meet the 2016-17 class of St. Louis Coro Fellows.


Emerging Leaders

In 2012, the Emerging Leaders program launched to offer young professionals the chance to develop leadership skills, define their personal brand, determine which causes or issues most energize them, and discover how to leverage their strengths to benefit the community.  Apply now for the Spring 2017 class.


Coro™ Women In Leadership (WIL)

Since 1981, this five-month, part-time training program has given women the opportunity to refine their leadership competencies, learn about the community, and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds who care about community issues.  Apply now for the Spring 2017 class.


Leadership St. Louis® (LSL)

Since 1976, LSL has been considered St. Louis' flagship leadership program. This highly selective program brings together a diverse group of emerging and existing leaders who demonstrate a deep commitment to improving the region. The program runs two days per month for nine months, and employs experiential learning and community immersion. It connects leaders who form life-long relationships and serve as catalysts for a stronger community. Meet the 2016-17 class.


Experience St. Louis (ESL)

Since 1984, FOCUS has partnered with the Regional Chamber and Growth Association to offer this regional orientation program. The program is for executives and their spouses or partners who are new to the community, as well as others recently promoted to senior-level positions who would benefit from a greater knowledge of the region. Meeting five times over a four-week period, ESL participants can quickly establish roots and learn to navigate the community's civic landscape. Apply now for the Fall 2016 class.


Diversity Leadership Fellowship (DLF)

Launched in 2014, the DLF program aims to develop a community of leaders who guide their organizations and community in creating a truly inclusive and prosperous community to live, learn, work and play. This program is held over the course of three days each spring and is open to FOCUS alumni and others in the community who are interested in issues of diversity, inclusion and equity. Apply now for the 2017 class.


FOCUS Impact fellows

New for 2016, FOCUS Impact Fellows represents the most advanced FOCUS training program, offering experienced leaders the opportunity to work together to address a specific issue in the St. Louis region. In addition to producing a tangible outcome, project and/or solution, participants will gain considerable training and experience in change management, problem-solving, group dynamics, systems thinking and project management over the 10-month program. Meet the inaugural 2016 class.


Alumni Network

FOCUS now offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year to help keep program alumni connected with one another and engaged in the decisions that affect the community. Join us for a series of events, learning opportunities and alumni dinners to stay connected and get involved in important issues.

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