Frequently Asked Questions
Leadership Program FAQs
Civic-minded. We are building leadership capacity for the St. Louis region. In each of our programs, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the civic and social issues facing the St. Louis community and the impact you can have through your personal, professional and community leadership.
Collaborative. Leadership doesn’t happen in isolation. In our programs, you’ll connect with fellow leaders from across the region, drawing from different sectors, industries and backgrounds. One of our greatest strengths is the diversity of our program classes and alumni network. Participants form lifelong and life-changing relationships in our programs.
Interactive and experiential. In our programs, you are an active participant, learning through exploration, inquiry, interaction and action. Most of our program days take place at sites around our region to connect you to the issues, ideas, institutions and individuals shaping our civic landscape.
Yes! We offer a continuum of programs to meet people where they are in their leadership journeys.
For example, the Emerging Leaders program is a great entry point for those in the early stages of their career.
And our FOCUS Impact Fellows program offers a unique experience for program alumni to put into action what they’ve learned.
But you can also jump in at any point! For example, our Experience St. Louis program is designed for senior-level executives who are new to the region.
While multiple team members are welcome to apply, most of our programs have a competitive admission process. We also strive to maintain the diversity of our classes, bringing together participants from across sectors, industries, organizations and backgrounds who might not otherwise meet.
If you’re looking to provide leadership or civic issues education to a team or department within your organization, check out our custom programming options.
Program tuition is frequently paid in part or full by a participant’s employer.
In cases where this is not feasible, partial scholarships are available for each of our programs based on financial need. Through the generous support of our donors and corporate/foundation partners, FOCUS was able to provide more than $75,000 in scholarships last year.
Employers who support employees through their FOCUS St. Louis experience receive tremendous return on their investment.
FOCUS alumni are stronger, more confident leaders who are:
- Skilled in working with diverse teams
- Connected to the broader community and equipped to reach across sectors to gather resources and learn new approaches to problem solving
- Able to ask compelling questions that help them and others think differently about challenges and opportunities
- Collaborative in their approach and seeking to understand the perspectives of other stakeholders.
In addition, participants report deeper levels of connection to the St. Louis region and a greater responsibility for its success.
FOCUS St. Louis was created in July 1996 through the merger of two of the region’s strongest and most influential nonprofit organizations – The Leadership Center of Greater St. Louis and Confluence St. Louis. In 2011, FOCUS became a Coro Center and continues to host the Coro™ Women In Leadership program.
You can show your support for future classes in a number of ways!
- Tell others about your experience or nominate a colleague or employee. Alumni are our biggest source of referrals and recommendations for our programs.
- Make a gift to one of our program funds, or support FOCUS through your annual membership.
- Many of our programs rely on alumni to help read applications and/or interview candidates for future classes. Contact your program director for more details.
- Attend FOCUS alumni and civic engagement events. These are a great opportunity to connect with alumni across programs and years. Check out our calendar.
“YLSL opened my eyes to St. Louis’ problems and beauty. I learned so much about my St. Louis community and my own leadership capabilities through the program.”
Mary Ren Moench
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri
Youth Leadership St. Louis 2015-16