Leadership Programs

FOCUS Impact Fellows

Launched in 2016 as the next level of “hands-on” leadership development, the FOCUS Impact Fellows program is designed for participants to learn while doing. They will have the opportunity to:

  • Identify the personal and organizational values that drive them as leaders
  • Learn from successful executive regional leadership on strategically aligning values and vision
  • Immerse themselves in an innovative project-based change-making curriculum
  • Share a compelling vision for the future that drives action with their community or organization.

The Impact Fellows program has distinguished itself among leadership programs by combining a project-based curriculum creating real-world impact with a core concentration on racial equity. Past cohorts have participated in projects that have now leveraged more than $2.5 million in grant funding for our community partners. Running August 2021-May 2022, the program will leverage participants’ unique skills, networks, and resources, in collaboration with community organizations and experts, to create a tangible impact in the St. Louis region.

This Year: Executive Strategy & Regional Leadership

In the past year global, national, and local events have underscored the importance of effective and adaptive executive strategy in response to community-wide challenges. Successful executive leadership is much more than a skillset or job title — it is about creative innovation, collaborative bravery, and driving positive transformation through both inspiration and implementation. This region shares a collective fate, and this cohort of fellows will explore how those shared outcomes are connected to executive strategy in every part of the community.

The 2021 FOCUS Impact Fellows will provide a cohort of lifelong learners an opportunity to enhance their leadership and technical skills while engaging in project-based, high-intensity, cross-sector project-based collaborations. We believe that an engaged and networked community can catalyze real change.

Who Should Apply

If you are an experienced leader looking for meaningful civic engagement on issues critical to our region, you may be a great fit for Impact Fellows.

We seek:

  • Established leaders with an interest in changing the definition of “business as usual” in St. Louis
  • Energetic visionaries with a desire to bring about meaningful change in our region that positively affects ALL in our community.
  • Community partner organizations who are ready to tap the energy of the next cohort on a specific issue or project to make an impact in St. Louis.

    What to Expect

    Participants will have the opportunity to make a significant difference while learning advanced strategic change management skills alongside regional leadership, and through a racial equity lens. You will:

    • Gain experience as a community leader providing solutions for tough civic challenges
    • Benefit from the opportunity to meet and work with the area’s top experts and key decision-makers
    • Learn new leadership techniques by collaborating in novel settings toward shared goals.

    The FOCUS Impact Fellows experience is immersive, hands-on, challenging – and rewarding. You’ll spend the first half of the program taking a deep dive into the issue, with unparalleled access to regional experts, agencies and organizations. Then, you’ll work alongside your peers to design and implement a sustainable project to address the issue in collaboration with area partners and make a meaningful impact. In addition to the knowledge gained, projects developed and networks built, you’ll gain considerable training and experience in change management, problem-solving, systems thinking, group dynamics and project management.

    FOCUS Impact Fellows is 10-month program, with sessions held 1-2 times a month from August-May. You’ll also spend time outside of program days for individual and group work on the project(s).

    Ready to Take the Next Step?

    Apply to be part of our 2021-22 cohort of FOCUS Impact Fellows!


    How to Apply

    Applications are now open for our 2021-22 cohort of FOCUS Impact Fellows!

    You can also nominate someone you know for the program.


    Tuition for FOCUS Impact Fellows is $3,500 and includes a one-year FOCUS St. Louis membership.

    Tuition is often covered in part or full by the participant’s employer. Partial scholarship assistance is available to those with demonstrated financial need. Scholarship application details will be provided to those selected for the cohort.


    For More Information

    Wally Siewert, Ph.D.
    FOCUS Impact Fellows Director
    tel: (314) 657-4026
    Email Wally