Leadership Programs

FOCUS Impact Fellows

Launched in 2016, the FOCUS Impact Fellows program brings together experienced leaders from across St. Louis’ business, public and nonprofit sectors to make an impact on social issues in the region. They work in radical collaboration with community organizations and experts to facilitate evidence-based project-driven innovation and change-making. Each class includes up to 15-25 Fellows and impacts thousands who are served by the community partner organizations.

Our 2019-20 cohort will tackle workforce development with an emphasis on employment as an off-ramp from the pipeline to prison. They will collaboratively address some of the most urgent project needs identified by partner community organizations. Upstream project proposals will focus on youth unemployment, justice-vulnerable populations like African American males 18-25, women, particularly women of color, and populations subject to the social determinants of justice involvement. Downstream projects will focus on re-entry populations using the latest evidence-based approaches including wrap-around services and employer based approaches.

Impact Fellows will spend their first five months diving deep into the regional workforce development ecosystem through a racial equity lens, with unparalleled access to regional experts, agencies and organizations. The second five months will see the cohort complete a self-selected project in collaboration with those regional experts, moving the needle on workforce realities that affect our most vulnerable St. Louisans.

Who Should Apply

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

As Impact Fellows represents FOCUS’ most advanced training program, previous leadership training and/or experience is required. Previous completion of a FOCUS leadership program is highly recommended. 

Like all of our leadership programs, Impact Fellows welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, industries and sectors. Previous experience or in-depth knowledge of the selected topic is not required. 

What to Expect

The FOCUS Impact Fellows experience is immersive, hands-on and challenging. You’ll first take a deep dive into an issue facing our region. Then, you’ll work alongside your peers to design and implement a sustainable project to make a meaningful impact.  FOCUS Impact Fellows is a 10-month program, with sessions held 1-2 times a month from August to May. You’ll also spend time outside of program days for individual and group work on the project(s).   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.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Sign up to be notified when applications open for our next cohort.

Sign Up

How to Apply

Applications are closed for the 2019-20 cohort – meet this year’s cohort!

Submit a nomination for a future cohort, or sign up to be notified when applications open for the 2020-21 class.


Tuition for FOCUS Impact Fellows is $3,500 and includes meals and parking for program days, materials, training and 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.


For More Information

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

Stefania Hoffman
Recruiting Manager
tel: (314) 657-4024
Email Stefania