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.

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. The program leverages participants’ unique skills, networks, and resources, in collaboration with community organizations and experts, to create a tangible impact in the St. Louis region.

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.

    2022-23: Connecting Systems of Wellness

    Disparities in individual and community health and well-being are determined by systems, and their complex interactions. When a young resident of St. Louis lives in substandard housing it affects their health, which affects their education, which affects their access to opportunity, which correlates with crime and violence, all of which is predicated on politics and policy.

    Our 2022-23 cohort of FOCUS Impact Fellows will use a System Leadership model to explore and address these connections, interactions, and overlap between systems.

    • Healthcare & Community Wellness
    • Employment & Financial Empowerment
    • Justice, Crime & Violence
    • Housing & Infrastructure
    • Education & Youth Engagement
    • Politics & Policy

    After selecting specific areas of focus, the cohort will work in small groups in partnership with community stakeholders to imagine other choices we can make as a region to improve wellness for all.

    What to Expect

    The FOCUS Impact Fellows experience is immersive, hands-on, challenging – and rewarding. As a result, 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
    • Gain significant experience in valuable leadership skills, including systems thinking, change management, critical reasoning, strategic planning, human-centered design, and group dynamics.

    Impact Fellows is a nine-month program, with sessions held 1-2 times a month from September-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 2022-23 cohort!


    How to Apply

    Recruiting is underway for our 2022-23 cohort. Apply today!

    You can also nominate someone you know for the program and we will follow up with them regarding application materials.

    Learn more at our upcoming Informational Session on Dec. 7 – reserve your spot here.

    Stay up-to-date throughout the Impact Fellows recruiting cycle by joining our email list.


    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