Leadership St. Louis
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you may apply directly to the program. Regardless of whether you’re nominated or not, you will need to submit two recommendations, including one from your employer. The recommendation form template will be sent to you after completing your application (or after being nominated.)
During the program, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the St. Louis region by exploring the issues, institutions and systems shaping it. You’ll also benefit from unparalleled access to community leaders and forge lasting connections with your cohort.
The Leadership St. Louis program is designed to challenge your thinking, expose you to new ideas and perspectives and promote discussion, reflection and action. Many graduates describe the experience as “transformational,” arming you with the tools, resources and connections to lead more effectively in your personal, professional and civic life.
Leadership St. Louis seeks high potential and established leaders who demonstrate high standards of personal integrity, the ability to set and attain goals, a record of achievement in community activities, a desire to increase community involvement, and the commitment of time necessary to complete the program. The program also strives to ensure that classes represent the broad diversity of the community.
In addition to the application and two recommendations, each applicant will participate in two interviews with Leadership St. Louis alumni. Final decisions regarding the class will made by the Selection Committee, which includes program alumni and staff.
- Welcome reception & orientation
- Program roster
- Overnight stay (double occupancy) for the Opening and Closing Retreats
- Meals, snacks and beverages during all program days
- All program materials
- 130+ training hours
- One-year membership in FOCUS St. Louis
Participants are responsible for additional fees such as parking, travel and incidentals.
The Leadership St. Louis program usually meets for full-day sessions on Friday and Saturday each month from September to May. Opening and closing sessions are both overnight retreats.
Applicants must be able to attend all sessions (barring emergencies) to be eligible for participation in the Leadership St. Louis program. Relevant readings are provided prior to each program day.
Each year, the Leadership St. Louis curriculum is reviewed to remain relevant, timely and meaningful for participants. Typical issues and topics include:
- Economic development
- Racial justice & equity
- Local government
- Criminal justice
- Health care
- State government
- Arts & culture
- Quality of life
- Civic leadership in action
Program days include a mix of site visits, exclusive tours, interviews with regional leaders, interactive exercises, small- and large-group discussion and reflection activities.
Upon graduation, you’ll become part of an extensive network of FOCUS program alumni across the St. Louis region (and around the country). FOCUS alumni events are held throughout the year, including alumni dinners, networking opportunities, educational programs and volunteer opportunities. You can also stay engaged by becoming a member of FOCUS St. Louis.
“Leadership St Louis is the most transformative way to inform, challenge and reset your thoughts about engagement in the St Louis region (and beyond), then connect you with the most diverse set of others, all on a mission to turn passion into progress.”
Leadership St. Louis 2016-17