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Neighborhood Leadership Academy

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy, created in 2002, connects resources at the University -- Creating Whole Communities and University of Missouri Extension -- with residents and neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area who are interested in improving their communities.

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles and strategies, project planning, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.

Participants are actively involved in their neighborhoods and represent communities from throughout the St. Louis region. Academy participants may be neighborhood association members, community leaders, resident volunteers, community-based organization staff, business owners, local government staff, and municipal elected officials.

Participants who successfully complete the program receive a Certificate in Neighborhood Leadership from the Chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

More than 300 neighborhood and organization leaders from throughout the St. Louis region have participated in the NLA, learning the skills and building the networks necessary to create whole communities. Learn more on our alumni page


What to Expect

Through seminars, discussion, and personal community projects that apply tools and principles, participants will learn:

  • Community building principles and strategies
  • Personal leadership skills
  • Project planning and implementation tools
  • Organizational leadership and management practices

During the NLA, participants share and work on a community improvement projects for their neighborhood. Following is a sample of their projects:

  • Forming a neighborhood association to encourage more community involvement
  • Proposing and implementing a community garden
  • Developing a church-based community assets assessment
  • Planning and obtaining funding for a neighborhood park
  • Raising funds to endow a school-based youth cultural enrichment program