University partners

University of Missouri-Saint Louis

Photo: 22 graduates of NLA program

This year’s class of Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) graduates. The NLA is aimed at improving communities by developing leadership skills and implementing community improvement initiatives.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) has worked with MU Extension on the Community Partnership Project (CPP) for the past several years. This year, the CPP transitioned into Creating Whole Communities (CWC), which is UMSL’s new community-building initiative. CWC leverages University of Missouri’s expertise and resources in research, organizational capacity building, leadership development and civic dialogue to serve the St. Louis region.

CWC held a launch event to share its goals and objectives with community building leaders in the St. Louis region. The event drew a crowd of more than 200 university and community partners. The community-building initiative also continued the successful “What’s Brewing?” breakfast series that brought together faculty, community leaders and neighbors from across the region to discuss urban issues and share community revitalization success stories in the St. Louis region.

UMSL faculty worked with MU Extension’s St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project team to develop, manage and expand the project to additional St. Louis neighborhoods. CWC connected MU Extension faculty with social work classes that helped with the project.

The annual Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) awarded the Chancellor’s Certificate in Neighborhood Leadership to 20 leaders from across the St. Louis region. With the skills necessary to develop leadership, implement community improvement initiatives and manage community-building organizations, NLA graduates join a network of more than 200 alumni creating whole communities.

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City works with MU Extension through two primary units, the UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) and the UMKC Innovation Center. These partnerships reach into the community and build the capacity of individuals and organizations. The UMKC Institute for Human Development serves as the primary liaison between MU Extension and UMKC.

Photo: Adult mentor with a high school student in a school gym.

UMKC Urban Mission work focuses on urban youth leadership, communication, education and career development.

The Alianzas program, under the IHD, is now in its 13th year and helps Missouri communities recognize and respond to the unique challenges of Hispanic and Latino residents in Missouri. This year, Alianzas was instrumental in the Greater Kansas City Needs Assessment, which assessed current conditions, assets and needs of the Latino population in the greater Kansas City area. The results are being used to create a road map for policymakers, community organizations, educators, Hispanic families and students in Kansas City and around the state.

Urban Mission represents a matched contribution of UMKC and MU Extension to address pressing issues in Kansas City. The Self-Determination Academy was created to encourage transition-age urban youths to be self-regulating and goal-setting, and to help them develop problem-solving skills to make meaningful decisions about their educational goals.

The UMKC Innovation Center inspires entrepreneurial efforts through a partnership between the university and the community. With several high-impact business outreach programs — such as the Small Business and Technology Development Center, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center and KCSourcelink — the center helped emerging and existing business owners create 336 new jobs and 44 new startups in FY 2014.