Developing leaders and community capacity

photo: participants engage in a group activity to learn collaboration concepts Community Development Academy


Evaluation research shows MU Extension Community Leadership Development programs produce engaged, new and diverse rural and urban leaders.

  • On average, each local program conducted in the last three to five years resulted in 10 community projects.
  • Last year, MU Extension played a pivotal role in the development and delivery of 28 community leadership development programs.
  • More than 400 participants in programs reported taking on new leadership roles.

Within three months of graduation, St. Louis Neighborhood Leadership Academy participants have shared updates on their community projects, demonstrating their successful application of learning by engaging others, forming a new organization, creating budgets and forming collaborations and coalitions.

In Saline County, the SALT leadership program fellows are doing remarkable things — including the hiring a new director of the Chamber of Commerce, moving from being a couch potatoes to running 5Ks and half marathons, starting a community development corporation for minorities, planning a Bob Jones jazz festival for Saline County, getting reconnected with a spouse and six children, weathering an illness with unflagging optimism and strength, and more.