Community Development programs
How does the MU Community Development Program Impact Missouri?
2009 Annual Report (PDF)
Community Development - University of Missouri
House resolution recognizes Extension volunteers
Carole Bainbridge is congratulated for her service to the Montgomery County Extension Council by Rep. Mike Sutherland.
The Missouri House of Representatives recognized
two University of Missouri Extension volunteers with a resolution during the
Montgomery County Extension Council annual dinner, Monday, Feb. 20, in
Montgomery City. Rep. Mike Sutherland (R-Warrenton) honored Carole Bainbridge
and John Noltensmeyer for their service. Bainbridge helped organize the county’s
Experience in Community Enterprise and Leadership (EXCEL) program, which is
responsible for developing a trained cadre of volunteer leaders in the
community. Noltensmeyer represents the Montgomery County commission on the
extension council. Through his active participation, he has helped connect
extension resources to other agencies and organizations. Both volunteers also
encouraged the development of new-generation, farmer-owned co-ops, which benefit
the people of the county.
(Source: UM Legislative Update, March 3, 2006)
Community success tied to its leadership capacity
The future of a community is closely tied to building a critical mass of community leaders for the future. Fostering new leadership voices among youth, elderly, new immigrants and low-income is essential to the future success of communities. The seven pillars of a healthy community include practicing ongoing dialogue; generating leadership; shaping its future; embracing diversity; knowing itself; connecting people and resources; and creating a sense of community (Association for Healthy Cities and Communities).
Over the past 22 years, the 7,190 participants from twp-thirds of Missouri’s counties in the EXperience in Community Enterprise and Leadership (EXCEL) program are actively engaging in local, regional, and state roles to benefit their communities. The fastest growing aspect is the development of specific community youth leadership development programs, with 34 counties having offered the Youth EXCEL.
Evaluation of participants of the EXCEL programs continues to indicate that participation has resulted in personal growth and self-efficacy, community commitment, a shared future and purpose for the community, community knowledge, and civic engagement.
2004 Leadership Northwest Missouri graduates worked to correct income guidelines established by 2000 Census that excluded all of Northwest Missouri from eligibility Rural Development funds with the result that almost all of the counties and many communities now qualify for Rural Development funds.
The Leadership RAP for At-Risk Youth program has been conducted since 1992 at the Robert L. Perry Juvenile Justice Center in Boone County with 537 graduates. In 2005, 17 juveniles participated in the program. A study recently conducted revealed that 28% fewer participants were referred back to law enforcement agencies following their release from JJC than were similarly referred from an equal number of other JJC residents randomly selected for the same time period. A program participant summed up feeling about the Leadership RAP program, “It was one of the best things that happened to me.”
As a result of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy in St. Louis, the Old North Neighborhood Partnership served as an effective vehicle to connect the university and the community, engage faculty and students in applied research and community-based learning projects, and facilitate positive changes in an urban neighborhood.
Step-Up to Leadership! participant Mary Brown of Florissant Missouri, organized a home weatherization project for elderly residents, using supplies donated by the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging and volunteers from her church. “Step-Up to Leadership! Has really pushed me to a lot of places,” she said. “I feel like I’m being launched.” Brown is among the first graduates of the leadership program, piloted with Community Action Agencies in St. Louis Count and City, and central Missouri.