ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Neighborhood Leadership Academy has awarded 20 mini-grants totaling $46,805 to groups across Missouri. The grants, ranging from $380 to $2,500, support neighborhood initiatives including community gardens in schools and parks, neighborhood gatherings to build community and programs to improve the mental and physical health of neighborhood residents.

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) is part of Creating Whole Communities, a collaboration of University of Missouri Extension and University of Missouri–St Louis. The 10-week training program is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and resources to be effective leaders in their communities, says Tasnim Haq, program manager for Creating Whole Communities. The mini-grants fund improvement projects that participants develop during the NLA. Financial support for the mini-grants is provided in part from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

"We are excited to support neighborhood leaders in making their projects become a reality, creating positive change at the grassroots level, and, ultimately, building the communities that they envision for themselves,” Haq says.

NLA focuses on bringing together neighborhood leaders from across the state of Missouri to learn the skills and build the networks necessary to create healthy, vibrant and whole communities, she says. For more information, visit

Registration for the 2023 NLA opens this summer.

Winners of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy mini-grants:

Brooke AliSchool Tower GardensSt. Louis City
Brittnee BellCommunity GardeningSt. Louis County
Justin ColeHIV Resource FairSt. Louis County
Fannta DrummerCommunity Farm/OrchardSt. Louis City
April GerltNW Independence Block Party Jackson County
Monica Groves Empower Hour St. Louis City
David HultsIntroducing the Musaeum LibrarySt. Louis City
FeliceSkye HutchinsonWellston History PodcastSt. Louis County
Jayne JacksonCornerstone CenterSt. Louis City
Christina KanakElder Care Pilot ProgramJohnson County
Susan LileyFloodplain Management PlanJefferson County
Robin Lovings BrownOld North St. Louis CleanupSt. Louis City
Shari McCallisterGood Neighbor Day Texas County
Pamela NealHillsdale Demolition ProjectSt. Louis County
Libet OjedaIndependence PAL ProgramJackson County
Terry PhelpsSalem Farmers’ Market  Dent County
Marcieta ReedCity of Vinita Park GardenSt. Louis County
Tasha SkoubyCommunity Fitness ClassesFranklin County
Jennifer WhittakerCOVID-19 and Youth DepressionSt. Louis City
Tangela Williams-SpannStitched Together Crochet ClubBelleville

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