Since 1976, Leadership St. Louis has been bringing together professionals from across the region to broaden and deepen their civic leadership capabilities. This flagship program continues to grow and adapt in order to expose participants to the critical issues in our region and connect them with key leaders and inspire them to work toward positive community change.

Over the course of 18 program days, as well as additional tours, experiences and interviews arranged by class participants, the 2015-16 class explored issues ranging from education and criminal justice to immigration and healthcare.

This year's class joins more than 2,200 LSL alumni, the majority of whom still live and work in the region. 

"I cherish the personal and professional connections made through LSL, and am already working on utilizing these connections to help facilitate more impactful change in our community."

-- Arindam Kar, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP

"It has been a transformative, eye-opening experience for me and has helped me find my purpose."

-- Suzanne Sierra Sewell, Owner,
Sierra Public Relations


“Youth Leadership St. Louis opened my eyes to St. Louis’ problems and beauty. I learned so much about my community and my own leadership capabilities through the program.”

-- Mary Ren Moench,
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

"The Coro Fellows program allowed me to engage in the community through hands-on learning that I do not believe I would have received elsewhere. It provided unparalleled access to community and civic leaders, allowing me to hear how people were making an impact in their careers and lives."

-- Ryan Halvorsen,
Management Consulting Analyst, Accenture


FOCUS' continuum of eight leadership programs meets participants where they are, from high school juniors to senior executives. This year, 365 leaders graduated from one of our programs, taking with them new perspectives, deeper understanding and broader connections.

In a recent survey, 75% of alumni said they used the knowledge, experiences and relationships gained in their FOCUS program on a daily or frequent basis. 

But we know the real work happens when participants graduate and take their experience out into the world. Moving forward, one of FOCUS' strategic goals is to more fully capture, measure and evaluate the impact that the FOCUS experience has on participants' personal, professional and civic leadership following graduation.

Click here for more details on each of our leadership programs. 




We realize not everyone can go through a FOCUS program. To meet the ever-growing training needs of organizations in our region, FOCUS offers a wide variety of customized programs, offered on a one-time or ongoing basis.

These customized programs allow us to reach new audiences and expose more individuals in our community to the FOCUS leadership experience. Click here to view some of the organizations we provided customized training for in 2015-16.


“The program really made me think in a very productive way about the kind of leader I am and the kind of leader I strive to be, in the classroom, in my department and in the university at large.”

-- Katie Poole-Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Art & Design, SIUE, Participant in SIUE Summer Leadership Academy