More than 170 neighborhood leaders from throughout the St. Louis region share something in common. They have all participated in the Neighborhood Leadership Academy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis where they learned the skills and built the networks necessary to create livable communities.

Each year the NLA brings together a diverse group of up to 20 current or potential neighborhood leaders for 10 sessions over a four-month period in a hands-on leadership training program that emphasizes community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.

The next series of sessions begin Feb. 14 and are held on select Tuesdays and Saturdays through May 22. Tuesday sessions will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most sessions will be held in 121 J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center at UMSL, 1 University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121), although some sessions will be held at community sites to enhance participants’ learning.

The registration deadline is Feb. 8.

UMSL created the program in 2002 as part of its outreach to the St. Louis community. The program connects resources at the university – the Community Partnership Project, the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program and University Extension – to residents and neighborhoods interested in creating more livable communities.

Participants are actively involved in their neighborhoods and represent communities from throughout the St. Louis region. Academy participants may be municipal elected officials, neighborhood association members, community-based organization staff or resident volunteers. Many have never had any formal training for the community work that they are trying to accomplish.

During the academy, participants share and work on a community improvement project for their neighborhood. Following is a sample of their projects:

• Forming a neighborhood association to encourage more community involvement
• Proposing and implementing a community garden
• Developing a church-based community assets assessment
• Planning and obtaining funding for a neighborhood park
• Raising funds to endow a school-based youth cultural enrichment program

The academy costs $400 per person, which includes all instruction, snacks at evening sessions, continental breakfast at Saturday sessions and parking. A limited number of partial scholarships are available by need.

Visit the Neighborhood Leadership Academy Web page or call 314-516-5994 for more information or to register.

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz

Eye on UMSL: Lunar New Year
Eye on UMSL: Lunar New Year

Freshman civil engineering student Nhat Pham helps junior graphic design major Thanh Ly with his traditional Vietnamese attire during last week’s celebration.

Eye on UMSL: Lunar New Year

Freshman civil engineering student Nhat Pham helps junior graphic design major Thanh Ly with his traditional Vietnamese attire during last week’s celebration.

Eye on UMSL: Lunar New Year

Freshman civil engineering student Nhat Pham helps junior graphic design major Thanh Ly with his traditional Vietnamese attire during last week’s celebration.