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Impact Fellows Program
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Each year, more than 350 individuals graduate from FOCUS' seven civic leadership training programs. The most common question upon completion is "What's next?"


FOCUS-trained leaders go on to make a difference in our region: launching and running businesses; starting and leading nonprofits; running for elected office; serving on boards and committees; committing to public service; training other leaders; and so much more. Each day, we see FOCUS-trained leaders at work, using their skills, experience and network to make positive changes in our community.


FOCUS St. Louis is pleased to offer one more exciting way that graduates can put their leadership into action. The FOCUS Impact Fellows program launched in 2016, offering emerging and experienced leaders the opportunity to work together to address a specific issue in the St. Louis region. 


Meet the Inaugural Class of FOCUS Impact Fellows


About the program

While each of the FOCUS leadership programs exposes participants to a wide range of issues in the region, Impact Fellows is unique in its focus and application of leadership skills. Individuals selected for the program will gain a deeper level of understanding of the selected community issue, meet and work with the area's top experts and key players, and apply leadership competencies and innovative thinking to move the issue forward. 


In addition to producing a tangible outcome, project and/or solution, participants will gain considerable training and experience in change management, problem-solving, group dynamics, systems thinking and project management. 


While the FOCUS Impact Fellows program is new for the St. Louis region, similar programs in other cities have had significant success in facilitating positive and sustainable change on issues ranging from economic development to health to education.


This is a one-of-a-kind experience to work alongside your fellow leaders to produce real and meaningful change.


who should apply?

As Impact Fellows represents the most advanced FOCUS' training program, previous leadership training and/or experience is required, and completion of a FOCUS leadership program is highly recommended. If you are new to FOCUS, two letters of recommendation will be required. (This requirement is waived for FOCUS graduates.)

As the goal of FOCUS Impact Fellows is to bring new faces, perspectives and skill sets to a community issue, previous experience or in-depth knowledge of the selected topic is not a requirement for application and/or participation.




The program consists of 12 full-day sessions. Attendance at program days is mandatory and includes time for both training and skill development, as well as working time on the selected class project(s). Program days are held at the FOCUS St. Louis office downtown and at locations around the region, as dictated by the needs and focus of the selected project.


View 2017 Program Schedule.


Additionally, please plan to spend time outside of the program days for individual and group work. The amount of time will vary depending on the project selected, but could include conference calls, small group meetings or research, as determined by the class. 



The tuition for the 2017 FOCUS Impact Fellows program is $3,500, which includes meals, parking, materials and training. Tuition may be paid by the individual participant, participant's employer, another organization or some combination thereof. A limited amount of tuition assistance may be available to those with financial need, but no full scholarships will be provided. 


apply To Be an impact fellow

We're now accepting applications for the 2017-18 class of FOCUS Impact Fellows, which will be focusing on the issue of health in our region. Exact topic and project(s) to be determined by the class. Applications close on June 30, 2017.






The inaugural class of FOCUS Impact Fellows used the Ferguson Commission report as a guidepost and framework for their work, tackling three separate calls to action.


Visit the 2016 Impact Fellows website for more details on their projects and outcomes, along with ways you can get involved in this work.



Wally Siewert, FOCUS Impact Fellows Director
Email | Tel: (314) 657-4026


 Program Supporters



William T. Kemper Foundation


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