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Emerging Leaders
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Emerging Leaders

About the program

The Emerging Leaders program offers a select group of St. Louis’ young and talented the opportunity to receive training to develop leadership and management skills. This program provides participants with an increased sense of engagement in the region, as well as the tools to take an active role as the next generation of St. Louis regional leaders. The Emerging Leaders program is open to young professionals ages 22-35.


Emerging Leaders aims to provide young professionals a better understanding of the inner workings of the St. Louis community, an opportunity to develop leadership skills, a chance for personal growth and self-assessment, exposure to volunteer involvements, and a diverse network of peers. As a member of FOCUS St. Louis, program participants get connected to other leadership program alumni and have valuable opportunities to attend FOCUS programs and events.



Structure of the program

Program sessions have topics that include the following:

  • Understanding Self and Leadership: This covers an in-depth analysis of each participant’s personality type, with practical applications for more effective networking, relationship-building, and strengthening leadership skills.

  • Defining Your Personal Brand: Personal Branding is more than you think. This session will cover personal branding, which encompasses your online presence and personality as well as first impressions and behavior in both your personal and professional life. 

  • Civic Minded Leadership.: This topic covers some of the intricacies of St. Louis’ unique landscape, both geographically and politically, and current regional hot topics. Participants will also have a chance to gain strategies for building stronger communities.

  • Developing  Leadership/Executive Presence: This topic introduces how to develop leadership competencies through the lens of emotional intelligence and effective communication.

  • Diversity and Cultural Awareness: This session aims to examine the participant’s assumptions and biases, and ties those ideas back to best organizational practices.

  • Finding your WHY as a Leader: This session will examine values-based leadership and structure for identifying passion and service to others, giving participants an understanding of ways to pursue these aspirations while advancing their career.  



The program is held twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Emerging Leaders consists of six sessions held on Monday (approximately two per month). The sessions are held from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the FOCUS St. Louis office.



Monday, Februrary 5, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018


A graduation program for the 2017-18 classes of Emerging Leaders will be held on April 30, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.



Tuition for Emerging Leaders is $500 and includes a light dinner and parking, as well as a six-month FOCUS St. Louis membership.

How to apply

Applications are now closed for the Spring 2018 class. Stay tuned for the class announcement in mid-January.



For more information

Shalia Ford, Emerging Leaders Director
Email | Tel: (314) 657-4021


Additional Resources

View the Fall 2017 Class 

Download Emerging Leaders Info Sheet

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