2020-21 Program Projects

Impact Fellows

The 2020-21 cohort of FOCUS Impact Fellows brought together 19 leaders to explore "St. Louis: The New Normal," with the goal of capturing the lessons our region has learned over the past year and carrying on the collaborative spirit to ensure our community works for everyone. The 10-month program challenged cohort members to leverage their unique skills, networks, and resources, in collaboration with community organizations and experts, to create a tangible impact in the St. Louis region.

The cohort selected to focus their efforts on the issues of Youth & Violence, Food Injustice, and Government Reform, resulting in three project initiatives. Check out the project presentations below.

Food Justice + EVOLVE


Project Pop-Up Toolkit

Emerging Leaders

Civic Action Projects (CAP) are a key element of our Emerging Leaders curriculum, providing participants with the opportunity to work directly with community partners to address challenges facing our region and apply the leadership skills they’re developing in the program. Interested in hosting a project through your civic/community organization? Learn more here.

Spring 2021
  1. Break the School to Prison Pipeline - ACLU of Missouri
    Raising awareness and education of the school to prison pipeline statewide in Missouri.
  2. Healthy Food Access in North County - A Red Circle
    Research-based project supporting efforts to reduce food insecurity in North County through data mapping and charting.
  3. Community Design Apprenticeship Program - Creative Reaction Lab
    Addressing the impact of gun violence on community mental health and trauma in the targeted neighborhoods of Riverview Gardens, Moline Acres and Bellefontaine Neighbors.
  4. Close the Gap - Fairstart
    A community-based research project with the goal of developing a process to identify success factors in underserved candidates and removing bias to personal barriers and culture/background.
  5. Independent Study (iCAP) - FOCUS St. Louis
    Participants had the opportunity to design an independent “passion project” on a cause they were most drawn to.
  6. Alice in Wonderland - St. Louis Fringe
    Creating opportunities for the arts sector to return to safe and accessible performances in St. Louis.
Fall 2020
  1. Cultivate Community Initiative - BRAND Foundation
    Addressing the need for more innovative, collaborative, and sustainable solutions to help close racial equity gaps in the St. Louis entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  2. Young Men United Initiative - United Way of Greater St. Louis
    Building a framework of support for young men of color to increase post-secondary attainment and workforce preparedness.
  3. Leadership Legacy Project - FOCUS St. Louis
    Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of FOCUS St. Louis by archiving the leadership stories of past program participants.
  4. Explore St. Louis - FOCUS St. Louis
    Asset-mapping a community in the St. Louis region to discover its special configuration and character that distinguishes it and makes it unique.
  5. Independent Study (iCAP) - FOCUS St. Louis
    Participants had the opportunity to design an independent “passion project” on a cause they were most drawn to.