Leadership Programs

Emerging Leaders

Designed for early-career professionals, the Emerging Leaders program offers the opportunity to strengthen your personal, professional and civic leadership skills, gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the St. Louis region and build connections with a diverse network of peers.

You'll leave the program 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 civic and professional leaders.

Who Should Apply

If you're an early-career professional who wants to gain a better understanding of yourself as a leader, of the St. Louis region and how you can get involved to make our community stronger, you may be a great fit for Emerging Leaders.

Like all FOCUS leadership programs, Emerging Leaders welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, industries and sectors.

What to Expect

The four-month program is held each spring and fall. Led by FOCUS' experienced facilitators, subject-matter experts and regional leaders, the program includes:

  • An opening retreat
  • Seminar days, including half-day and full-day sessions
  • Civic Action Project (small group peer learning experience)
  • FOCUS Now, an all-program graduation/networking event
  • Complimentary FOCUS membership during your time in the program

Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to explore your leadership style, examine regional issues from different perspectives, strengthen your communication skills, and build lasting connections with other leaders.

Upon graduation, you'll also become part of the network of more than 11,000 FOCUS program alumni.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Apply to be part of our Fall 2024 cohort.


How To Apply

Recruiting is now underway for the Fall 2024 cohort of Emerging Leaders. Applications are due by Monday, June 10, 2024.

You can also nominate someone you know for the program and we'll contact them when applications open..

Sign up here to be notified when recruiting begins for the next cohort.


Tuition for the Fall 2024 cohort Emerging Leaders is $1,000. Tuition is often covered in part or full by the participant's employer. Partial scholarship assistance is available to those with demonstrated financial need.

Thank you to the following partners for their support!

Scholarship application details will be provided upon acceptance into the program.


For More Information

Kayla Dix
tel: (314) 657-4020
Email Kayla

Host a Civic Action Project

Civic Action Projects are a key element of the Emerging Leaders program, with participants working in small groups in collaboration with community partners. If your organization would be interested in hosting a Civic Action Project, click here to learn more and submit a proposal.

Featured Alumni Profiles
Jake Banton, EL alum