Neighborhood Leadership Academy | UMSL

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Neighborhood Leadership Academy


The Neighborhood Leadership Academy connects resources at the University - Creating Whole Communities and University of Missouri Extension - with neighborhood leaders from across the state of Missouri to learn together through a virtual project-based curriculum, developing the skills and building the networks necessary to create healthy, vibrant and whole communities.

The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) provides in-depth and multifaceted leadership training that emphasizes community building principles and strategies, project planning, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills.

Participants are actively involved in their neighborhoods and represent communities throughout Missouri. Academy participants may be neighborhood association members, community leaders, resident volunteers, community-based organization staff, business owners, local government staff, and municipal elected officials.

Participants in the St. Louis cohort who successfully complete the program will  receive a Certificate in Neighborhood Leadership from the Chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Continuing Education Units are also available. 

More than 300 neighborhood and organization leaders have participated in NLA, learning the skills and building the networks necessary to create whole communities. Learn more on our alumni page.

What to Expect

Through virtual seminars, discussion, and personal community projects that apply tools and principles, participants will learn:

  • Community building principles and strategies
  • Personal leadership skills
  • Project planning and implementation tools
  • Organizational leadership and management practices

During the NLA, participants share and work on a community improvement project for their neighborhood. The 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