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Intensive Training Offerings

Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA)

NLA provides hands-on leadership training that emphasizes community building principles, organizational leadership and management practices, and personal leadership skills. Each year, the NLA brings together a diverse group of up to 20 current or potential neighborhood leaders for 10 sessions over a three-month period. Participants are actively involved in their neighborhoods and represent communities from throughout the St. Louis region.

Graduates of the NLA have found numerous opportunities to apply what they learned in the NLA to build and sustain healthy, vibrant, and whole communities:

  • Increasing safety: Carol McClain, class of 2013, chose her work with a College Hill safety committee as her NLA project, and was successful in engaging neighbors and securing a donation of 8,000 fluorescent light bulbs that would increase safety in the neighborhood.
  • Grow a sense of community: When NLA alum Heather Robinett, class of 2010 and her husband Larry, class of 2012, founded the Old Ferguson West Community Garden in Ferguson; they hoped to bring neighbors together by working in the garden. They quickly put their leadership and organizational skills to practice by organizing volunteers, raising funds for a community mural in the garden, and went on to found a school garden at the nearby elementary school.
  • Building neighborhood networks: In 2012, two residents and a business owner in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood in the City of St. Louis, graduated from the NLA and got right to work to build neighborhood-wide networks. Carole Anne von Eschen was elected president of the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood and began reaching out to other organizations to build a collaborative effort. Stephanie Co went on to lead the successful St. Louis Healthy Corner Store Project in the neighborhood by increasing the availability of healthy, affordable foods in the neighborhood at Manchester Market through a partnership with neighbors of the store. Finally, Andrew “Roo” Yawitz, owner of the Gramophone, founded the Grove Merchants Association to build a network among business owners in the neighborhood.

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General Offerings

As a busy leader, you make difficult choices on behalf of your community. Sharpen your skills and tackle an issue critical to your success with one of the trainings provided below.

If You Market It, Will They Come? Tips for Community Events that Promote Your Neighborhood

Partner With the University for Training

Do you want to contract with or partner with Creating Whole Communities to develop a training? Please contact Karl Guenther or at (314) 516-5845. Creating Whole Communities is open to partnering with entities that want to contract for training or would like university participation in trainings.