Neighborhood Leadership Academy Offered Statewide, Includes Ozarks Region Group

  • Published: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA) replaces the face-to-face MU Extension’s community leadership and EXCEL leadership programs in Greene and surrounding counties.

This year, NLA includes those that had previously enrolled in Leadership Ash Grove and Leadership Republic for 2020.

"The NLA program focuses on developing projects for community betterment, developing new leaders and building a bench of active community leaders," said David Burton, county engagement specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Greene County and an instructor in the course.

Participants in our virtual Neighborhood Leadership Academy will learn in-depth community building strategies, leadership skills, management practices, project planning tools, and management practices. NLA sessions will focus on goal setting, asset mapping, action planning, dialogue facilitation, consensus building, community outreach, neighboring, building inclusive communities and evaluation.

Past student projects have included things like promoting and implementing a community garden or planning, creating a new community event, finding solutions to a community issue, expanding or creating a community organization, or even obtaining funding for a neighborhood park.

"The program includes a personal leadership component using the Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment. Participants will also be able to enroll in a separate study on the 21 indispensable qualities of a leader," said Burton.

NLA brings together a diverse group of people and is being offered statewide this year in a virtual format. There will be local break out groups and projects. This year, participants from Greene, Lawrence, Christian and Webster counties are grouped together in the "Ozarks Region."

Academy participants may be neighborhood association members, community-based organization staff, resident volunteers or even municipal elected officials.

NLA has 10 sessions (Aug. 24 – Nov. 2, 2020). Sessions are held virtually on Mondays and will be taught by top instructors with MU Extension.

More information and registration must be done online at or


Writer: David Burton

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