Statewide Neighborhood Leadership Academy accepting fall registration

For the Constitution-Tribune

The University of Missouri Extension is encouraging northwest Missouri residents to register for Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA), a 10-session leadership training program focused on community building principles. NLA will be offered in a virtual format on Monday evenings Sept. 13 through Nov.15.

Registration is now open and can be found by visiting and entering “Neighborhood Leadership Academy” in the website search bar. Early bird registration pricing is $290, with a deadline of Aug. 16. Cost of the program after the early bird deadline is $325. Limited scholarships are available and the application may be accessed on the registration page. Scholarship applications are due no later than August 2.

Created in 2002, NLA develops personal leadership skills while providing in-depth training that emphasizes community building strategies, project planning, organizational leadership and management practices.

“NLA participants are encouraged to bring an idea for a community project with them the first night of class,” said Jackie Spainhower, MU Extension community economic development specialist. “During the program, NLA facilitators will work directly with participants to help develop project ideas so that implementation may become a reality.” Examples of projects developed during past NLA cohorts include community gardens, farmers markets, food drives, education programs for children, and much more.

The Fall 2021 program will be offered across the state in a virtual format, with smaller regional cohorts to allow for local discussions and applications of the program’s content. “The virtual format will connect our local participants to a statewide network of leaders,” said Sarah Hultine Massengale, MU Extension community economic development specialist. All participants who complete the program will receive a University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) Chancellor’s Certificate in Neighborhood Leadership.

Participation in the program is effective regardless of the size of your neighborhood, community, county or region. Academy participants may be neighborhood association members, community leaders, volunteers, community-based organization staff, business owners and their employees, local government staff, and municipal elected officials.

Businesses, local governments and other organization are encouraged to sponsor or support a participant in the program.

To learn more about NLA, please contact Jackie Spainhower, lead facilitator for the northwest Missouri cohort at or call the Harrison County Extension office at 660-425-6434.

University of Missouri Extension programming is open to all.