Are you a student passionate about social change and eager to make an impact in the St. Louis community? Look no further. At LEAD STL, we believe that the future belongs to those who are educated and empowered to make a difference. Rooted in the Black and Jewish experiences, our programs aim to cultivate an environment where social and emotional learning meet advocacy, where activism finds a voice through art, and where complex dialogues on race, religion, and cultural identity are not just welcomed but encouraged. We offer a diverse range of Core and External initiatives designed to bridge divides, create systemic change and build a brighter, more equitable future for the greater Saint Louis area.
The Cultural Leadership Experience
Informative Workshops & Courageous Conversations
The Cultural Leadership Experience is our high school leadership program designed to educate and train rising 10th and 11th grade students to become the next generation of civic leaders and social changemakers. This intensive, year-long program offers high school students an opportunity to deeply engage with social justice topics. Through mentorship, experiential learning, and participant-led advocacy projects, we prepare the next generation of leaders and changemakers. Students receive over 400 hours of advocacy and identity based learning while improving their public speaking skills and gaining confidence to take action. Cohorts are composed of a racially and economically diverse group of 28 students from both public and private high schools across the greater St. Louis region. Our award winning curriculum includes overnight retreats, monthly meetings, and our hallmark 21-Day “Transformational Journey.”
This immersive experience includes stops in Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and noteworthy southern sites significant to the Civil Rights movement. Students visit museums, meet with national policymakers and thought leaders, and partner with organizations like Brookings Institution who enrich their experience and provide hands-on opportunities for advocacy.
Other highlights include our community recognized School Swap, Holiday Swap, and
This year-long experiential learning program caters to 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from across the region, and introduces them to history, culture, and identity through the Black and Jewish lens. Emerging Changemakers is modeled after our high school leadership program and is scaled appropriately for younger students with a social emotional learning focus. We place emphasis on experiential learning, identity exploration, relationship-building, and identifying and advocating against bullying. Students meet monthly in different locations across the region and embark on a
3-day Changemaker Immersion Trip to Chicago, Illinois in the summer.
This two-week summer experience is more than just a camp; it’s a breeding ground for the next generation of community leaders. 6th through 9th grade participants will engage in a variety of activities that foster teamwork, leadership, and understanding. Camp LEAD introduces and reinforces social change concepts and ties them to leadership skills in a way that challenges our participants to have “Courageous Conversations.” As a capstone to their camp experience, the students participate in a Changemaker Immersion Weekend in Memphis, Tennessee, visiting noteworthy civil rights museums and meeting local change agents.