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100% of Young Leaders Receive Scholarships

Nearly 90% of alumni indicate that after graduating from our programs they continue to use the skills they learned to address social justice issues.

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Students who have seen an increase in their value to contribute to the community


Over 300 Young Leaders Served Annually 

Who We Are

Founded in 2004 by Karen Kalish, as non-profit Cultural Leadership, our organization has been at the forefront of fostering social change and empowering the next generation of leaders. As we celebrate our significant growth—including serving ten times the number of students compared to our early years—we are thrilled to announce our rebrand as LEAD STL. This new name embodies our unwavering commitment to Leadership, Empathy, Advocacy, and Diversity, while marking an exciting evolution in our mission. In 2023, we are serving 310 students, compared to an average of 30 annually since our inception. Our programs, partnerships, and regional footprint have expanded, but our core mission to equip individuals with the tools to confront inequity and injustice remains as strong as ever. LEAD STL is the next chapter in our journey towards creating a more equitable and inclusive community.

Our Mission

To empower social change in Greater St. Louis through immersive learning and empathy building. 

Our Vision and Tactics

Rooted in the strengths and oppressions of the Black and Jewish experiences, key methodologies include: exploring activism through art, mentorship, experiential learning, and participant-led advocacy projects.


We work to eradicate oppression in a divisive world by:

  • Developing leaders and changemakers

  • Connecting youth via immersive educational programming

  • Building cross-cultural understanding through humility

  • Welcoming diverse allies & partners

Our Story

Our Alumni Say

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“Camp was an influential experience. I learned about social justice issues and how they affected people, African American and Jewish history, and made great new friends.”

Camille S., Camp Alumna

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