Neighborhood Leadership Program

Amherst H Wilder Foundation, Community Leadership Programs, Neighborhood Leadership Program
Make a Difference in Your Local Community

Wilder’s Neighborhood Leadership Program is for anybody who wants to improve their abilities to act on important issues faced by our local neighborhoods and communities. We offer in-depth training sessions, networking opportunities and individual coaching sessions.

  • Applications for 2020 coming soon! 


About the Neighborhood Leadership Program

The Neighborhood Leadership Program brings together 30 people from a wide diversity of ages, cultural backgrounds and levels of experience from across the community. 

Program Overview:

  • Explore opportunities for neighborhood involvement and personal growth
  • Connect with other leaders in Saint Paul who can become resources, mentors and allies for your work
  • Develop skills to work effectively with others
  • Examine and cultivate personal leadership
  • Expand your knowledge of community history to better inform your actions today
  • Get paired with a volunteer community coach

Together you will explore topics that include:

  • Understanding your leadership style
  • Intercultural communication and conflict resolution
  • Navigating city and county government and systems
  • Personal values and using community history to inform your current work

Program Length:

7 months (September – March)

Program Format:

Participant groups meet twice a month for six months. Individual participants also get paired with a volunteer community coach who serve as learning partners.

Participant Requirements:

People from diverse gender, geography, age, cultural and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply!

  • Age 16+
  • Live, work or volunteer in Saint Paul or the East Metro area
  • Demonstrate interest and/or involvement in contributing to their local neighborhood or community
Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment and Minnesota Historical Society logos

The Minnesota Historical Society collaborates with us to provide the Neighborhood Leadership Program each year.

2018-2019 NLP Schedule & Information

Need more information about the upcoming Neighborhood Leadership Program sessions? Find out when sessions meet, how much the program costs, and more.

Read the Book on Neighborhood Leadership

Neighborhood Leadership Program Book on Amazon by Dr. Mike Klein and Damon Sholom

Published in 2017 and written by Dr. Mike Klein and Damon Sholom, "Neighborhood Leadership" presents stories of grassroots leadership development and celebrates more than 20 years of the Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP).

Vivid reflections and practical examples explore themes including: knowing your own story, finding and using voice, alternative visions for leadership, working across difference, and promoting social justice.

Available on Amazon as paperback or on Kindle.

Courageous Stories

Christopher Melendez is a Neighborhood Leadership Program graduate and co-founder of a youth group.

Neighborhood Leadership Program Graduate Helps Start Youth Group

A Neighborhood Leadership Program graduate brings youth to the table by starting a mentor group in East St. Paul, MN.More about this story »

Create a Leadership Program for Your Specific Community

We recognize that there are community-specific or cultural groups that may need or want customized leadership training. Wilder offers flexible programs for those exploring and stepping into community leadership roles.

In the past, we have worked with the Karen Community of Minnesota and the St. Paul Public Housing Agency. Let us know how we can develop a custom community leadership program for your community.

Coulette Columbus-Powers 

Apply to the Neighborhood Leadership Program

Do you want to make a difference in your community? There are several ways to get involved and be part of Wilder’s Neighborhood Leadership Program.


No longer accepting applications for NLP's 2018-2019 Cohort!


We seek community leaders to serve as trainers, presenters and coaches. We also need volunteers to assist with child care, office support and transportation. Find out more about volunteering at Wilder.

Meet the Neighborhood Leadership Program Team

Coulette Columbus-Powers

Administrative Specialist

Nou Yang

Senior Director, Community Leadership Programs