Community leadership development program accepting applications for fall

By Kasey Ashenfelter

The application for the 11th round of the LeadershipPLENTY Institute in Waco is now open. Individuals can apply to be part of a select group to receive leadership training and development in this six-month, cohort-based program.

LeadershipPLENTY is designed to make civic leadership training available to those who are involved in the community and interested in growing as leaders, and to strengthen the skills of those who hold leadership positions. LeadershipPLENTY Institute is underwritten by Waco Foundation and offered at no cost. The deadline to apply is Aug. 13.

“Without leadership representation from all of our community, we’re building a ship that won’t float. Our ideas and plans won’t be fully informed and we won’t reach our full potential,” said Jeremy Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. “We need leadership voices and decisions to come from across our community, and the LeadershipPLENTY Institute helps us do that.”

To attend LeadershipPLENTY Institute, individuals must first complete an application. Anyone over age 18 can apply. Once applications are reviewed, selected individuals will be notified, and the courses start in September. Participants go through a 10-module curriculum including topics such as managing conflict, leading meetings, building strategic partnerships, communicating for change, and more. Graduates of the program gain valuable skills, deepen their network of friends and partners, and are positioned to lead the Waco area into the future.

LeadershipPLENTY Institute – February 2020

“The Community Visioning Project identified so many great hopes and dreams that this communityhad for itself,” said Kris Kaiser Olson, community leader and member of the Today’s Action Tomorrow’s Leaders steering committee. “One of those hopes was for a much larger and much more diverse pool of people who could serve in a variety of leadership positions in the Waco area — everything from elected offices, to appointed commissions, to nonprofit boards of directors, to heading up neighborhood groups, and so on.

“Waco Foundation volunteered to take responsibility for coordinating this leadership development work and support the LeadershipPLENTY Institute, Olson said. “The graduates are among some of the finest leaders in Waco.”

LeadershipPLENTY Institute offers accessible leadership training and skills to develop and broaden our community’s network of leaders. “As a LeadershipPLENTY graduate, I know firsthand how the skills and relationship I gained from the program can have a direct impact on a person’s leadership skills and roles,” said City Council Member Hector Sabido. “Now, in my role on City Council, I know we need to support and foster leadership voices from all parts of the Waco community — LeadershipPLENTY is the guide to help us do that.”

To apply or to nominate someone today visit

Kasey Ashenfelter is part of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and coordinator of The LeadershipPLENTY Institute – Waco.

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