The Staff Cohort program is one of LeadMO and LeadMO Action’s flagship programs, running three times per election cycle – once in even years and twice in odd numbered years. This cohort is designed to do two things: equip people with the tools and network needed to build a career in non-profit advocacy/politics in Missouri and connect them with opportunities to do good.

WHO: This program assists diverse, forward-looking Missourians who share our values and wish to work on the upcoming/current election cycle as advocates or campaign staff. We welcome applications from people who are looking to build skills and find their footing in the civic-forward space, whether they are students, recent graduates, mid-career professionals, or retirees. We encourage applications from people who are BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, economically challenged, and regionally diverse. Important qualifications include a deep love of people/your community, the desire to make a difference, curiosity, and willingness to work hard.

WHAT: This training involves a rigorous curriculum designed by top political professionals. It pulls from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives to build tried and true organizing skills. The program emphasizes a “we’re all learning together” mindset.

HOW: Accepted applicants will participate in eight to ten virtual modules over five weeks, covering foundational skills and tools needed to run a successful campaign. World class trainers teach modules on their area of expertise and network with our cohort. During the sixth week, students participate in a weekend long capstone event to put skills to the test and continue building their professional networks. This cohort requires a six week commitment of approximately 6-8 hours per week + the full three-day Capstone weekend.

COST: This program is provided free of cost to all accepted applicants. We offer mileage reimbursements, food and accommodations to participants for the Capstone weekend. Additional financial assistance may be available to ensure that other direct or indirect costs are not a barrier to completing this program. Financial need and assistance will be discussed during the application process.

AFTER: Following their time in our cohort, graduates will be able to lean on LeadMO and LeadMO Action (and the network gained throughout) for career advice and professional development. We believe the most meaningful takeaway from this program is the intentional mentorship from our staff and partners. 

Through the generosity support of our funders and donors the Staff Cohort program is 100% free of charge.


LeadMO is looking for the diverse, progressive staff to power change in Missouri. We are seeking staff who embody the following qualities:

  • Organizer Intelligence – This has nothing to do with formal education, but curiosity and the ability to listen, reflect, communicate, challenge the conventional wisdom, make judgments in complicated situations, and show flexibility.
  • Love That Calls You To Action– We believe that love is the at the root of effective advocacy. When you see people/communities you love being harmed by the status quo it is natural to become outraged. That intolerance for injustice and impatience for change is a call to action.
  • Willingness to Cross Race and Culture – Effective advocates are willing to work with people unlike themself, people of other races, classes, orientations, faiths and abilities.
  • Experience – not necessarily in occupation, but evidence from your life of attempting to relate to people and to respond to situations that seemed to demand response; some success in whatever field or endeavor has occupied the individual’s time.
  • Drive – Drive is evidence you are committed to people and place and to embrace the tradition of organizing communities directly affected by injustice and a hunger to build power and take action from the bottom up.

The Spring 2024 Cohort is accepting applications now until February 5, 2024. The LeadMO staff will then conduct interviews with applicants and finalize a roster.  The start date will be early March.

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