The Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) is a year-long leadership development program designed to build and expand the capacity of future leaders within New York’s Community Action Network. This collaborative learning experience incorporates:

  • Formal training to build skills and knowledge
  • Peer networking opportunities to build local and statewide relationships
  • Discussions surrounding current and relevant books chosen by the group and/or leaders within Community Action

Participants will explore their leadership styles, develop leadership aptitude and empower themselves and others. By equipping Emerging Leaders with these critical skills, NYSCAA is ensuring that Community Action Agencies are able to continue the important work of helping people, changing lives – our mission that impacts hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income New Yorker's every year.

Application Process & Cost

Community Action Agency staff may apply for ELI through the NYSCAA website. The application includes basic identifying information and the applicant is asked to complete an essay that describes their commitment to Community Action, their hopes and plans for their future career path, why they want to participate in ELI, and how they expect to benefit from the program.

The cost of ELI is $225 per applicant.

Who Should Apply?

NYSCAA encourages all Community Action Agency Staff who are looking to enhance their leadership skills, increase their connectivity to Community Action, and strengthen their relationships with CAA staff to apply. Previous ELI classes have included diverse CAA staff such as: Coordinators, Program Managers, CFOs, Directors, and IT staff. There is value in ELI for anyone working in Community Action.

Apply for the 2024 ELI Cohort

What is the Schedule?

The ELI schedule consists of multiple seminars, both in- person and virtually during regular work hours. The first introductory meeting will be held in February 2024.

  • Introductory Webinar (Virtual): February 15, 2024 at 1:00 PM
  • Spring Seminar (In-Person): April 16-17, 2024 - DoubleTree Inn, Syracuse, NY
  • Summer Seminar: (Virtual): July 11, 18, & 25, 2024
  • Fall Seminar (In-Person): October 22-23, 2024 - The Craftsman Inn & Suites, Fayetteville, NY

*The Spring and Fall Seminars are planned to be in-person but a final decision will be made closer to the date.

Mandatory eCourses:

These courses are hosted on NYSCAA Learn and can be taken anything before the first seminar. You will receive more information about registering for these courses after your application has been accepted.

ELI Resources
ELI Alumni



 Want to learn more about ELI?

Please contact Heidi Barcomb at [email protected].