The Leadership Buffalo Rising Leaders is a year-long program that runs from January through December each year. The program is designed for individuals from corporations, small/entrepreneurial businesses, civic and community organizations and non-profits who are up and coming in their careers. The program helps to prepare them to lead as they mature in their field.


Key issues and topics are explored throughout the program year providing an in-depth view of the critical issues facing our community. Such topics include Hunger/Poverty, Education, Criminal and Social Justice, Diversity, Arts and Culture, Neighborhood Discovery, Economic Development and Health Care. These are experienced by sharing hands-on experiences and networking with other leaders in the Buffalo Niagara community.

Each participant will have the opportunity to create an action plan to utilize newly found knowledge. Team projects are developed at the conclusion of the program year. Projects are sustainable providing continued support of the community and engagement with classmates.

The program environment is a non-traditional form of learning. The city is our "classroom". Throughout the year, personality assessments are conducted, two half-day trainings sessions are held and participants work in teams to challenge and strengthen their leadership skills. The year focuses on Servant Leadership traits and relies on experiential learning.

"There is an openness to learn from each class member I encounter. I enjoy being a part of a program wherein everyone is different in many ways yet we all have one goal. The class members differ in ethnicity, race, religion, socioeconomic status and perspectives and yet we all seek to serve a purpose greater than our own, to aid the under-served and disadvantaged of Western New York."
Quinita McKinney (RL '17)
Jericho Road Community Health Center


Rising Leaders 2019 Day Session Schedule

January 9 - Welcome Reception
January 18 & 19 - Overnight Opening Retreat
February 13 - Hunger and Poverty Day Session
March 20 - Education Day Session
April 3 - Training Session (half day)
April 17 - Criminal Justice Day Session
May 15 - Arts, Culture, Tourism & History Day Session (Combined with Class Experience)
May 22 - Training Session (half day)
June 19 - Diversity Day Session
July 24 - Transportation and Neighborhood Discovery Day Session
August 14 - Economic Development Day Session (Combined with Class Experience)
September 18 - Healthcare Day Session
October 23 - Environment and Ecology Day Session (Combined with Class Experience)
November 15 & 16 - Overnight Closing Retreat
December 4 - Graduation Ceremony



Applications for the 2019 class are closed.