Rising Leaders



Any questions about the 2023 Program can be directed to Althea Luehrsen. 

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.



2022 Day Session Schedule

January 6: Welcome Reception
January 14-15: Opening Retreat
February 16: Hunger and Poverty Day
March 16: Education Day
April 13: Criminal Justice Day
May 18: Arts, Culture, Tourism, History Day Session
June 15: Diversity and Inclusion Day
July 20: Neighborhood/Transportation Day
August 17: Combined Economic Development Day
September 21: Ecology and Environment Day
October 19: Healthcare Day
November 18-19: Closing Retreat
December 8: Graduation


2023 Day Session Schedule

January 12 – Welcome Reception
January 20-21 – Opening Retreat 
February 15 – Day Session #1  
March 22 – Day Session #2 
March 28 – Optional Leadership Development Session #1
April 19 – Day Session #3 
May 17 – Day Session #4 (COMBINED)
June 21 – Day Session #5 
July 19 – Day Session #6  
August 16 – Day Session #7 (COMBINED)
September 20 – Day Session #8 
September 28 – Optional Leadership Development Session #2
October 25 – Day Session #9 
November 17-18 – Closing Retreat
December 6 - Graduation

Exploring What Matters

Key issues and topics are explored throughout the program year providing an in-depth view of the critical issues facing our community. These are experienced by sharing hands-on experiences and networking with other leaders in the Buffalo Niagara community.

Such topics include Hunger and Poverty, Education, Criminal and Social Justice, Diversity, Arts and Culture, Neighborhood Discovery, Transportation, Economic Development, Ecology and Environment, and Health Care.

Tools to Make Change

Each participant will have the opportunity to create action by utilizing 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.

Being a Better Leader

The program environment is a non-traditional form of learning. The city is our "classroom".

Throughout the year, personality assessments are conducted and participants work in teams to challenge and strengthen their leadership skills. The year focuses on Servant Leadership traits and relies on experiential learning.

2023 Applications

Applications must be received by 4:00 pm on October 14, 2022 accompanied by a non-refundable $50 application fee. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than November 21, 2022.


Tuition for the Rising Leaders program is $4,900. Tuition is non-refundable. Upon acceptance, a $1,000 non-refundable payment toward tuition is required no later than December 17, 2022. Unless special arrangements have been made with the CEO, remainder of tuition must be received in full prior to the opening retreat.


A limited number of partial tuition scholarships are available and are determined by need. Candidates wishing to apply for tuition assistance must complete the Application for Financial Assistance form, available here. Form must accompany application by October 14, 2022 to be considered.

Please Note

Applications do not guarantee acceptance. In addition, telephone or in-person interviews will be conducted with all applicants.