top of page
Kearney Video.00_01_37_11.Still006.jpg







Through our program, Leadership Kearney creates connections with the Kearney community as well as with like-minded individuals that are looking to contribute to the progressive mindset of our community. 


session days

The Leadership Kearney program is designed for aspiring or emerging leaders in the Kearney area. This dynamic program immerses participants in community leadership. Through monthly sessions, participants learn from top leaders in our region, study pressing community issues, all while developing their personal leadership skills. Participants walk away with increased self-awareness, leadership acumen, community connections and involvement. Session days are one per month and run like a typical business day.

Session Day Topics Include:

- Orientation Picnic

- Overnight Retreat

- Agriculture/Energy/Environment

- Local Government

- Education

- Health & Human Services

- Art, Culture & Recreation

- State Government

- Business & Industry

- Planning & Implementation

Leadership Kearney 2021 group photo.jpg



commitmen &criteria


This is a two-year commitment.  During the first year, participants will attend the sessions and learn much throughout the entire year. They will also be required to volunteer at a Chamber event and participate in a class service project, which must be completed within the first year of the program. The second year, participants will be tasked with planning & attending certain sessions (typically 3-4 throughout the next year). Graduation takes place at the end of participant's second year.

Selected candidates are expected to attend and be fully engaged in all Leadership Kearney sessions. Monthly sessions are held from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. typically on the second Wednesday of each month, October through May.  An orientation evening will be held in August and an overnight retreat will be held in September outside of Kearney. The last section of this application is a signature section from both you and your employer agreeing that if selected, participants will be allowed to be absent from work for all required participation in the Leadership Kearney program throughout the 2-year commitment.  Barring emergencies, attendance is a mandatory requirement for graduation.


Applicants must:

  • Work or reside in the Kearney area.

  • Commit to full participation in the program, including one year in the class and one year planning the following class year’s program. This is a two-year commitment.

  • Have a desire to develop and utilize leadership skills.

  • Receive a commitment from your employer that allows full participation.

  • Submit online application and two typed letters of recommendation by application deadline.

The Leadership Kearney selection process aims to choose a class of individuals to represent a cross-section of the Kearney community, with class members from various professional, educational, political, social, and cultural backgrounds. Each year members of the Leadership Kearney Board serve on the Selection Committee. Each application is reviewed and scored solely on the response to the application questions and the two letters of recommendation submitted. This program's application process is competitive, and not all applicants will be chosen the first year they apply. However, Leadership Kearney does encourage those not selected to re-apply in the future. 


Leadership Kearney is a program that runs and thrives off of donations, both monetary and time. Therefore, it is vitally important that the participants give each tour or presenter the utmost respect as they donate their time to show the participants what makes Kearney a thriving community. 


During the first year of the program, members of the class will have many opportunities to become educated on various issues, exchange ideas, and enhance their leadership skills. In the second year, members will participate in planning committees as committee chairs and general members and help secure donations for sessions. 

Application Answers should exhibit:

  • A sincere, personal commitment, motivation, and interest in improving the Kearney area

  • A demonstrated capacity for leadership within an organization through significant action

  • A commitment to supporting the continuation of leadership and trustee development in our community

  • A willingness and availability to commit the time and energy necessary to complete the program requirements with the full support of your business/organization



In addition to time and dedication, Leadership Kearney requires a financial commitment.  Tuition for the program is $500 (if you choose to pay with a credit card, fees will apply). Your tuition includes Leadership Kearney shirt, name-tag, all program materials, eight one-day sessions, one evening orientation, a two-day retreat, meals, required lodging, out-of-town travel and programming costs. The evening meal in Lincoln on State Government Day is not-included, this meal will be the responsibility of the participant. Tuition is due in full by August 1 unless other arrangements have been made.  If you are unable to complete the program for any reason, tuition will not be reimbursed.

Financial assistance is available to individuals who may not otherwise be able to participate in Leadership Kearney through a payment plan, in which tuition can be paid over an extended period of time. The final payment will be due on April 1. 

The Leadership Kearney Board of Directors also grants a few partial scholarships. Requests for scholarships will be considered on the basis of the applicant’s need, as indicated in the space below. Each requestor and his/her sponsor, if applicable, will be asked to contribute at least half of the tuition. Full scholarships are not awarded. 


To make a request for financial assistance, please contact

bottom of page