• Leadership Lab

      Build Leadership Skills.
      Grow Your Network.
      Lead Our Community.

      more infoContact: Jenny Yang
      [email protected]

Build Leadership Skills. Grow Your Network. Lead Our Community.

Leadership Lab, a program of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, brings together committed citizens and emerging and current leaders, to build and practice transferable, valuable leadership skills, and to explore and assess the strengths and opportunities in our community, in a unique, hands-on curriculum. Learn the state of our community now, who is doing what, what the emerging issues of our time are, and how you can be engaged to address them.  Together, we will gain valuable insights into how our community works and will create stronger, more engaged leaders in a thriving and vibrant community.

Mentor-guided community panels, comprised of experts and leaders from local businesses, nonprofits, and village government, will offer their unique perspective on the current successes and challenges we face as a community.  Professional moderators and speakers will challenge participants to identify and refine the priorities heard throughout the day, and to discover and envision solutions. The Course Mentor will guide participants through this learning process, will inspire participants to THINK BIG about their effect in our community, and will help participants develop a personal plan for making a difference.

As an important experiential learning tool of the program, participants will work in small groups “in-the-field,” such as community tours and volunteer work, and will collaborate on group presentations. Small group work aims to broaden and deepen the leadership experience, utilizing skills such as visioning, motivational and collaborative skills, public speaking, goal setting, and innovative problem solving. Presentations will demonstrate the participants’ understanding of a community issue, with well-formulated ideas on how to tackle the problem. Final presentations will be presented at graduation to a public audience.

Participants meet one Friday per month for 10 months.

Tuition Information and Payments

Leadership Lab tuition is $2,000, of which $200 is tax-deductible. We encourage your employer’s sponsorship. For individuals seeking financial assistance, partial funding is available. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., for details. Refunds are not available once session has begun for any missed classes or cancellations.

Click here for ONLINE PAYMENTS

Or, mail checks to:
OPRF Community Foundation
1049 Lake Street, Suite 204
Oak Park, IL 60301
Memo: Leadership Lab Tuition

Credit cards are accepted over the phone.
Contact Cathy Craddock, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation: 708-848-1560


Ideal fellows are:

  • Motivated to take on active roles to serve our community
  • Committed to applying their leadership skills to the long-term benefit of Oak Park, River Forest, and surrounding areas
  • Interested in broadening their network of committed citizens and emerging leaders
  • A reflection of the diversity of our area
  • Residents or employees in Oak Park, River Forest, or immediate surrounding area

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