Leadership Academy

The AAFCS Community on Building Leadership Capacity is presenting the AAFCS Leadership Academy for new professionals (BS degree or greater with up to 7 years membership in AAFCS) who wish to design their own leadership plan in order to secure their preferred future as leaders in AAFCS. The 2019 Leadership Academy will begin with face-to-face sessions June 22-23, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, prior to the AAFCS Conference. Activities of the Academy will continue throughout the following year with conference calls, additional interactive learnings, networking with fellow participants to complete selected projects which benefit affiliates and AAFCS, and interacting with mentors. Application forms will be available March 2018.


Additional Information for Potential Participants and Mentors

Academy Participants

The Leadership Academy is an organized effort to assure that a professional cohort of potential new leaders will be available to assume leadership positions in committees, communities, councils, and as elected officers nationally or at the affiliate level in AAFCS for this decade and beyond. Focusing on new leaders, the Academy will address competencies needed for assessing one’s attributes and skills in Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading AAFCS. Seasoned leaders will serve as mentors.

As a participant you will:


  1. By active participation in the Leadership Academy, the participant will meet the following outcomes of the Leadership Academy:
  2. Gain knowledge and skills that facilitate the development of personal leadership skills (Leading Oneself).
  3. Assume leadership roles in AAFCS (Leading AAFCS/Leading Others).
  4. Develop a supporting network of colleagues who will link new leaders with resources throughout their professional and volunteer experiences. (Leading Oneself).
  5. Partner with a mentor to enhance leadership abilities.

Participant Requirements


  • AAFCS Professional Member for 7 years or less (as of Oct. 1, 2018)
  • B.S. degree or greater (by August 31, 2018)
  • Must attend the 2019 Leadership Academy and AAFCS Annual Conference
  • Commit to work individually, with a mentor, and with a cohort June 2019-June 2020 on further development of leadership skills through completing an Affiliate project and AAFCS Project
  • Participate and be involved in networking and ongoing learning and interacting online
  • Attendance at 2020 Annual Conference strongly encouraged.

Academy Mentors

A vital part of the Leadership Academy will be the pairing of the Academy participant with a mentor who is an AAFCS member who has been active in various aspects of leadership with AAFCS.

As a mentor you will:

  • Spend time connecting with your mentee to gain insight as to his/her needs.
  • Work with the mentee to develop goals for the mentee/mentor relationship.
  • Identify and use multiple venues of communications with your mentee.
  • Commit to one year beginning June 2019 to a mentor/mentee relationship.
  • Partner with a mentee to enhance leadership abilities.

Mentor Requirements

  • Must have had National and/or Affiliate leadership experience in AAFCS.
  • Have a minimum of 5 years of membership.
  • Desire to develop AAFCS leaders.
  • Attend the 2019 AAFCS Annual Conference to meet your mentee.
  • Commit to a minimum of one year beginning June 2019.

2017 Academy Participants

Shandi Andres 
Rufaro Chitiyo 
Chantelle Eggleton 
Kate Gronquist 
Amber James 
Anne Pitts 
Heidi Radunovich 
Mia Russell 
Rachel Schichtl 
Julie Temple
Deborah Williams 
Joe Zacher 

2015 Academy Participants

Esther Aloia
Lisa Brooks
Meilana Charles
Jamie Diehl
Susan Hamlin
Amanpreet Kaur
Penny Manakalani Kelsay
Sung-Jin Lee
Ricki McWilliams
Kathleen Mellenberg
Martha Ravola
Cassandra Temaat
Misty Vinson Hughes
Heather Wallace

2013 Academy Participants

Kyley Brooks Anderson
Menia Chester
Larissa Cremeens
Elizabeth Creed
Ashley Davis
Elowin Harper
Janet Holden
Beth Newcomb Hopfer
Crystal Duncan Lane
Allison Lewis
Morgan Milstead
Amanda Repp
Lara Savage Angel
Julie Sims
Pegi Wright