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Applications for Mesa Leadership Class of 2024 are now being accepted

The Mesa Leadership program includes a class project which benefits the community. The Class of 2023 recently completed painting and updating the community center for House of Refuge, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless families in Mesa. (Photo/Mesa Leadership)

Mesa Leadership application deadline is May 12

By Jill Adair | Digital Free Press

The Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program is accepting applications for next year’s class, which begins in August.

The program includes monthly classes, tours and activities. Participation in Mesa Leadership is tracked using a point system and points accrue by attendance and is celebrated with a graduation held next May, according to program leaders.

Mesa Leadership was inaugurated in 1981 with the belief that every community has potential leaders who are seeking the opportunity to serve and who need exposure to the information, organizations and leaders to make that service possible. Over 40 years later, more than 800 alumni have graduated from the Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program, including its most recent class that graduates May 5.

Many of these graduates have pursued public office, served on nonprofit boards or city commissions, and/or donated their time and energies in a variety of ways to benefit the city of Mesa and its residents.

Shannon Heinze, Class of 2016 graduate and former Mesa Leadership board chair, said: “I highly recommend the Mesa Leadership Training and Development Program! It opens doors for new business relationships and lifelong friendships. If you are looking to really get to know Mesa, apply now.”

Phaedra Earhart, Class of 2022 graduate and current board member said: “I always say this is one of the best things I’ve done in my professional life. Would do it all over again!”

The nine-month program includes a variety of classes and activities

Classes: There are nine class days, typically held on the first Friday of each month from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each class highlights a different leadership topic and specific topic(s) related to the city of Mesa: city history, city government and administration, sustainability, municipal services, the arts, and education. Classes led by leaders from the community, business and nonprofit organizations. Lunch and refreshments provided.

Tours: The class curriculum is augmented by a series of educational tours and activities to give participants access to Mesa’s “inner workings.” Tours are chosen based on the topics covered in monthly classes and have included trips to the Municipal Court, City Hall, Boeing, the Mesa Arts Center, United Food Bank, Phoenix- Gateway Airport and other organizations and nonprofits.

Shadowing: Each student must shadow a local leader and provide an oral and written report back to the class members and program advisors in order to earn the associated points.

Class Project: During the program, the Mesa Leadership class is required to select and complete a class project which benefits residents or organizations in Mesa.

Activities: Additional activities such as ride-a-longs with police, fire, code enforcement, and park rangers and attending a board meeting for a nonprofit organization is part of class participation.

According to application information on the website, interested applicants must be at least 25 years old by June 1, 2023, and maintain a residence or work in the city of Mesa at the time of application submission.

Program tuition is $1,500 and is due in full by July 1, 2023. However, some employers are willing to assist with all or part of the tuition, according to program leaders. In addition, partial scholarships based on need may be available through Mesa Leadership. For more info, please email or apply online at

The Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program is a 501(c)3 sponsored by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and is part of the Mesa Business in Education Foundation. The program is administered by volunteers who serve as board members, program and curriculum development committees, and community liaisons.

Mesa Leadership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability, sex or gender.

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