The program provides opportunities for emerging leaders to develop skills and connect with others interested in various issues important to our community.

Contribute, Learn, Engage & Pursue

Participate & lead

community conversations

Engage in Learning Labs

approximately every 6 weeks

Participate in trainings

every 4 months

Create a learning plan

and follow through

Long term contribution

within our community


To make improvements in our community using a collective effort, one where citizens contribute their talents, skills and perspectives for the betterment of all. We will achieve this goal through education on the collective impact strategies and learning about the RCCI priority areas. We will build mutually beneficial relationships among other fellows, community leaders, and local organizations while working together to develop solutions for priority areas.


Fellows will be challenged to develop solutions to the problems prioritized by RCCI while gaining and enhancing communication and teamwork skills. These activities will provide the fellows a greater understanding of our community while building relationships with current leaders. A $1,000 stipend will be distributed in two increments to each participant during the year-long fellowship.


Rapid City Collective Impact's first class of Emerging Leaders officially completed their service on April 20, 2017.

Fifty individuals from across Rapid City were chosen for the fellowship in November of 2015. Sponsored by a capacity-building grant from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, these Emerging Leaders committed 18 months to learning about and contributing to the work of RCCI.

Most of the cadre held focus groups of Rapid City citizens. Results from the focus groups provide a strong rationale for the city to look at San Antonio's Haven for Hope model as a viable option for addressing homelessness in Rapid City.

In addition, the groups created a Livability survey with results from 872 citizens highlighting a vision for a better Rapid City, created the first convening of initiatives serving the city's teens, designed and produced videos for use by the Prosperity Initiative, and assisted in the designing of the communication and social networking strategy for RCCI.

Participants' comments at their final ceremony displayed a great deal of learning and meaning gained from their experience. "This leads me to see that Rapid City is now at the intersection of hope and possibility," Emerging Leader Jessica Miller said.

Those who completed the 18 months are listed below with their respective learning labs:

Understanding Livability

This lab learned about what makes an excellent community, and created and oversaw a community-wide survey.

Lab Teammates: Amber Morrel, Kim Hayden, Patri Acevedo, Megan Handshue, Vanessa Mader, Michelle Schuelke, Kirsten Taggert

Communication & Social Networking

Supported RCCI's web and social media designers and public communications approach.

Lab Teammates: Brian Munsell, Lynn Taylor Rick, Corissa Kruger, Heather Schopp.

Connecting Business

The goal was to understand the business community's experience and link business offers of service with nonprofit needs.

Lab Teammates: Josh Farley, Katelyn Cook, Todd Miller, Justine Christman, Ryan Phillips, Tony Demaro, Kara Frankman, Teri Corrigan

Economic Resilience

Linked mentors in the business community with 18-21 year old students.

Lab Teammates: Adonnis Martinez, Eric Dwyer, Austin Oliver, Jessica Miller, Carrie Churchill, Jessica Olson, Kassie McKie Schiffermiller, Kelly Folsom, Sam Ellis

Linking Teens with RCCI

Engage teens to design ways of connecting to the city. Two small groups of teens gathered separately to gain insights on what they felt were good supports or resources in Rapid City and what areas they had concerns with. They identified a list of support organizations/programs that were helpful to young people.

Lab Teammates: Jamie Snyder, Tim Doyle, Kristin Kiner, Staci Johnson

Root Causes of Poverty

Supported the Prosperity Initiative in designing a public interface with the initiative's goal of training mentors and leading Rapid City to become poverty informed. A video was developed to use for Poverty 101 and Prosperity Coaches training.

Lab Teammates: Jennifer Williams, Kim Morsching, Chas Jewett, Jesse Abernathy, Natalie Lecy, Erica Rieder.

Qualitative Research Analytics

Helped the RCCI backbone team analyze data from community engagements: i.e. focus groups, surveys, and one-on-one interviews.

Lab Teammates: Christine Stephenson, Karen Black, Sarah Hansel, Sara Willson.


Rapid City Collective Impact and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation celebrated the second cadre of RCCI Emerging Leaders and their work over the past year during a banquet in early January 2019.

Twenty-nine individuals from a cross-section of the community participated in the fellowship program, committing to a year of learning about and practicing collective impact strategies and supporting RCCI projects.

In addition to working within the learning labs, the Emerging Leaders convened for quarterly meetings throughout 2018 to provide progress reports on their efforts and to learn more about the community in which they live. They delved deeper into topics such as Lakota culture, life in crisis of poverty, and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

"The second cadre of RCCI Emerging Leaders was a huge success," facilitator Jessica Gromer said. "Not only did this diverse group of fellow contribute to RCCI projects, they made professional and personal connections with one another while learning about our community in ways that would most likely not have happened without the fellowship opportunity."

Those who completed the year 2018 in Cadre 2 are listed below with their respective learning labs:

Engaging Business Community

This lab set out to prepare a solid foundation with local businesses, specifically in regard to the proposed OneHeart transformation campus. Their final project was to research a fund-raising mechanism of "rounding-up" point-of-sale at local retailers to donate to the RCCI initiative OneHeart.

Lab Teammates: Justin DiBona, Jayne Hall, Carrie Maguire, Todd Miller, Sarah Pierce, Kristina Simmons.

Livability through Community Perspectives

This lab's main project stemmed from information garnered by cadre 1's survey which interviewed over 850 people which gathered data on the community's perspectives of Rapid City. From the survey they learned: people love Rapid City; yet there are concerns about the lack of things to do for middle school-aged youth. This lab partnered with the Rapid City Police Activities League to create "drop-in" flag football and basketball games during Summer Nights events.

Lab Teammates: Brian Blenner, Amelia Meyer, Emma Rivers, Michelle Schuelke, Morgan VonHaden, Lysann Zeller

A Point-in-Time Count

This lab focused much of its attention on the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count, which is conducted each January. The count is mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to try to determine the number of homeless people in cities and towns across the country. Through discussions with the Homeless Coalition, they determined need a manual to address many different areas surrounding homelessness (data management, Homeless Connect event, Housing consortium, volunteers and outreach, community relationships, and youth and schools).

Lab Teammates: Hannah Ceremuga, Danielle Giuseffi, Katy Kinnan, Jamie Kirsch, Chelsie Ogaard, Rachel Pfiefle, Amy Sazue, Katy Urban.

Education & Life Skills

This lab began with learning more about OneHeart in order to identify the appropriate services and classes that should be accessible for campus guests. This group was tasked with compiling all resources available in our community as well as identifying any gaps. Those gaps included responsible renting courses (which have since begun at Consumer Credit Counseling), employment mentorship opportunities,  legal and civics classes and/or services, and a program plan for OneHeart guests for the year after they leave the campus.

Lab Teammates: Mikayla Becker, Kinsley Groote, Heather Hoeye, Casey Madsen, Tamera Miyasato, Adam Prudich, Jennifer Tomac.

Read the full re-cap of the year for Cadre 2


Rapid City Collective Impact and the John T. Vucurevich Foundation have announced the 30 individuals selected for Cadre 3 of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program. The group began a year of learning about and putting into practice collective impact strategies at a retreat April 8-9.

As part of their commitment to RCCI and its initiatives, Emerging Leaders fellows convene on a quarterly basis for updates and to learn more about the community in which they live and work. The previous cadre took part in learning sessions on Lakota culture and practices, life in the crisis of poverty, and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

The fellowship program also includes small group work. The newest Emerging Leaders have divided into five working labs which will serve to further the development of the OneHeart transformation campus in the following areas: Awareness, Employer Partnerships, Social Enterprise, Health & Growth, and Urban Gardening.

RCCI wishes to thank the John T. Vucurevich Foundation for its continued support of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program and Jessica Gromer with the Vucurevich Foundation for serving as the facilitator of the program again this year.“We have another great group of RCCI Emerging Leaders who represent a variety of sectors in our community,” Gromer said. “I am very excited to watch the cadre learn about Rapid City Collective Impact, connect with leaders who they would not normally meet in their work, and create projects that will support the OneHeart campus."

Click Here for the full list of RCCI Emerging Leaders Cadre 3.

PSA's & Campaigns for OneHeart


Lab Teammates: Heather Sazama, Karabeth Borresen, Chad Ratigan, Lora Waeckerle, Kirstin Livermont, Aimee Janvrin


Lab Teammates: Vanessa Mader, Joe Smith, Lori Larson, Anna Quinn, Erin Jarvis, Amanda Ferguson, Pam Borglum.


Lab Teammates: Dan Mertz, Katie Hoff, Rick Owen, Kahomy Souksovath, Lindsey Seachris, Haley Friedt.


Lab Teammates: Carrie Robley, Cante Heart, Jeanne Burckhard-McKenna, Fawn Hall, Cassie Bolstad, Colleen Bsharah .

Lab Teammates: Mitch Nachtigall, Jacob Weasel, Tara Silvernail, Everett Strong, Cassidy Stalley, Valeriah Big Eagle.

Three alums of Rapid City Collective Impact's Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program presented on Lakota history and culture.