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Cooperative Leaders and Scholars

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The Cooperative Leaders & Scholars (CLS) program is an opportunity to develop and engage employees, board members, and post-secondary students with participation in a national cooperative conference and exposure to co-op industry thought leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

CLS participants will:

  • Participate in an exclusive orientation, networking, and wrap-up events designed specifically to broaden their understanding of the impact cooperatives, mutuals, and credit unions have on members, communities, and the broader economy.  

  • Attend the Co-op IMPACT Conference from October 5-6 in Washington, DC

  • Attend the Cooperative Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Ceremony on October 6

  • Participate in a Saint Mary's University cooperative management course

Scholarships are open to:


  • Young professionals (ages 18 - 35) beginning their career in cooperative businesses, credit unions, and mutual insurance.

  • Post-secondary students of any age with an interest in co-ops, credit unions, and mutual insurance.

Candidates will be selected according to the criteria above as well as considerations to promote co-op sectoral, racial, gender, and geographic diversity.


Sponsorships & Scholarships


20 scholarships for CLS will be awarded through a competitive process that considers background, geography, and experience to create a diverse cohort. The Cooperative Development Foundation and NCBA CLUSA will review and select scholarship recipients.


Looking to sponsor a participant?


A $2,000 sponsorship will cover IMPACT, Cooperative Hall of Fame, and St. Mary’s University registrations, airfare, and accommodations for one attendee. You may either name the attendee you would like to sponsor or permit us to open the spot to applicants in our competitive scholarship process. Contact Kirstie Boyette about sponsoring the program or a participant at

Thank you to our sponsors!

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