Explore takes people out of their community – and their comfort zone – to get to know the great diversity of the state and how our most pressing issues show up in rural, urban, suburban and Native communities. Participants will expand their perspective, knowledge of the issues and have the time and space to forge strong relationships and build connections in all corners of the state. 

Applications for our inaugural Explore class have closed.

About Explore:

Explore is for alumni of previous VL programs who are interested in growing their perspectives of how statewide issues vary across Arizona. More information on Explore to come soon. Not a VL alum? Apply to be part of Catalyze and start your leadership journey with us.

We are committed to empowering a broad spectrum of Arizonans to lead. With every class, inclusion and increasing representation among people who may have traditionally been overlooked for leadership roles is our priority. It is with that commitment that we are working to strengthen and build partnerships to connect more Arizonans to our training and development opportunities. While we ask participants to commit to investing time, we never want cost to be a barrier. Scholarships and/or wage replacement may be available, and you can make that request as part of your application.  

A note on coronavirus and programming:  All program dates will be held in accordance with CDC, state and local guidelines and regulations.  

Program Info

Program Dates

March to June 2023. Some dates include overnight stay.


Tuition is based on a sliding scale, from $500-1,950

Applications Closed

Applications for our inaugural Explore class have closed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The program was built with consideration of the current economic circumstances of individuals and their families in mind. Tuition for Explore is based on a sliding scale:

  • $500 for individuals with an income of $26,500 or less, or families with an income of $53,000 or less.
  • $750 for individuals with an income of $26,501-$53,000 or families with an income of $53,001-$106,000.
  • $1,000 for individuals with an income of $53,001-$159,000 or $1,200 families with an income of $106,001-$318,000.
  • $1,500 for individuals with an income of $159,001+ or $1,950 family households with an income of $318,000+

While we ask participants to commit to investing time, we never want cost to be a barrier. Scholarships and/or wage replacement may be available, and you can make that request as part of your application.  

Explore is made up of six sessions that will take you to rural, border, suburban, exurban and Native lands, and will be bookended by a prep session and a reflection session. Each session is thoughtfully designed to highlight the assets of and opportunities within these communities, as identified by the people who live and work there. The opening retreat will be all about how we prepare to get the most out of our experiences in these new communities, and the final session will be focused on reflecting, assessing and deepening our understanding of our experiences through shared dialogue and discussion.

The location-specific experiences will be paired with a 60-minute virtual pre-session the evening before we travel. The overnight commitments and days off work vary throughout the program, but the dates have been intentionally chosen to avoid holidays and other potential scheduling conflicts. We also have ensured that there is sufficient time between overnight experiences.

Below is the sample agenda from the 2022 program.

  • March 26: Retreat & Kickoff (no overnight)
  • April 8-9: Yuma (one overnight)
  • April 29-30: Nogales (one overnight)
  • May 13: Guadalupe/Mesa (no overnight)
  • May 14: Buckeye (no overnight)
  • June 2-4: Navajo Nation (two overnights)
  • June 18: Retreat & Debrief (no overnight)

The program was created to provide a thoughtful experience exploring multiple perspectives of life in Arizona. If you know ahead of time that you will be unable to commit to any of the dates, we strongly encourage you to consider applying the following year or exploring another leadership development opportunity with VL.

The program dates will fall on one Thursday, four Fridays and six Saturdays. You will need to ensure that you have these days free from other obligations.

The program includes four overnights, one in Yuma, one in Nogales and two in Navajo Nation. All hotel accommodations will be arranged ahead of time for participants to share rooms in pairs. We will provide the opportunity for you to express your preferences for who you room with and will do our best to meet participant’s needs.

We will arrange travel accommodations for the trip to Navajo Nation. The trips to Yuma, Nogales, Guadalupe, Mesa and Buckeye will require participants to arrange their own travel, but VL will help arrange carpooling among participants.

Each location will offer a place-based experience driven by the leaders within those communities, getting insight into the culture, economy and community assets of a place. The topics that are covered have been identified by the leaders we are learning from, but can all be tied back to the Vitalyst Health Foundation’s Elements of a Health Community and VL’s Principles of Doing. Participants can expect to learn from local leaders, participate in tours of community programs and organizations, engage in hands on experiences and join in social opportunities throughout their travels.

The applications for our 2022 Explore program have closed.

It is important for participants of to have a strong foundation in the issues facing Arizona and the Principles of Doing, so all applicants must be alumni of a VL program.

All applications will be reviewed by our staff and board. All applicants will be contacted by the end of December with information about the next steps.

Explore is for VL alumni who are interested in growing their perspective of the state and how issues play out across Arizona. Please note, travel is required.

Valley Leadership offers an opportunity for you to have new experiences and make new connections that help you grow. Increased self-awareness, perspective and community knowledge and connections are invaluable in any workplace. As you’re getting ready to ask your employer about a VL opportunity, be sure share with them how you’ll use these additional skills to support your organization.  

Explore in particular can benefit anyone whose work requires them to work across Arizona and stay connected to the latest happenings around the state.

Valley Leadership values the communities and partners that we are fortunate to work with, and the alumni and program participants that we serve. It is our priority to ensure the safety and comfort of all individuals who engage with our programming, and we have developed the following Covid policy with that in mind.

  1. VACCINES: Participants must be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC and provide proof of vaccination.

  2. TESTING: Participants will be required to take a test and receive a negative result within two days prior to program days. **At home tests will be provided to all participants for ease and convenience.**

*Guidelines are updated as of 1.27.22 and subject to change based on the state and local conditions.

Have a question we haven’t answered? Fill out the form below.

Recommend Someone for Explore

We’re looking to engage a broad spectrum of Arizonans who are ready to lead and make a difference. Know someone who’d be a great fit? Tell us and we’ll follow up with a personal invitation to apply. Please note, prospective participants must be alumni of Valley Leadership.

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