The Montana Big Sky Leadership Academy was created to ensure Lived Experts in Montana have access to professional development resources, providing the tools and resources to advocate for policy change based on real-life experiences.

MFBN recognizes the need to engage Lived Experts as a vital piece of our work to end hunger in Montana. Without the voices and experiences of those most impacted by food insecurity and public assistance programs, true change cannot happen. We look forward to continuing to develop Big Sky Leadership Academy (BSLA) and welcoming a new cohort next year.

MFBN completed its very first BSLA! Congratulations to the nine individuals who graduated from the 14-week program this summer! BSLA is part of Amplify Montana, our broader effort to better engage, learn from, and follow the lead of individuals with lived experience of food insecurity. Individuals who have experienced food insecurity, poverty, or the challenges of navigating the social safety net truly are experts in these areas. The voices and ideas of lived experts are critical in developing effective and sustainable solutions to hunger. The participants of BSLA learned how to use their stories and voices to encourage policy change around food and nutrition.

One of this year’s graduates said it best: “Big Sky Leadership Academy equips people with priceless leadership abilities. By fostering both professional and personal growth, the program gives participants the skills and information they need to have a positive influence on their communities and beyond.”

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