Skip to content

Benya Beacom

Co-Founder and Vice President of Civic Ventures, Lead For America

Waseca, MN

Building economic prosperity in rural and emerging cities through national service.

Benya Beacom is a social entrepreneur with a passion for community development and revitalization. As the co-founder and vice president of Civic Ventures at Lead For America, she helped build a national nonprofit dedicated to addressing brain drain in rural America by recruiting, training, and placing intergenerational leaders into service fellowships in emerging communities. Benya’s dedication to her home state led her to found and direct Lead For Minnesota, where she has overseen 30 fellows across 30 rural and tribal communities in Minnesota and over 300 nationwide since 2019. Through the Scholars program, Benya seeks to explore cross-sector approaches to fostering social trust, a common civic language, and a shared sense of responsibility in local communities.

Your support turns hope into action

Donate to the Barack Obama Foundation.

The Barack Obama Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (EIN 46-4950751).

More University of Chicago Scholars

More About the Scholars Program

Two women are hugging each other at an event. The first woman's face is obscured from the camera. She has dark hair and is wearing a black shirt and black pants. The second woman is turned towards the camera and smiling. She  has a deep olive complexion, long dark hair, and is wearing a red jacket with black pants. Behind them, a woman in a blue dress stands off to the side.

More About the Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars program gives rising leaders from around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level.

Learn More