Today I’m going to tell you about a project that I’ve been working on for the past 7 years that I’m extremely proud of and happy to share with the world: Leadership Excellence Accelerating Potential, also known as the LEAP Foundation.
The LEAP foundation is a foundation that focuses on guiding youth onto the right path in life, whether that be in academic, professional, or personal endeavors.
Growing up, I was blessed to have a supportive family, but we were by no means “well off.” When I was accepted into UCLA, I was able to pay for school through the Alumni scholarship. So I know how important it is to spread goodwill and charity firsthand.
Through this great opportunity, I was able to pursue my lifelong career goal of helping others through general and cosmetic dentistry. You may be surprised, but I was enamored by dentistry and its potential to help others from a very young age.
When I was a younger I had to undergo cosmetic dental surgery to correct my smile after getting in an accident – as youngsters are known to do. After the experience I realized how important my smile is to me and how important smiles are to everyone – both physically and psychologically. From that point forward it was my goal to be able to do what these amazing doctors had done for me.
A little later on in my academic life, I was lucky enough to have Mrs. Klehmet as a teacher in high school where I learned another invaluable lesson: the importance of giving back to the community. My situation was by no means luxurious growing up, but I was not quite aware of how little many others in neighboring communities really had. From then onwards, her words stuck with me to this day, “If we don’t leave this world a better place for having been there, then what’s the sense in having been there?”
Fast forward to 2008 and I still had this amazing quote at the forefront of my mind when my good friend and fellow entrepreneur Steve Anderson and I launched LEAP for the very first time at UCLA.
That summer, we were able to pick up where traditional schooling fell short: real life skills – everything from job interview etiquette to money management to mentorship and more. At LEAP we focus on the things that young adults need in the world today in such an incredibly competitive and diverse world that aren’t given enough time in many traditional classrooms 7 years ago or today.
We craft these lessons with some of the best minds in education, and we distribute them through some of the most charismatic and memorable motivational speakers. A lot of the value comes from these speakers themselves – with such an important message you really need inspirational people to share this knowledge. And they’re not just celebrities either. We gather industry-leading professionals from all over the US to share their mentorship, wisdom, and the keys to their success every year.
From that first year with 97 students in the program we have grown to over 500 students! We have also succeeded in providing full financial assistance to over 60% of the program’s participants every year.
We also thrive on the feedback of our program’s participants and last year our feedback was overwhelmingly positive with 95% reporting confidence in study skills and 91% reporting As and Bs in their own courses. 94% of our participants also feel confident that they are able to project professionalism in job interviews.
I’m glad I’m able to make a positive impact in so many of our youths’ lives. If you know anyone between 15 and 24 who would benefit from a week of cultivation, motivation, and fun with some of the world’s leading motivators, entrepreneurs, and mentors, discover the LEAP foundation here: http://leapfoundationusa.org/ today! We’re still accepting applications for 2013’s August program, so don’t delay!