New LEAP Fellows Promote Leadership and Community Service
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has selected its third cohort of young-adult fellows to support Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)™. The initiative boosts employment and educational opportunities for young people ages 14–25 who are experiencing homelessness, foster care or have been involved in the criminal justice system.
The 2022 fellows are:
- Monique Brown, Portland, Maine;
- Julisa Chavez, San Diego, California;
- Luis Espino, Los Angeles, California;
- Andy Garcia, New York, New York;
- Alexander Jones, New York, New York; and
- Haylee Wing, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Since July 2022, these six young adults have advocated for career and education programs on a state and national level. They’ve ensured that LEAP participants across the country can be leaders within the program and in their local communities.
The new fellows work closely with local LEAP partnerships, Casey staff and other youth-serving organizations. These include:
- CASES ― Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens, New York;
- The Coalition for Responsible Community Development — Los Angeles, California;
- The Door — Lower Manhattan and the Bronx, New York;
- Nebraska Children and Families Foundation — Lincoln, Nebraska;
- South Bay Community Services — San Diego, California; and
- The University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service — Portland, Maine.
Working together, the 2022 youth fellows will encourage other young people to participate in civic engagement and youth leadership. They will help shape strategies that allow LEAP to better serve young people in and outside of the office or classroom.
Over the course of the next year, the fellows will work with Equal Measure, a design and communications agency that partners with public and private entities to advance social change. The team will develop a new report evaluating the current phase of LEAP. The fellows will also help to design an upcoming national convention and participate in a range of policy advocacy opportunities through partnerships with the National Youth Employment Coalition and Opportunity Youth United.
“This year’s National LEAP Youth Fellowship program cohort is made up of young leaders from across the country who are united in their dedication to serving their communities and their peers,” says Dina Emam, a program associate with the Casey Foundation. “Their voices and expertise are invaluable and enable the initiative to better serve youth and young adults.”