New LEAP Fellows Promote Leadership and Community Service

Posted September 15, 2022, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A multiracial group of young people gather around a table, working together. One, a young Black woman, stands, pointing to something in a book. Three other young people sit and smile in agreement with her.

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 1425 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:

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.” 

Meet a Recent Grad­u­ate of the LEAP Youth Fel­low­ship Program

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