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Because of LEAP »

Because of LEAP, I am learning more things and I am learning how to read. Every day when I go home I tell my mom that I have fun."

—Jaylin, age 7

Youth Development Program

LEAP recruits, hires, trains and supports college students to work as counselors in our Children's Program.  The Youth Development Program currently provides college students with experiential learning and employment and with personal, educational and professional training and support.  LEAP counselors are chosen for their leadership qualities and their potential to model respect, open-mindedness, responsibility, accountability and high expectations for their children, their peers, and the broader community.

The Youth Development Program provides Junior Counselors, high school students from the New Haven area, with the chance to participate in SAT preparation, community service, professional development and a college tour.  The YD Program also provides Leaders-In-Training, local middle school students, with educational and professional training to help support them in their school work and in their goals for the future. 

Senior Counselors, Junior Counselors and Leaders-In-Training are:

  • Inspired to value education, self, and community
  • Provided with personal and professional skill-building
  • Exposed to new ideas and relevant social issues
  • Charged to act positively in their lives and communities

Apply Here

In weekly YD sessions, counselors participate in training that cultivates their civic engagement, prepares them for college and a career, and supports their overall professional and personal development. These sessions provide extensive counselor training to prepare youth to work effectively with their children.

What does being a LEAP counselor entail? At LEAP we believe that Youth Development means not only training our counselors to be positive role models and effective mentors for our children, but to be actively engaged in their communities and proactive about their own personal and professional development. And, we provide them with the tools, resources and support to do so. For a better idea of what this looks like, please take a look at our counselor outcomes and expectations:

Senior Counselors
(College Students)
Junior Counselor
(High School students)
(13-15 year olds)
Civically Engaged
Create and implement a community service project
Participate in the College Summit program
Conduct community service projects and participate in workshops on civic engagement
Leaders, Personally & Professionally
Meet with YD staff one-on-one to discuss career plans, revise resumes; participation in Career Mentors Program, which matches counselors with local professionals in careers of interest
Meet with YD staff one-on-one, discuss post-secondary and academic plans and participate in SAT preparation classes
Receive academic, personal and professional development
Effective Teachers & Mentors
Plan and implement academically and socially enriching curriculum for their children; Receive extensive training to prepare them to work effective with children
Help out in the classroom once a week to develop skills as teachers and mentors
Learn through mentorship from Youth Development Team
Responsible Decision-Makers
Attend weekly interactive workshops on relevant social issues
Attend weekly interactive workshops on relevant social issues
Engage in career workshops and trips, learn about responsible decision-making, receive academic and goal setting support