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Reasons to Donate to LEAP



LEAP is one of the largest youth employers in New Haven. We train and hire over 200 young people as counselors every year, and their salaries are our largest cost, making up a third of our annual expenses. Starting in Oct. 2019, Connecticut's new minimum wage law requires counselor pay to increase an additional $1/hour each year for five years. LEAP supports the new law because it will make a big difference for many of our families. But we will have to raise an additional $1 million over the next five years to ensure that we do not need to make program cuts.

LEAP has relied on support from the Connecticut State Department of Education since we were founded 27 years ago. However, the government has been decreasing its funding for LEAP over the last five years due to general state budget cuts. Since 2015, our state funding has decreased 63%; state funding went from 40% of our total budget in 2015 to 14% of our budget in 2019. We must continue to diversify our funding sources and rely less on state funding in order to ensure LEAP's future financial stability.







Additional Costs Due to
Min. Wage Increase







State Funding for LEAP

Despite these challenges, LEAP is still growing and improving our programs for young people!


Our Leaders in Training (LIT) Program fills a gap in services for young teens by providing 13-15 year olds a safe, enriching environment when they are not in school. Since 2018, LEAP has been growing the LIT Program; we plan to add additional LITs each summer.



LITs in summer 2018
LITs in
summer 2021


100% of LEAP high school seniors graduate and are accepted to college; however, as guidance counselors are cut from the public school system budget, LEAP is expanding our college access support to help students ultimately attain an affordable degree, not just get into college. Our services will include:

  • Scholarship opportunities

  • Financial aid counseling

  • PSAT/SAT prep

  • Essay workshops

  • Week-long college tour


Aquatics: LEAP will continue to teach boys and girls how to swim. We also will expand our swimming curriculum so our own swim staff are Red-Cross certified to train lifeguards.

Literacy: LEAP's summer literacy program is a big part of how we make sure students stay on track in school. LEAP plans to hire an experienced educator as a new full-time staff member to improve our literacy curriculum and counselor training.

LEAP Computer Learning Center: LEAP kids build robots, code apps, edit videos, and more. We are starting a free Saturday Code Camp for kids who want to learn even more.

Resources: From gardening, to cooking, to dancing⁠—LEAP kids get to have fun and explore.


learning natural science by exploring nature

Summer Journeys:

expanded from 1-day to 3-day out of state trips

Kids discover museums, libraries, universities, and more!

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