We want students to understand the value of civic engagement and how their participation can benefit their families, schools, and communities. Being civically engaged has several benefits such as empowering students and giving them the skills and confidence they need to participate and lead in their communities. Lessons within LEAP at established partner schools include identifying needs of the community, public speaking and mock debates on certain issues. Students also have the chance to testify in front of their district legislators in Olympia during the Legislative Day of the annual LEAP Conference.
Giving back to the community is a big part of the program. Within LEAP, students are provided with the tools and guidance to identify and create service projects for their community. Past community service projects have included hosting food drives, volunteering at food banks, and tutoring. With community service students also gain real world experience, skills, connections, and strengthened appreciation for their community. Students have the additional opportunity to meet a graduation requirement by getting most of their community service hours completed with LEAP. We try to host at least one community service event per month.
Our students are the future of our generation, and there is no reason we should not start now and let their voices heard. Having out students be successful is one thing, learning how to apply it to themselves and their community is another. Our Leap meetings and conferences help our students understand how impactful they can be to their communities when they use their talents to the highest potential! In order to be great leaders, our students must learn from great leaders, so throughout our meetings we go over various current and historical figures to highlight how powerful our students are as individuals and how multiplied it is while they are together. If there is a need for change, you can always count on our Leap students to illuminate the path of hope.
Calling this our biggest pillar would be an understatement. We understand how the majority of our past and current students have Latino/a parents who were able to get nothing more than an elementary level education. We want to assist and lead the way for our students to break those generational chains and restraints, and we want them to plant the seed that will nurture and sustain what is needed to continue to grow and expand with the power of education by their side.