What We Do

The Problemproblem

Many low income students do not succeed in graduating from college because they are unprepared:

  • Application and Selection – Lack guidance on college options and the application process.
  • Academics – Unprepared for the rigors of class coming from under-resourced high schools.
  • Campus Environment – Unaware of supportive resources available, and often affected by race, class, and gender dynamics on campus.


Our Solutionsolution

Leap Year’s mission is to prepare talented students to reach their academic and leadership potential by attending college and breaking the cycle of poverty.

We accomplish this mission by recruiting low income high school graduates for a paid, service learning gap year to prepare them to attend and thrive in college. Our approach is to:

DEVELOP: Our program combines intensive academic tutoring, along with ACT prep, college application assistance, and college readiness training, to ensure they are not only accepted into college, but are ready to thrive once there.

EMPOWER: The Fellowship also provides students with extensive socio-emotional programming, building their confidence and empowering them to better overcome the challenges they will face.

SERVE: During the course of the program, our Fellows become leaders in their communities through paid community service projects, gaining training in design thinking to address social justice issues, and cementing their commitment to working to help improve their community for future generations.


2016 Pilot Program

Leap Year launched a small pilot program starting in June and running through December of 2016.  The pilot was a condensed version of the program described above, with the Fellows starting college in January of 2017. Learn about our impactmeet our 2016 Pilot Fellows, and get involved with our work!