Norwalk Citizen Features LEAP

“It was a total culture shock. Even though we share the same borders, the education is so different.  What we found was that Darien and New Canaan were reading books in seventh grade that Norwalk and Stamford were reading in 10th grade.”   Through the Darien-based Leaders Educated and Prepared program, Izzy Lee, a recent Darien High School graduate, … Continue reading Norwalk Citizen Features LEAP

Huffington Post Features LEAP as an education that should be replicated throughout the country.

"My goal became finding a way to join communities together, encouraging empowerment and collaboration rather than entitlement and dependency.” The LEAP Program: Successfully Connecting Youth With Other Cultures I was recently introduced to a woman who is doing something different and dramatic in the lives of young people. Lauren Calahan is the mother of four … Continue reading Huffington Post Features LEAP as an education that should be replicated throughout the country.

LEAP Helps Local Students

Leaders Educated as Philanthropists, an expanding nonprofit organization founded by Lauren Calahan in 2011, creates a unique partnership where three disparate communities commit to act as leaders and resolve a mission of their choice. The first stage of a LEAP is the LEAP to Lead class, a 12-unit leadership training and development course centered upon sustainable leadership skills in order to cultivate the powerful leaders of tomorrow.

Successfully Connecting Youth With Other Cultures

Every LEAP contains three partners, two of which are geographically near each other. Of the two, one is considered affluent, the other non-affluent. The third partner is a global one, located somewhere in the Third World. According to Calahan, "We did this so that each community would recognize that their story was just that, a story. Their perspectives about the other towns or communities were tainted by stereotypes and prejudices that were created long before they were born. Teens have to understand that someone will always have more or less than another, and all that matters is what we decide to do with our circumstances. What better way to discover this than working side by side, writing weekly to your Third World partners who have more limited access to education and prosperity than we have here in America, yet who have perspective and hope. Meanwhile, the Third World partner is engaged in a weekly discussion about how to strengthen their community, build a business, use writing as a venue for change and look at the American students as a resource for connections and education that they do not always have."