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L.E.A.P exists to provide academic enrichment opportunities to foster and adopted youth. Studies show that higher education is often a precondition for the economic independence and basic survival of former foster youth and adopted youth.  The L.E.A.P Summer Program seeks to positively impact participants by:

  • Providing opportunities for young men to develop relationships with, and learn from, college mentors with strong records of personal and/or academic achievement;
  • Nurturing the scholastic abilities of our participants by providing them with techniques that will make them better readers and thinkers in their traditional classroom settings;
  • Challenging them to think critically about their own goals and the role that education plays in the achievement of those goals.

 

The L.E.A.P Summer Program seeks to positively impact participants by: providing opportunities for young men to develop relationships with, and learn from, college mentors with strong records of personal and/or academic achievement; nurturing the scholastic abilities of our participants by providing them with techniques that will make them better readers and thinkers in their traditional classroom settings; challenging them to think critically about their own goals and the role that education plays in the achievement of those goals.  To learn more about LEAP, please click here.

LEAP is a four-day/three-overnight experience for male foster and adoptive youth. Boys are the target population for this program due to their over-representation in the child welfare system. The L.E.A.P Summer Program serves males who are entering grades 5-8 and/or who are between 10 and 14 years old. Students work to develop core academic skills like reading, writing and critical thinking, which can help them become better overall students.

Availability

  • Youth from Great Lakes Bay Region and surrounding area.
  • Open to Youth who are currently in or previously placed in Foster Care, experienced Child Protective Services involvement or have been Adopted.

How to Access Services

  • Contact Adoption Option Inc. by phone at 989-839-0534.
  • To find out more information on the program, how to register a youth, or to become a mentor, please e-mail any questions to Sheila Vanwert at LEAP@aoicw.org.

Benefits of Mentoring Youth

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

It’s no surprise that Children in foster care are among our nation’s most vulnerable young people. A healthy mentoring relationship can be critical to achieving both academic and personal goals. Mentors offer consistency, steadiness and support to children and youth who have experienced abusive or neglectful situations.  A mentor may be the only consistent relationship – the only semblance of family – a youth may ever have.  Mentoring can:

  • Increase high school graduation rates
  • Lower high school dropout rates
  • Increase Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
  • Foster a positive attitude about school
  • Increase college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
  • Enhance self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improve behavior, both at home and at school
  • Strengthen relationships with parents, foster parents, teachers, and peers
  • Improve interpersonal skills
  • Decrease the likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use

If those aren’t reasons enough to consider mentoring, mentors also benefit from investing in others. Mentoring can help the mentor:

  • Aid someone realize their full potential- Everyone has unique talents and gifts. Celebrating individual talents helps to improve their own life, achieve their goals, and help others.
  • Give Back- Spend time investing in your community. Mentoring youth in your community is a powerful way to invest in the future.
  • Learn more about Themselves- Meaningful relationships are a two-way street. Mentors learn more about their personal strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, experience, and beliefs.
  • Change Lives- A mentor may be the only stable, positive impact in a youth’s life.

Interested in Being a Mentor for Youth in the LEAP Program?

Mentors are responsible for guiding and assisting the youth during the 4 day experience. Mentors will connect youth and assist them throughout the week. Mentors will receive training prior to the start of LEAP.

  • Application
  • Required Clearance Documents
  • List of other information required
  • Training Schedule

Downloadable Program Information.

  • LEAP Youth Brochure
  • LEAP Mentor Brochure

Ready to make a difference, become a LEAP mentor,

(please fill out each of these documents)

Return them by Email, Mail, Drop them by the Adoption Option Inc. Office (address on application) to:

Sheila VanWert, Mentor Specialist

Adoption Option Inc.

PO Box 2225

Midland, MI 48641-2225

Or Send by E-Mail

LEAP is a fun and educational summer program students love to be apart of it! Parents love it to, it helps foster care youth. The youth are able to connect with a mentor and interact with other young men in a similar situation.

To get started, fill out these documents and return them to Adoption Option, Inc. and we will contact you to confirm the details.

2018 LEAP Youth Registration Form 

2018 LEAP Participant Medical Form

2018 LEAP Release Indemnification & Hold Harmless Agreement

2018 Release of Information

Return them by Mail or Email to:

Sheila VanWert, Youth Specialist

Adoption Option Inc.

PO Box 2225

Midland, MI 48641-2225

Or Send by E-Mail

Thank you to the 2017-2018 sponsors of the LEAP Program,

our program would not be possible without you.