Our Leadership Empowerment and Awareness Program (LEAP) for Girls trains a new generation of community educators and activists residing in East Harlem, Central Brooklyn, and the South Bronx—New York City communities of color, with the highest incidence and prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Through its 18-session curriculum, LEAP for Girls empowers young women of color between the ages of 12 and 18 by strengthening their leadership abilities—including their public speaking, conflict resolution, and decision-making skills—and educating them about self-advocacy, HIV/AIDS and its related subjects.
In an attempt to address the broader range of factors that influence how decisions about sex and sexual health are made, the program also incorporates a clinic visit, bilingual parent workshop, and participant-run community action project related to HIV/AIDS education and awareness. In addition, parents and guardians of LEAP for Girls participants have the opportunity to attend a workshop on parent-child connectedness. They also receive a listing of local resources and a copy of “Talking With Your Daughter About Sex & HIV Prevention”.
To date, 521 young women of color have graduated from LEAP for Girls and have reached 12,600 of their peers through community action projects.