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LEAP for Education Inc.

 35 Congress Street, Suite 102
 Salem, MA 01970
[P] (978) 740-6667 x 109
[F] (978) 740-6668
www.leap4ed.org
[email protected]
Linda Saris
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INCORPORATED: 2014
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-1445061

LAST UPDATED: 08/25/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names Salem CyberSpace (2014)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

LEAP for Education empowers low income and first-generation-to-college students to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school, and to graduate college prepared to pursue a successful career.

Our long-term vision is to be the preferred learning center for low-income and/or immigrant tweens and teens to obtain academic help and workplace skills, and to be the regional provider of college access and college readiness programs. Strong public and private partnerships, quality and innovative teaching and curricula, current technology, a replicable business and program model and quantifiable outcomes drive this success and will enable LEAP for Education to reach its goals. LEAP for Education is committed to operating a community academic learning center shaped by community needs through collaborations with schools and community organizations.

Mission Statement

LEAP for Education empowers low income and first-generation-to-college students to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school, and to graduate college prepared to pursue a successful career.

Our long-term vision is to be the preferred learning center for low-income and/or immigrant tweens and teens to obtain academic help and workplace skills, and to be the regional provider of college access and college readiness programs. Strong public and private partnerships, quality and innovative teaching and curricula, current technology, a replicable business and program model and quantifiable outcomes drive this success and will enable LEAP for Education to reach its goals. LEAP for Education is committed to operating a community academic learning center shaped by community needs through collaborations with schools and community organizations.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $875,197.00
Projected Expense $693,601.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • Brothers for Success
  • College Success Program
  • The Teen Center

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

LEAP for Education empowers low income and first-generation-to-college students to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school, and to graduate college prepared to pursue a successful career.

Our long-term vision is to be the preferred learning center for low-income and/or immigrant tweens and teens to obtain academic help and workplace skills, and to be the regional provider of college access and college readiness programs. Strong public and private partnerships, quality and innovative teaching and curricula, current technology, a replicable business and program model and quantifiable outcomes drive this success and will enable LEAP for Education to reach its goals. LEAP for Education is committed to operating a community academic learning center shaped by community needs through collaborations with schools and community organizations.


Background Statement

The youth programs of LEAP began in the summer of 2003 (under the name Salem CyberSpace) with only 7 students. Since then, it has grown from a small after-school homework help center for a handful of middle school students, to a comprehensive academic program engaging over 400 youth per year in comprehensive summer and school year programs at LEAP, at the public schools and at Salem State University. All of these programs were designed to improve academic performance, engage youth in career and college exploration, improve college readiness and increase graduation rates from high school and post-secondary schools.

College Success was initiated in 2009 in response to our students’ growing need for academic support and college guidance as our long-time participants entered their junior year of high school. Parent Academies were added in 2011 to inform and guide parents through the academic journey from high school to college. In 2013 College Success expanded to the communities of Peabody and Gloucester and began recruiting students at the end of 10th grade rather than the middle of 11th grade.
LEAP is the premier academic program serving low-income youth ages 11-23 in Salem and surrounding communities. This program was chosen as one of two state-wide programs by the Department of Higher Education to participate in a DHE-funded pilot that provides students with highly intensive college services.

In 2012, LEAP teamed up with the Salem Public Schools (SPS) to apply for after-school grants from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). To date this partnership has been awarded 3 different grants to run both school year and summer programs. SPS provides the space and instruction and LEAP provides the program coordination, does all of the assessments, budgets, purchasing and logistics and is the liaison with DESE. In June 2015, LEAP was hired to provide similar services in Gloucester middle and high school.  In addition LEAP provides instruction related to college and career readiness and STEM. (see below).

LEAP opened in the summer of 2002 as part of North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc.’s (NSCAP). On June 1, 2015, LEAP separated from North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. under a Purchase of Assets agreement. The operational and strategic plans of LEAP will remain the same. The fiscal year will change to June 30.


Impact Statement

Accomplishments:
1. In 2015 alone, LEAP's College Success Program provided services to  90 high school students on the North Shore, culminating in over 250 college applications submitted by its 32 high school seniors.
2. LEAP's Academic Learning Center provides after school and summer programs to over 200 middle and high school youth in Salem and Gloucester. In June 2015, LEAP was hired by the Gloucester Public Schools to create and implement an improvement plan for both of its after-school programs.  This was completed in the summer of 2015 and, as a result, funding was restored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  LEAP was hired to continue to oversee these programs.
3. 100% of our active students graduate high school and enroll in college.
4. We have an 85% persistence rate in college - our students have an average 2.6 GPA and 35% start their education at community college and 90% at public college.
5. LEAP for Education, Inc. incorporated in July 2014 and separated from North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc on June 1, 2015.
 
 
Top 4 Goals (taken from our Three Year Strategic Plan (2014-2017):
 GOAL 1: Maintain High School Graduation Rates While Raising Academic Achievement
Measure: 95% or more of students will graduate high school in 4 years and 100% within 5 years and 95% or more will enroll in college.
GOAL 2: Maintain Post-Secondary Graduation Outcomes

Measure: (1) 85% or more graduate with a post-secondary credential, 80% or more with a college degree within 6 years, and (2) 100% file and receive federal financial aid and 50% of students who apply to 4-year colleges will also get scholarship money.

GOAL 3: Attain Financial Sustainability

Measure: Build a 6 month operating reserve by 2017.

GOAL 4: Expand the organization through replication and new services

Measure: 20% of revenues come from subcontracts to schools, colleges or CBO’s by 2017.


 
 
 
 
 
 

Needs Statement

1. Build fundraising capacity and infrastructure -- Currently the Executive Director is doing the vast majority of grant writing and fundraising and needs the assistance of a seasoned fundraising professional. In advance of hiring, we will need to develop a fundraising plan, marketing materials and a database.  The total cost is estimated cost is $90,000 (approximately $15,000 is a one-time expense).
 2. PT Volunteer Coordinator ($35,000) - we have to change our operating model to incorporate volunteers. To do this, we need a model for recruiting, training and, most importantly, retaining volunteers. 
3. Replication - we need to evaluate our success in our current locations and develop a long term strategy for our college success program. We are losing our College Access grant from the Department of Higher Education (the five year grant ends in June 2016) and we need a strategy for replacing that money to assure the sustainability of that program. 
4. Succession Plan - LEAP needs to develop its management structure
5. Increase salaries of key staff to be at the midpoint for comparable jobs in the non profit sector.
 4. Develop the Teen Center - this was put on hold this year as we transitioned our middle school programs into the public schools and prepared for an unexpected move due to the sale of our current building. We need to provide a vision, a recruitment plan and programs and activities to restart this needed program for high school students.
 

CEO Statement

Looking at all of the 2009 high school freshmen in Peabody and Salem, about 40% of the low income students enrolled in college and only 30% persisted through the second year of college. In Gloucester those numbers are 30% enrollment and 23% persistence. A 2010 Social Impact Research Report indicates the 4 primary reasons for these dismal outcomes are: lack of academic preparedness, lack of aspiration, lack of college knowledge and financial resources. Programs that can address these needs have higher success rates. We address the academic, social-emotional and financial needs of low income and first generation students to assure success in high school and college and we do this from middle school through college.

1. We do not cherry pick – our average GPA is 2.6 and half of our students start at a community college. Most programs like ours have minimum GPA’s and other eligibility requirements. Many do not assist students going to community college as they are at higher risk of dropping out.
2. Unlike other programs, we also provide academic support (Salem and Gloucester only). About 40% of our students have been receiving academic services at the ALC for 3 years or more with many attending our programs since middle school. Even students who join us in 11th grade for help with the college process have access to tutoring and homework help through the ALC.
3. We continue to provide structured services by paid trained advisers (not volunteer mentors) to our students through college graduation which includes helping our community college students transfer into 4 year colleges. So far 75% of our community college students who finish their two year degrees have gone on to 4 year schools. Compare this to the 29% nationwide number for community colleges. Of those that do transfer, only 62% on average complete a four year degree. To date our graduation/retention rate is 87% for our community college transfers.
4. We work closely with the parents providing services and information to them about schools, college and other relevant topics such as healthcare reform. This includes four parent workshops which are also open to the public and many one-on-one family meetings.
5. We address the Social-emotional needs of our students needed for college success including life skills and psych-ed workshops on subjects like recognizing signs of depression, healthy relationships, managing stress, etc.
6. All of our students leave for college with aspirations, they learn how to identify all their choices and then make a responsible decision, and are provided with a social network of caring adults. 


Board Chair Statement

Currently, the Executive Director fills these roles.  This will change as the Board expands.  Accordingly, I have asked one of the Board members to provide a response to this question. Mr. Robert Crosby has been a Board member for about 6 months but has known the organization for about 5 years as an employer of our students, a volunteer and now a Board member.

Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA
LEAP for Education serves students and their families in Salem, Peabody and Gloucester.

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. Public & Societal Benefit - Public & Societal Benefit NEC

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

21st Century Community Learning Centers

In 2012, LEAP partnered with Salem Public Schools to apply for a 21st Century grant for 60 middle school students.  LEAP was the program coordinator for 2013 and 2014 providing grant oversight and administration, assessment and budgeting. In 2015 and 2016, LEAP's role has extended to curriculum development and instruction, with a strength in STEM subjects.  In June 2015, LEAP was successful in getting another 3.5 year renewal to this grant as a Promising Practices site in a very arduous and competitive process. In 2016, LEAP is providing program coordination, site supervision and instruction.
 
In June 2015, Gloucester Public Schools asked LEAP to take on a similar role in the Gloucester middle and high school program serving about 200 students.  
Budget  $85,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  Enrollment and attendance - we are aiming for 60 highly engaged students in school year and summer programs with an average of 100 hours of attendance during the school year.
Program Long-Term Success  Students develop 21st century skills and engage at high levels in school day classrooms and progress to high school with a higher liklihood of success.
Program Success Monitored By  We use the SAYO assessment form developed by the National Institute for Out of School Time at Wellesley College.  This measures student improvement during the school day and after-schools.  Programs select 3 learning outcomes to measure - some are academic and some are social-emotional outcomes
Examples of Program Success  Need data here

Brothers for Success

This is a subset of our College Success program but follows a slightly different curriculum.  Males of color form a separate cohort of students during junior year and work twice a month with a professor at Salem State and several SSU student-mentors.  The purpose of the separate cohort is to first address the reasons why low income males of color self-select out of college and provide the supports and role models to breakdown social-emotional, financial and academic barriers unique to this demographic group
Budget  $15,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Guidance & Counseling
Population Served Males Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  The short term success is getting enrollment and attendance.  In year 1, we have 14 males enroll with a 60% attendance rate.  We need to focus on improving this by doubling the enrollment and increasing attendance to 80%
Program Long-Term Success  This is a new program this year so we don't have any measures yet.  We will measure this in high school graduation, college enrollment and persistence, the same as for college success.
Program Success Monitored By  We will monitor success through grades, obtained through their school transcripts, and enrollment in the college program as seniors. We aim for 100% high school graduation and 80% college enrollment
Examples of Program Success  The program is in its pilot year and success cannot be measured at this time

College Success Program

College Success: This program, operating in Salem, Peabody and Gloucester, offers high-quality educational and advisory services that assist students in career exploration and the entire college process from their junior year of high school through college graduation and financial planning throughout. For many, this will include both a 2-year and 4-year degree.
 
In the 11th grade, students engage in self-exploration and career exploration. This year is dedicated for students to not only understand and develop their strengths and passions but to engage in many social-emotional learning experiences to begin to prepare for being an independent and successful college student. By the end of junior year, students have identified careers that match their interests, have attended 6 life skills and social-emotional workshops, prepared a resume, visited 8 colleges, finished their college essay and developed a college list.  In senior year, students prepare their college applications, financial aid and scholarship applications and thoughtfully make their college selection. During high school parents attend up to 4 parent workshops.
Budget  $435,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Guidance & Counseling
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) At-Risk Populations Families
Program Short-Term Success 
High School graduation and college enrollment rates - 95% of our students will graduate with 4 years and 100% within 5 years.
 
College enrollment - 100% of our students will enroll in college defined as enrolled in a post-secondary school on a part-time or full-time basis within 6 months of high school graduation. 
Program Long-Term Success  We measure long term results in persistence (students persist into sophomore year of college) and graduation from a 2 year or 4 year college or technical college.  We aim for an 85% persistence and graduation rate combined.  Once we have more graduation data, we will start reporting these separately.
Program Success Monitored By  We have access to student high school transcripts and have access to college online accounts so we can monitor academic status. For students who do not not continue with our college advising services, we monitor by following up with them at yearly intervals.
Examples of Program Success 
100% of our students have graduated high school and enrolled in college for the past 6 years of our programs.
 
Through this period, we have maintained an 85% persistence/graduation rate which is far above the rate for students in our demographic pool and their average GPA leaving high school. 

The Teen Center

The Teen Center is an after school program that provides students with academic support, enrichment opportunities and community service during the school year and summers. The Teen Center will also offer life skills workshops (financial literacy, sex education, goal-setting, etc), college readiness workshops and many social-emotional/behavioral health workshops that address stress, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, substance abuse, etc.
 
Examples of enrichment activities include - Girls Who Code (a group of teen girls learning about computer science), Talking Trash ( a group of teens addressing issues arising from ocean pollution) and a summer programs such as the ELL Academy to help ELL students improve their English Literacy through various service learning projects and CPSS, a state funded program to assist academically at-risk students to stem summer learning loss through innovative service learning projects.
 
There are always bi-lingual staff on hand to help students with homework and provide tutoring. 
Budget  $275,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
By the end of the 10th grade, 75% of these students will join College Success program and begin to create their pathway to college.
 
100% of these students will be able to articulate what their strengths and passions are, what their aspirations are and who makes up their social capital network.
Program Long-Term Success  72% of these students who are primarily low income, minority, B/C students, and/or first generation to college,  will become successful college graduates and enter college with the confidence, aspiration, and skills to graduate and move into a career that matches their strengths and passions. (100% graduate high school, 85% enroll in college, 85% graduate college)
Program Success Monitored By 
Participation in our programs is the most important indicator of success. Students' attendance and participation in activities will be tracked.
 
Students will also self-report through oral and written journals what their aspirations and strengths are, choices they have, decisions they have made and social capital they have formed.
Examples of Program Success 
From Manny Cruz - a student who participated in the ALC as a middle school and high school student.
 
"I struggled throughout most of my childhood to cope with the instability that living in poverty caused. I was so angry at the world, and I brought those frustrations with me into the classroom. LEAP provided me with a group of caring adults that humanized me, a safe space to explore my interests, and gave me the support I needed to realize my full academic potential . I will graduate from Northeastern University in May, and I will pursue a career in public service. I want to make a positive impact on the lives of others just like LEAP and their staff did for me."
 
Our students can be very transient so we can only track those that stay through high school, although many who leave earlier do stay in touch.
 
We believe that 100% of the students who spend 2 years or more in our ALC programs will go on to graduate from high school. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Using data made available by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on post-secondary outcomes, all our cities show low college enrollment and persistence rates among low income student populations. Looking at the 2009 high school freshmen in Peabody and Salem, about 40% of the low income students enrolled in college and only 30% persisted through the second year of college. In Gloucester those numbers are 30% enrollment and 23% persistence. A 2010 Social Impact Research Report indicates the four primary reasons for these dismal outcomes are: lack of academic preparedness, lack of aspiration, lack of college knowledge and financial resources. Programs that can address these needs have higher success rates. The research report details the benefits to society (e.g. less crime, more civic engagement), government (higher tax revenues, less public assistance) and individuals and families (higher incomes and generational impact). We address the academic, social and financial needs of low income and first generation students.

1. We do not cherry pick – our average GPA is 2.6 and many of our students start at a community college. Most programs like ours have minimum GPA’s and other eligibility requirements. Many do not assist students going to community college as they are at higher risk of dropping out.

2. Unlike other programs, we also provide academic support (Salem and Gloucester only). About 40% of our students have been receiving academic services at the ALC for 3 years or more with many attending our programs since middle school. Even students who join us in 11th grade for help with the college process have access to tutoring and homework help through the ALC.

3. We continue to provide structured services by paid trained advisers (not volunteer mentors) to our students through college graduation which includes helping our community college students transfer into 4 year colleges. We meet every week with our college freshmen. So far 75% of our community college students who finish their 2 year degrees have gone on to 4 year schools. Compare this to the 29% nationwide number for community colleges. Of those that do transfer, only 62% on average complete a 4 year degree. To date our graduation/retention rate is 87% for our community college transfers.

4. We work closely with the parents providing services and information to them about schools, college and other relevant topics such as healthcare reform. 

5. We offer social-emotional programs to address the non-cognitive skills that students must have to be successful in school and career.
 

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Linda E Saris
CEO Term Start Aug 2002
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience
Ms. Saris is the founder of LEAP for Education, Inc. and has been its only executive level Director since she started this as a program in 2002. Ms. Saris has grown this from a program with an annual budget of $40,000 in its start up year to its current $768,000 budget. 
Linda received her BA in Economics and Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago. Prior to LEAP, Linda held several senior management positions, including CFO and Senior Vice President of Operations at RSA Security, at the time, a $250 million publically held software company. Linda serves on the Board of Directors of Beverly Bank, is a founding trustee and Treasurer of the New Liberty Charter School (formerly Salem Community Charter School), is Vice President of North Shore Technology Council and serves on various Advisory Committees including the North Shore Medical Center, and Youth Pipeline of the Workforce Investment Board. In 2013, Linda was appointed by Governor Patrick to the state-wide after-school coordinating council. In 2015, Ms. Saris received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Salem State University.
 
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Jesenia Tejada-Perez College Success Coordinator
Ms. Tejada-Perez has been with LEAP for Education since May of 2011 and prior to that worked for Bottomline and La Vida, both organizations that provide college access services to low income students.
 
Ms. Tejada-Perez received her Bachelors in Human Services from Northeastern University and a Masters in Social Work from Boston University
Ms. Katherine Wilkins Academic Learning Center Coordinator
Ms. Wilkins is in her second year at LEAP.  She started as a College Success Associate and was promoted in 2015 to her current position.
 Ms. Wilkins received her Bachelors and Masters in Education at Merrimack College.
 
 

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

LEAP for Education, Inc. could not have the impact it has without the support for its many partners.
 
We partner with the school districts in Salem, Peabody and Gloucester.  The guidance office helps us to recruit our students, we use high school facilities at no cost, and we provide after-school and extended learning time instructional and management services in Salem and Gloucester. Like a true partner, LEAP staff contributes their time to help the districts by participating on community councils, task forces and selection committees.
 
Salem State University has been a partner since 2011.  We partner on several grants and offer both student and parent outreach and recruitment services as well as provide instructional and content input for various jointly run summer programs. Examples of partner programs include Brothers for Success and the summer ELL Academy.
 
The North Shore Workforce Investment Board assists LEAP and its students in developing work and job readiness skills.  They also assist in finding jobs for our students.  The NSWIB and LEAP are often partners on various Salem grants.  Linda Saris serves on NSWIB's Youth Pipeline Committee. 
 
Other partners include: The House of the Seven Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Sound Coastwatch, and Essex National Heritage
 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our program directors and support staff are largely young professionals with advanced degrees but limited field experience.  While their passion, energy and connection with the youth makes them excel at their jobs, their lack of management experience often hinders their ability to see beyond the tactical and be able to contribute to the strategic discussions that take place within the organization and to manage through change which inevitably happens as organizations grow.
The Executive Director is a seasoned executive with many years of management, governance and organizational experience.  In addition to her duties as ED, she is spending time with her staff to guide them through strategic planning and management and provide them with professional development to hone and advance their skills in running complex programs and managing budgets.
 
The organization needs a succession strategy and needs the ability to raise the salaries of its staff to at least be at the mid range for the position.  These are goals for the next two years.
 
 Statement from one of our College Site Coordinators:

Every day at LEAP for Education is a new adventure, packed with the responsibilities that come with mentoring and teaching a multiplicity of student all with unique and varying needs. Whether it is helping a high school junior research a college or helping a graduating college senior apply for a job, each accomplishment brings every student closer to achieving a goal. It is humbling to be able to work in such a dynamic environment with a smile on my face every day, ready to tackle and find joy in any and all surprises that make up the structured variety of working with youth. I grow with my students as we experience new, unexpected challenges together. Every step of the way my colleagues and I are supported by supervisors and coworkers who are always willing to evolve, learn, and teach as part of a powerful team. My passion for working with teenagers and young adults is constantly evolving due to the way in which I see my students strive towards their goals with diligence and confidence.

Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 9
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 20
Number of Contract Staff --
Staff Retention Rate % 92%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 14
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Semi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Linda E Saris
Board Chair Company Affiliation LEAP for Education, Inc.
Board Chair Term July 2015 - June 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Ellen Galligan Catholic Charities North Voting
Ms. Jody Goldman DiCicco Gulman and Company LLP Voting
Mr. Terence McGinnis Eastern Bank Voting
Ms/ Karen Murphy clypd, Inc. Voting
Mr. Jonathan Ofilos Tinti Grover Quinn Frey PC Voting
Ms Linda E Saris LEAP for Education, Inc Voting
Dr. David Silva Salem State University Voting
Ms. Elaine Webb Applied Materials Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 77%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 40%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Governance and Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

LEAP for Education, Inc. has been running programs since 2002 under the umbrella of a larger organization and only just started its operation as a separate entity as of June 1, 2015.  The governance policies are very much still under development.  However with only a few months under our belt we have an involved and committed Board of Directors.  As a small Board we have been governing as a full Board and it has only been this month that we have created two standing committees: Finance and Governance.
 
The Executive Director and all of the Board members have Board experience and bring a plethora of skills to help set the strategic direction of LEAP for Education. 
 
Comment from a former Board member:
My name is Robert Crosby and I have been a Board member at LEAP since June 2015. However, I have been familiar with LEAP for 5 years when one of my employees (who used to work at LEAP) invited me
to attend one of LEAP’s graduation events. LEAP’s events are very student-centered and it was very moving to hear the stories of each of the graduates, most of whom come from single parent homes where English is not spoken.

I identified with these students in a very personal way. As a high school student myself, I struggled in school, made poor choices and could have just as easily ended up in jail as become the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. It was through strong adult role models and my own perseverance and aspirations that I was able to succeed as an adult.

Since that first introduction, I have hired students from LEAP as interns, have volunteered as a tutor/mentor, have provided in-kind services, sponsored events and, after the sale of my company, donated funds. And now, I am on the Board of Directors continuing to help in any way that I can.

My message to potential donors is this. If you want to donate to an organization that makes a real difference in student’s lives, invest in LEAP. LEAP staff provides each youth with a caring adult who helps each student find their interests and passions and a pathway to college and career that matches them. There is no one-size-fits-all education here. Each student gets to explore and learn in a very hands-on way, meet interesting people and access a large social network. Students go to college with tools to problem-solve, make good choices and live as independent adults. Because of these skills students will not only graduate from college at higher levels, they will become productive employees who are motivated, know how to take initiative and can communicate effectively.

Join me in supporting LEAP for Education.
 

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $875,197.00
Projected Expense $693,601.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

Audit Documents

2016 Audited Financials

2016 Midyear financial data dated 4/30/16 (unaudited)

2015 Financial data per the nonprofit for 2013, 2014 and 2015

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $970,864 $632,015 $578,005
Total Expenses $698,370 $632,015 $577,738

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$289,600 -- --
Government Contributions $452,891 $785,362 $484,252
    Federal -- -- --
    State $277,735 $202,011 $84,540
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $175,156 $583,351 $399,712
Individual Contributions $96,882 $114,126 $93,752
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- $173 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $1,119 -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $43,696 -- --
Revenue In-Kind $26,691 -- --
Other $59,985 $-267,646 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $553,133 $584,140 $506,955
Administration Expense $108,927 $42,261 $64,747
Fundraising Expense $36,310 $5,614 $6,036
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.39 1.00 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 79% 92% 88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 1% 1%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $349,606 $325,900 $198,378
Current Assets $348,023 $320,433 $175,334
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $61,289 $60,944 $23,808
Total Net Assets $288,317 $264,956 $174,570

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.68 5.26 7.36

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

FY 2016 was our first year separated from NSCAP. The primary reason for this separation was to give us the freedom to fundraise and to apply for a wider range of grants. From the feedback on last year’s grant, there was concern about our ability to meet our budget numbers. We hope that our successful FY 17 has proven our ability to meet our budget.

Our revenues in FY 15 under NSCAP were $632,000 and in FY 16 our audited revenues were $910,000. Excluding $27k in pro bono legal fees that were booked as in-kind revenue (with the offsetting expense in contracted services), this number would be $883k. This represented a 40% increase over FY 2015.

Our FY 17 unaudited revenues are $827k which represent a 6% decrease over the adjusted FY 16 numbers of $883k. If you take into consideration that FY 16 revenues included a one-time $98k grant from the Department of Higher Education (over and above our annual $100k DHE grant), we would have had a 5% year over year increase. With a new development plan in place and a newly hired Development Director, we were able to raise additional funds in grants (+11%), donations (+54%) and events (+75%).

 

Additional Financial Narrative: 
 
LEAP for Education, Inc. operated as a program of North Shore Community Action Programs  from 2002 through May 31, 2015. In July 2014, Linda Saris incorporated LEAP for Education, Inc. in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and on January 26, 2015, LEAP received its IRS Tax Exempt status. On June 1, 2015, LEAP separated from NSCAP under a Transfer of Assets Agreement. At the time of LEAP’s incorporation, the fiscal year was changed from NSCAP’s September 30 to a June 30 fiscal year.
 
Because the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 only had one month of operations, we filed a 990 N.  We did prepare a 990EZ for the year but it only included one month of operations.

While LEAP for Education as an organization is new, LEAP for Education has been a viable, effective and independently run program for over 10 years. LEAP’s programs, management, staff and mission has and will remain unchanged for 2016. As part of NSCAP, LEAP’s staff did everything both operationally and strategically, including all fundraising, grant writing and partner development. While NSCAP provided fiscal services, LEAP prepared all of the invoices for billing and prepared and monitored its own budget and operating plans.

LEAP will not have its own audited financials and 990 until next year when it closes its first complete fiscal year on June 30, 2016. As such, the financials provided to you as attachments (in the Other Documents file) will include the following:

  1. LEAP’s P&L for October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 (unaudited) which includes 8 months as part of NSCAP and four months as LEAP for Education
  2. LEAP’s P&L for the first ten months (July 1 – April 30) of fiscal year ending June 30, 2016 (unaudited)
  3. LEAP’s Balance Sheet as of 12/31/2015 (unaudited)

Linda Saris, LEAP’s Executive Director is its founding director. Ms. Saris holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago and had 20 years of CFO and senior management experience in the private sector in companies ranging from $ 6 m in revenues to $250 million prior to founding LEAP. (most recently as SVP of RSA Security from 1989-2001)

LEAP has an impressive 14 year record with a current year projection to exceed $800,000 with proven management and quantifiable outcomes. 

We know that our organizational transition makes us somewhat of a round peg in a square hole but I can assure you that we are well-positioned to increase our social impact in education and help the young people in the state to become college-educated contributors to society, both civicly and professionally.

Foundation Comments

LEAP for Education Inc. was a program of North Shore Community Action Programs Inc. (NSCAP) from 2002 through May 31, 2015, and received its own nonprofit status from the IRS in January 2015 (as indicated in the above posted IRS Letter of Determination).
 
Please note, the financial summary data in the charts and graphs above, for FY15 and FY14, reflects the financial history for LEAP for Education Inc. during its time as a program of NSCAP.* As a reflection of this historical data, the charts and graphs follow NSCAP's fiscal year dates (Oct. 1 - Sept. 30). FY16 data in the charts and graphs above is per LEAP for Education Inc.'s audit and reflects its fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).
 
*The FY14 and FY13 financial data, provided within LEAP's files posted above, were audited as part of the NSCAP audit and are the numbers generated by NSCAP and auditors. For the FY15 data displayed above, the numbers through May 31, 2015 are per NSCAP's internal, unaudited records and data covering June 1, 2015 - Sept. 30, 2015 is per LEAP's internal, unaudited records. Additional asset and liability detail was provided by LEAP for FY15 and FY14.
 
The Other revenue category for FY15 reflects transfers to/from reserves.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Impact Statement: A healthy economy needs a strong pipeline of college-educated youth to fill the jobs of the future. First-generation-to-college, low income and immigrant youth comprise a group of students who enroll in college at far lower rates than their peers, or who enroll but then fail to graduate. The cost to society is represented in lost wages, higher participation in welfare benefits, higher court involvement, less civic engagement and a less informed voting public.

In many of our gateway cities, this group represents a very high percentage of the public high school population. LEAP has a mission to empower low income and first-generation-to-college students to perform at higher levels in middle school and high school, and to graduate college prepared to pursue successful careers that match their strengths and passions.

For many first-generation-to-college and immigrant students, post-secondary education is out of reach. This is true not because of academic shortcomings, but because students self-select out due to lack of knowledge about options ("I can’t afford it," "my grades aren’t high enough," "my parents want me to work," "I don’t like school, it is not for me"). For others with a desire to go to college, they simply do not know how to get there. They do not have access to test prep courses, do not know about financial aid or scholarship opportunities, do not have parental oversight to assure deadlines are met, do not know how to select a college or have not thought about different career possibilities. We have found that just going to a local community college without thought to a career path or longer term goals will often lead to that student dropping out. We provide education around college and career options and paths, and we do not cherry pick students – all students regardless of gender, ethnicity or GPA are welcome. Our average GPA is 2.6.

During the recession of the last decade, 78% of all jobs lost were for workers with no more than a high school degree. Of the 11.6 million jobs created since the recession, only 80,000 went to those with no college education. Here in Massachusetts, 72% of all jobs are expected to need some form of post-secondary education by the year 2020 (The Vision Project, DHE). Our economy needs a pipeline of well-trained students and our students need a more structured and thoughtful approach to decision making about college and careers. Discussion around the following questions is critical: What am I good at? Where do my interests and passions lie? How do these translate into career paths? What is the job outlook for different careers? What education is needed for these careers? With different educational attainment, what new opportunities arise? What type of college best suits my long term goals? How will I pay for college? Our experience proves that getting accepted into college requires so much more than simply filling in an application and federal financial aid forms.

Success in high school and college requires the development of both cognitive (academic content) and non-cognitive (often referred to as social-emotional learning) skills. Success is also more likely if students can acquire social capital from a network of caring adults. Work with students in all of these areas leads to the accomplishment of three LEAP goals:

1. 100% high school graduation and college enrollment

2. 85% college persistence/graduation

3. Expanded parent education and access to social capital

To achieve the first two goals, LEAP sets out to build cognitive skills through tutors and academic support from LEAP staff and volunteers as well as through a network of referrals within the schools, colleges and community.

LEAP has expanded its teaching of non-cognitive skills for students in high school by offering classes in goal setting, time management, stress management, financial literacy, healthy relationships, negotiating conflict, decision-making, social awareness, communication, values and ethics. LEAP’s college advisers continue to put these lessons to practice as students navigate college and learn to think and live as independent and responsible adults.

The third goal of expanding access to social capital is achieved through parent education and getting parents involved every step of the way from high school through college. In addition, LEAP staff link students with members of our community who share similar interests and passions so that students may tap into of their knowledge and expertise and acquire role models for success.

We know we are successful through our data on graduation and persistence rates. However, beyond the numbers we know we are successful when our students enter their careers, become involved in the community and become thoughtful, caring and involved adults.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

 

Goal # 1: 100% high school graduation rate and college enrollment:

Strategies:

1. All students have access to academic support through LEAP’s Academic Learning Center. Students are encouraged by their LEAP advisers to also seek out additional help in school.

2. In grades 6 – 12 students are able to take advantage of academic enrichment classes that are student-centered and project-based and focus in areas of STEM and the Arts. Students develop content knowledge, but more importantly, acquire 21st Century skills such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and initiative.

3. Students in grade 10 and 11 engage in structured programs to identify interests, passions and strengths, identify career pathways, meet people in careers of interest, and visit several college campuses.

4. Students in grade 11 complete four “psych-ed” workshops to develop their non-cognitive skills. Social-emotional learning is embedded in all weekly sessions.

5. Students in 12th grade apply to several colleges that match their career interests and college criteria and apply for financial aid and scholarships

6. 100% of eligible students receive federal financial aid and 80% of those attending 4 year public schools and 100% of those attending 4 year private schools receive substantial scholarships or non-government grants.

Goal 2: 85% college persistence and graduation rate

1. LEAP provides all students with college advisers who meets with them weekly through freshman year (in person or by phone), and bi-weekly in sophomore year. By junior year, students who are doing well academically are contacted once a quarter. Advisers have access to our students’ college accounts to monitor grades.

2. Through a relationship with a local mental health services organization college students can obtain counseling or therapy as needed through LEAP if they feel uncomfortable accessing their college’s services.

3. Advisors assist students in changing majors, college transfers, finding internships during school and jobs after graduation. Our advisers do this through our network of community and business leaders.

Goal 3: Expand our student’s social capital and parental involvement

1. LEAP runs 4 parent workshops during the year which are open to the public cover the college process, financing college, understanding student debt, understanding the financial aid package and making the final decision. We offer these in English and Spanish.

2. LEAP assists with public FAFSA day to help parents complete the federal financial aid forms which must be completed on line.

3. LEAP holds ongoing private and group meetings with the parents of our enrolled students.

4. Field trips, speakers, informational interviews, and job shadowing are all offered to our students to introduce them to professionals in their fields of interest.

5. A partnership with Inversant provides our parents with a College Savings program. This program includes critical information for parents about finance and college.

 


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Reputation and thought leadership: LEAP has maintained a reputation for excellence in the community. LEAP employees are engaged in the community at many levels – with parent organizations, neighborhood associations, on boards and committees and as volunteers. The brand is equated with quality, integrity and effectiveness. Employees are asked to speak at events, in classrooms and at conferences. The Executive Director, Linda Saris, is often quoted for reports on after school education and college access. LEAP maintains an active presence on social media and maintains a blog on topical issues.

Management: Since founding this organization in 2002, the Executive Director has sat on over 20 boards, committees, or task forces for both private, government and non-profit organizations. She received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Salem State University in May, 2015, a gubernatorial appointment to the state-wide Afterschool Out of School Time Council in 2013, a Massachusetts Literacy Champion Award, and was inducted into the Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Language Honor Society for her work with the Spanish community. Ms. Saris brings over 25 years of executive level management experience and has used her skills and experience to grow LEAP despite one of the worst economic decades in the last 50 years. LEAP has managed its way through several tough budget years when government funding has been constrained. It does this through managing a tight control over budgets, a constant continuous improvement process and a transparent management style that includes all of the staff in making tough budget decisions.

Partnerships: Despite its growth, LEAP is still a small organization and cannot accomplish its goals without strong partnerships. Partners include all of the school districts in the communities it serves, Salem State University, the North Shore Workforce Investment Board and several other youth serving community organizations including the Peabody Essex Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, Children, Friends and Family Services, Catholic Charities, and Salem Sound Coastwatch. LEAP also has strong connections to the business community which have been instrumental in not only providing needed funds but also has opened its doors to students to advise, employ and tutor.

Core values and culture: We believe that every decision we make has to be evaluated through the lens of our students’ achievement. Our relationships with our students and their families is paramount to the success of our organization and our ability to meet our goals. We can have the best processes, great technology and lots of money but our students must believe in themselves, and must hold aspirations for the future, or all the organizational competencies will be for naught.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We track high school graduation within 5 years, college graduation within 6 years, college persistence (those who persist through sophomore year), and percentage who receive financial aid and/or scholarships. To date, 100% of our students have graduated high school and enrolled in college while 85% have persisted in college or graduated. (we do not have enough history yet to measure 6-year graduation rates). 100% of eligible students received federal financial aid and 80% of those attending 4 year public schools and 100% of those attending 4 year private schools receive substantial scholarships or non-government grants.

We administer a qualitative survey with our parents and students to assess our performance against expectations and to engage in continuous program improvement.

We also assess the wide range of social-emotional reasons that students drop out of school. We added curriculum to build non-cognitive skills, including making good life choices. Because of an unacceptably number of female students who got pregnant in college, we introduced healthy relationships and birth control to our curriculum. We also had several students “take time off” because of various mental health issues. We now offer both group and individual therapy to be more proactive in these areas. Students learn to identify and address signs of depression, anxiety or stress.

It is more difficult to identify hard data to track the success of our Academic Learning Center, where students get academic support and enrichment in grades 6 – 10. For our middle school programs we use the SAYO (Survey of Academic Youth Outcomes) assessment tool which is used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to measure youth outcomes. Youth, after school staff and in school teachers complete these surveys. This is more of a program evaluation tool rather than an individual student assessment. In aggregate, this tool measures if the students as a group are meeting the cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. For our programs we measure English Language outcomes, learning skills, problem-solving, communication and engagement in learning. This data is used to identify areas of program strengths and weaknesses and to refine our programs accordingly. For example, students indicated that they were lacking opportunity to take on leadership roles. In school teachers did not see improvement in class room participation. Therefore, we modified our programs accordingly to give students opportunities to be team leaders and to require that each student give an oral presentation in both small and large group settings.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Recent progress

LEAP has come a long way in the comprehensiveness of its program services. Unlike other college access programs, we have learned that non-cognitive skill building is equally as important as cognitive skill building. Preteens and teens too often make bad choices and decisions. We want our students to develop their own skill set but also know when it is appropriate to ask for help without shame. We have over 40 hours of annual programming in this area not including any individual therapy students might access.

We also understand the importance of family engagement and by the time our students graduate from college, we have met and worked closely with most of our parents. This often leads to other siblings, cousins and extended family members joining our programs.

We have learned that students need to set long term goals and to really focus on what they are good at (too often in school, teachers focus on what students are not good at). Students, particularly students with lower GPA’s and poor academic history, will be more resilient and persistent if they go into college with an aspiration to accomplish something specific, and a dream of a life that is now within reach. All students participating in LEAP programs enter college understanding themselves in deeper and more meaningful ways.

We have learned that students do not get enough opportunity in school to guide their own learning. Hands on activities are too often formulaic, with every student performing the same lab experiment in the same way. Employers complain all the time of college grads who take little initiative and need to be told what to do all the time. We want to give students the opportunity to explore their interests in a manner of their own choosing. We have been developing more student-centered activities using project-based learning and service learning models.

Opportunities and Challenges

We have moved our middle school after school programs to the schools and would like to further develop a teen center at LEAP. We need to further develop a core mission and activities of this center, identify some student leaders and near-peer college leaders and build it up. We are moving our offices shortly and will begin to focus on this.

We need to improve our ability to track student data, particularly once they graduate college.

We want to expand our career services and develop a list of employers who are willing to meet with students, offer jobs, and career advice.

We need to evaluate our cost model and utilize and train volunteers more effectively. We provide the most intensive services of any other college program we know but need to confirm that this model sustainable. Volunteer mentors and more effective use of technology can help us make our delivery of services more effective and efficient.

Finally, like any growing organization, we have to develop a growth strategy and vision. How do we replicate our programs in other areas? What have we learned from our successes and failures in other cities? We have to understand how to grow but still maintain our culture, values and effectiveness.

Organizationally, we need to expand our fundraising capacity, develop a succession plan, build our Board, and raise the level of our staff salaries.

1. We need to build our fundraising infrastructure and tools and then we need to add the capacity to obtain major gifts from individuals and corporations.

2. We need to develop internal talent and create a succession plan for the Executive Director and our two critical line management positions.

3. We need to expand the Board and get members more engaged in development and strategy.

4. We need to raise the salary levels of our staff. Our turnover has been quite low but that has been in a bad economy. We have some great professionals on our team who have developed strong and lasting relationships with their students, which is so important in our field. Our staff is all college educated and over half have Masters level degrees in education or social work. We need to provide them with promotional pathways.