The Learning, Employment, Advancement and Placement (LEAP) program, a partnership between the Ali Forney Center and the Center Youth Program at The LGBT Center, is a six month multi-dimensional vocational and educational preparation course for homeless and at-risk homeless LGBTQ youth between the ages of 16 and 24. LEAP helps our most at-risk youth develop skills – and transform them into independent adults.
Nearly 9 out 10 of our youth never completed, aged out or have not been enrolled in school for periods of greater than 30 days. Through LEAP, we offer regular TASC (formerly GED) preparatory courses so that young people can pass the High School Equivalency (HSE) exam.
To participate in job training and placement, youth are assessed and enrolled in a curriculum to prepare them to take the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) exam, the gold standard for employability for entry-level jobs. While preparing for the NWRC, youth also learn life skills such as resume prep, budgeting and time management. Youth then move into paid internships at one of our corporate or non-profit partners, developing their employment history. Youth graduate from LEAP when they’ve secured a job.
Through cash incentives, continuous support and mentorship, young people receive the fundamental tools necessary for employment and success later in life.