Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc.

New Haven, CT

Who is someone who inspires you?

Elizabeth Kinnane-Smith, one of our senior counselors, faced sudden adjustments during COVID as her other job was no longer feasible. Having a source of stability and support through LEAP enabled her to go the extra mile as a counselor. In addition to meeting with her students three times each week to help them with homework and read together, Elizabeth sent handwritten letters and portraits to LEAPers who could use some extra attention. This touching act led to her latest idea: a hand-crafted coloring book of prominent women of color who have made or are making history. She printed and mailed them to her LEAP children to enjoy at home.

What Project would a laptop help you with?

LEAP’s Learning to Code Program offers low-income students of color (ages 9-15) classes on coding, programming, robotics, blogging and vlogging, animation, and website design. Classes are free and occur once a week year-round. They are single-gender and tiered by age so students are in educational spaces that are comfortable and developmentally appropriate. As students get older, they move from learning basic programming languages by making and playing online games to advanced applications of coding in robotics, circuitry and website design. Older students also develop creative skills using technology by doing creative writing for blogs and animation scripts and video editing for animated shorts.

What do you love about this project?

By preparing New Haven’s low-income youth of color with skills in computer science and engineering, LEAP aims to increase those participating in STEM courses, degrees and careers. We provide them with the background to feel confident, enabling them to give back to their communities.

What Languages do you speak?

English and Spanish.

Given a choice, would you prefer a Mac or PC?