Founded in 2009, LEAP is dedicated to helping incarcerated women transcend their past. We are the only nonprofit agency in all of Florida to focus on women in prison using a holistic entrepreneurship model. Our prison education program teaches practical employment, entrepreneurship, and essential life skills. Just as importantly, LEAP supports our students to go deeper to address the unique pathways to prison for women — domestic violence and sexual assault leading to substance abuse. In far too many cases, women’s prison experiences pale in comparison with their prior experiences of violence.
A vital piece of our program is connecting women in prison with an individual mentor as they transition back to society. Often our mentorships create life-long friendships, and are the key component keeping LEAP graduates out of jail. Knowing that someone believes in them provides mentees with hope and a way to transcend their pasts.
When someone leaves prison, they have nothing but the clothes on their back. When a LEAP graduate leaves prison, LEAP provides her with the essentials — a warm welcome outside the prison gate, transportation, clothing, toiletries, a cell phone, and employment and housing resources. Moreover, she is prepared with the skills to avoid drugs and crime, and find a job – a job with the potential to cover both her own and her family’s bills. Many LEAP graduates take care of parents and children once they leave jail.
Because of LEAP’s unique programming, our graduates leave prison believing in their own power.