Yleana Leadership Foundation

The Yleana Leadership Foundation exists to fight the cycle of entrenched poverty - which necessitates breaking the correlation between race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. To do that, we increase the selectivity of the colleges our students attend, in order to:
[1] Increase persistence and graduation rates and access more supportive programming
[2] Secure better financial aid packages and decrease loans, allowing them to start life with less debt
[3] Increase salaries after graduation - double and triple what they would have made after a less selective college

We are emphatically NOT a creaming organization; we take kids all over the academic curve (from a 0.7 to a 5.3 GPA historically) - if you need to get to college, we want to support you in helping you to reach your personal best. Raising your SAT score 130-180 points is a transformational shift in terms of the colleges that will accept you; it will significantly change your post-college financial outcomes.

Our population is 95% BIPOC, primarily Black and Latinx, with an average family income of $32,829. We partner with high schools and CBOs in Baltimore, Boston/North Shore MA, NYC, and Philadelphia. We are actively looking to recruit board members from all of our service ares. 

We run a summer camp experience at Colgate University and Mount Holyoke College which is part [1] college access experience (yes - I and students like me belong at college!), part [2] elite SAT prep (the top 50% of kids increase 140-360 points in 119 hours of prep!) and part [3] college persistence skills like critical thinking, perspective-taking, self-advocacy, real world professional skills, creativity/imagination - and the ability to meet BIPOC/HM mentors (through Imagination Workshops - career exposure - and our Entrepreneurship One-Day Startup Fair, the cap on every Yleana session). At those sessions, Yleana's Eight Pillars work together to create a space that not only focuses on college access and persistence, but gives us space to create a loving safe space that concentrates on the whole person.

In just three weeks, we see some amazing results; our kids have fun, their scores increase dramatically, and they learn that they can be successful in anything they set out to do!