It has been 10 years since the idea came to fruition to create an organization that would advocate for the health and wellness of community members, deliver services to individuals and families in need, support local organizations in their efforts to improve their community and provide a stage for those who are overlooked and disregarded. LEAP Foundation DC, founded by Dr. Clayton Lawrence, has been successful in meeting a mission that has been directed toward meeting the aspirations of the underserved citizens of the District of Columbia and surrounding communities since 2009.
He continues to expand on that mission, providing outreach not just across the nation, but in other parts of the world. The youth mentor and endurance athlete recently traveled to Berlin, Germany, to participate in the 2019 Berlin Marathon. What served as his 118th marathon was an opportunity not only to represent the United States in one of the world’s largest marathons, but nonprofit organization, Smile Train as a member of Team EMPOWER.
“The decision to become a member of Team EMPOWER was simple,” Dr. Lawrence said. “This was an opportunity to be part of a team that is centrally focused on perseverance and endurance, two key components not just in my personal wellness journey, but also in my mission to bring forth opportunities for deserving young people. My role in the community and as an ambassador for childhood disease prevention was able to be amplified through my participation in the Berlin Marathon and upcoming in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.”
It was a simple merger of missions for Dr. Lawrence, who said LEAP Foundation DC has been making it possible for disadvantaged youth to discover their individual pathways to success through mentorship, educational opportunities and training programs. Youth involved in the program are encouraged to take control of their overall health and wellbeing by participating in regular physical activity and making healthy lifestyle choices.
“Smile Train is an incredible organization that allows Lawrence Executive Alliance of Professionals (LEAP), LLC, and LEAP Foundation DC – both built upon strengthening health, disease prevention, and mitigating childhood obesity – to find a new avenue to encourage youth to reach for success,” Dr. Lawrence said.
The organization recognizes that reconstructive surgery to treat cleft lip and palate is simple, fairly inexpensive and immediately life-changing. In fact, Smile Train says that for just $250, one child can receive the gift of a smile, saving those children from isolation and physical difficulties by providing them with surgery they both need and deserve.
“Success is not possible without confidence and for many of the children who so desperately need Smile Train’s help, confidence is not easily attainable,”
Dr. Lawrence continues to raise funds for Smile Train on behalf of LEAP Foundation DC through a personal fundraising page that can be found here: https://my.smiletrain.org/