(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
LEAP Foundation DC: Addressing the unmet social and health needs of the people of the District of Columbia through educational and training opportunities. Since 2009, we’ve been connecting minority students and their families with support through mentorship, tutoring, and programs offered both through our own nonprofit organization and others with similar goals and missions. We’ve seen our scholars succeed and we look forward to a future of these young men and women acting in leadership roles that will change their communities, their country and the world.
We recently recognized three young men with LEAP Foundation DC scholarships to assist with their various educational endeavors. These students exemplify our mission and confirm the good work that is being done by our organization.
Mr. Daniel Urbano-Campusano is a shining example of what LEAP is all about – providing others with opportunities to find how education works for his or her unique situation. Although Danny faced challenges early on in his educational pathway, his hard work has led to academic success. A gifted musician, Danny shares his natural talents on various instruments through church music group Alabanza. When he isn’t making music, he enjoys practicing gymnastics, swimming, baseball and football. Danny will attend DeMatha Catholic High School, Hyattsville, Md., in the fall, and we hope a $500 non-restricted scholarship grant will assist in his educational endeavors.
Student athlete and aspiring actor Drai Faulk is destined for the stage, already appearing in the renowned “Blacks in Wax” and in performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Historical Hay-Adams Hotel and even the White House. It is clear that Drai is a student who is on the pathway to success, both academically and personally. He is an International Baccalaureate scholar of the National Collegiate Preparatory Academy and also serves as an intern at Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus. A dual athlete, Drai is a member of the National Collegiate Prep football team and is an 11-year member of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, where he serves as a tennis coach assistant. A graduating senior, Drai has been accepted at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Fla., and we hope a $1,000 non-restricted scholarship grant will help him balance his pursuit of theater arts and technical theater management studies.
First-generation Salvadoran college student Aristides Boanerge Escobar is a junior at New York University College of Arts & Science in New York City. Aristides hasn’t just excelled academically while studying biology there, his impact in research in Tel Aviv, Israel, and New York City has been recognized by university leaders. In addition, Aristides has shown a commitment to philanthropy, deity and education through his position with the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity and he has offered support to fellow students through the university’s Big Brother/Big Sister program and its Academic Achievement program, “Rap Session.” With a June 2020 graduation date in sight, we hope this $1,000 non-restricted scholarship grant will assist in this final stretch of the pre-health track.
It brought us great pleasure to honor these young men – our future leaders – at a dinner April 23, 2019, hosted by Dr. Claudia Canjura de Centeno, Ambassador of El Salvador, at the Embassy of El Salvador. Dr. Canjura de Centeno’s commitment to providing learning opportunities is unparalleled and LEAP is always pleased to collaborate with her on a mission to see that our underserved students who otherwise may fall through the cracks are educated and prosper.