The LEEP Journey: Junior Year

Yoelis competing at the Debater of the Year Competition.

Yoelis competing at the Debater of the Year Competition.

"I decided to join NJ LEEP because I was interested in the law. At SLI, I fell in love with the program.

I dont know where Id be today if I didnt have NJ LEEP in my life. It has become part of me and how I identify."

- Yoelis Brito, NJ LEEP Class of 2019


One of the biggest barriers to college admission for our students is often standardized test scores. Junior year, students embark upon one of their toughest years at NJ LEEP and in high school. They begin with a five-week summer program focused on the ACT - a standardized test used for college admissions.

The program focuses on test-taking technique as well as math, verbal, and writing skills. Throughout the program, students take diagnostic exams to determine their progress. Yoelis began the summer with a score of 21, and after five weeks of hard work, she improved her score by 4 points – a 19% increase! With her improved score, Yoelis stands a much better chance of being accepted to Wellesley College, her dream school.

"At SLI, reality set in. I met so many successful people and I realized that what I did in middle school wasn't going to make me successful in life."

Yoelis and her mentor, Val 

Yoelis and her mentor, Val 

During the academic year, Yoelis and her classmates participate in twice-weekly ACT class after school, continue our Saturday Writing Class twice a month, as well as compete in three Constitutional Law Debates. This is all on top of their regular schoolwork and activities! Yoelis prepares for the debates with her Attorney Mentor, Val, who she also considers one of her best friends. 

New this year, we are introducing a "College and Career" curriculum for juniors so that Yoelis and her classmates can explore their options well before applying to college.

"When we visited Verizon, I decided I wanted to do something with Mergers & Acquisitions. My overall goal is to have a job where it doesn't even feel like work, because of how much I love what I do. I want to be financially stable and support my family." 

With your support and Yoelis's hard work, 
we know she will succeed!


Thank you for your partnership in helping our students realize their dreams! Because of you, 100% of NJ LEEP program graduates have gone on to college. 

Support our 2017 Annual Fund!

The first $25,000 will be matched by anonymous donors! 

To donate stock, please call 973-297-1555, ext. 208



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your gift supports:

  • $5,000 - two months of writing class for all 140 College Bound Program Students

  • $2,500 - college application and matriculation support for one senior and their family

  • $1,000 - our year-long ACT prep program for two juniors

  • $500 - a Life Skills course for two freshmen

  • $250 - one debate cycle of support for a sophomore

  • $100 - one student to travel to a summer internship at a Fortune 500 company

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To donate by mail

Please send a check to:
570 Broad Street, Suite 700
Newark, NJ 07102

Support NJ LEEP by using Amazon Smile! Every time you purchase something through Amazon, they will make a donation to NJ LEEP. Choose NJ LEEP as your charity

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To learn more about supporting NJ LEEP, contact Claire Dragon, Director of Development, at or 973-297-1555, ext. 208.