Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA)

LEDA is the leading organization nationally to position high-achieving, under-resourced youth to gain admission to and succeed at the nation’s top colleges. LEDA boasts a network of nearly 1,300 LEDA Scholars and Career Fellows. Each year, LEDA recruits 100 high school students from across the country via the LEDA Scholars Program and provides them with a seven-week intensive Summer Institute held at Princeton University which includes college guidance services, standardized ACT and SAT test prep, writing instruction, and leadership study. Following the summer program, staff continue to remotely support students throughout the college application and selection process. As a result, 36% of LEDA Scholars have enrolled in Ivy League institutions and 86% have enrolled in “Most Competitive” colleges and universities as classified by Barron’s. LEDA support students in college through its College Success and Career Network departments and yearly recruits an additional 75-100 rising college sophomore Career Fellows. The program yields an impressive 90+% six-year college graduation rate.

We have supported the overall growth of LEDA as well as the development of its Career Network, including its Career Institute, a five-day revenue-generating program that addresses the gap in pre-career exploration and professional development for high-achieving, under-resourced students. The initiative enhances LEDA’s model, broadens their reach by including other high-achieving, under-resourced students, and prepares them to lead in a broad array of professional pathways. LEDA Career Fellows include both LEDA Scholars and their peers.

Heckscher is a unique funder - they truly understand the inflection points and partnership needed to help organizations get to the next level. That vision, combined with their commitment to making meaningful change, has allowed LEDA to soar. Heckscher has been a key supporter during critical periods of LEDA's growth, from early investments in our core model to later funding for capacity-building of new programs. Heckscher is not afraid to take risks. Heckscher is not afraid to lead or be bold. Heckscher works tirelessly to achieve their mission. Throughout LEDA’s history, we have been deeply grateful for Heckscher as a donor and thought partner who really wants to understand - and help with - our real world challenges. Simply put, collaborating with Heckscher is inspiring: they share our passion for expanding access, creating opportunities for under-resourced students and making fundamental and transformative societal impact.
Ilana Goldman
Executive Director, LEDA