The criteria for becoming a participant in L.E.A.D. is three-fold: financial need, a continuing commitment to attendance and playing an active role in the educational and mentoring aspects of the program, and finally cooperative behavior and good citizenship. Financial need is determined by the parent’s tax return and/ or the family’s eligibility for the Federal Food Stamp program. All current students will be able to remain in the program if the financial need is no longer there. They will not, however, be given school clothes, food baskets, etc. if there is no longer a financial need. Parents will be asked to show their financial status each year prior to the summer program.

Current students reside in both South and North St. Louis City. Bus transportation is provided for them. Students who meet the criteria and reside in Kirkwood and Webster Groves may apply as well. Anyone who meets the criteria and can provide their own transportation is also welcome to apply.

At L.E.A.D. contracts are made between all parties that spell out expectations, obligations, and responsibilities for everyone and these arrangements are crucial to establishing long term bonds with our students. We maintain contact with our students and their families. Key to our students’ academic continuum is more than education; it is the emphasis that L.E.A.D. places on being there for our youngsters when difficulties arise, highlighting particular skills and behaviors that are required to succeed, and stressing that our students never give up on their goals or themselves. These children deserve a chance to break the cycle of poverty. There is much in our students’ environment to bring them down; however L.E.A.D. Promising Youth is providing a necessary hand-up. We are seeing their success. We take great pride in 100% graduation from high school. Even more exciting is that recently all but one of our graduates has gone on to college or technical training.