josephThere are million of organizations around the world that are designed to help less fortunate children; however, the  American home front falls short of such organizations. Leap is an small organization that not only helps kids with their problems but also empower them with knowledge to make the world a better place. Participants are split into different classes on the bases of problems and categories; and they can range from “Healthy choices” to “Leadership and Life skills” to even “Career Readiness”. Even an advanced student as myself can learn and improve and thanks to the program that is exactly what I received.

My name is Joseph Harding and I was a participant in the leap program starting October/November of 2014. Leap was brought to my attention through my father whom only discovered it through the court system requiring my younger sister to go because of her juvenile delinquency. My father  convinced me that it’d be a great opportunity to do what I love best, helping others. Furthermore, I also wanted to challenge myself and see how much I could accomplish in the program, emulating the Leap representative Danielle Dillard, whom I’ve become great friends with. I was in a dilemma, I had to choose between working with Leap or working with Life Point Church, and I do not regret my decision even in the smallest sense.

To pick a favorite memory would be like to pick a favorite child. Each and every Wednesday was rejuvenated by announcements, great people and no additional homework. Even without counting the 1-1 (1/2) hour sessions, the after meetings for the student counsel were just amazing. With myself as the president, my icon Danielle as treasurer and the rest of council, we’d come up with so many incredible ideas for community service, fundraising and even annual summer trips. Helping out whenever I could was always my thing, and so when the opportunity came on May 16 on “Foster Care Awareness Day,”i was ready to go. From fundraising, setting up equipment and cleaning up to eating and enjoying the day with new friends were the highlights. The summer Trip to New York was an exciting experience and I loved almost every part except for waking up early or missing the bus and staying at the hotel the day. The New York trip not only  produced a marvelous time but also great opportunities to set up meeting with house representatives Joe Pitts and Jay Reedy and learn from their advices and stories. I will never forget the times I had with leap; I will never forget Miss Dorlisha White granting me with a “Summer Youth Program”job at Barksdale Elementary or the outrageous and hilarious zombie Apocalypse conversation I had with the founder of the Leap Organization, Mr. Richard Garrett.

In my time with Leap, I’ve learned great and unique stories from individuals on how he or she turned his or her life around from dangerous roads. I’ve also learned how one person can really make a difference in an other’s life, such as a mentor or a friend just by lending an ear. From my “Career Readiness” class I’ve learned how to correctly construct a resume, how to perform outstanding job and communication skills as well as public speaking and writing techniques. From joining the student council, as president I learned in a somewhat more intimate manner cooperation, strategy, respect and PLANNING. We learn a great deal of subjects about what our mentors teach, but also what the leap participants find interesting, such as politics, theology, arts, and or sports.

Before I joined the program I had wanted to complete high school, go to one of the military academies, become an officer in the air force, and then join the American embassy; and after joining I realized that more people believed in me and respected me thus pushing me to reach even farther. I now want to add to my list, becoming a congressman and or senator and lastly achieving the rank of commander of chief of the united states of America.
thanks Leap and all of the staff for making my stay worthwhile and I am forever grateful

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