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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
avatar for Key  Estime

Key Estime

The RYSE Program
Key Estime is a first-generation, low-income student who has been involved in a local non-profit youth empowerment organization for seven years. As a high school graduate, Key could not afford private college. However, with the support of a mentor, they chose a community college to escape the confines of debt. Their mantra at community college became: what skills do I want to develop? What is the purpose of my education? What is my vision of success? From this frustration, Key developed, coordinated, and facilitated a week-long empowerment summer camp called the Railroad Street Youth Empowerment program (RYSE). The RYSE program is a platform where 10 local juniors and seniors from high school can cultivate a safe space to identify their unique doable steps required to inspire an intersectional educational journey. Here, they can work to achieve their version of success, whether it be college, vocational school, or a gap year. The RYSE students completed a week of scheduled sessions each day with youth panels and professional presenters so as to be eligible for a $5,000 scholarship, while also being paid $200 for participating in the pilot program.