Leadership Empowerment Achievement of Poe

The LEAP (Lead Empower Achieve with Poe) program seeks to recognize, strengthen and support youth leaders, and to highlight the importance of leadership in Wake County youth. The LEAP program is committed to enhancing leadership skills that empower youth to achieve positive outcomes at school, at home and in their community.

What does LEAP stand for?

LEAP is the Lead Empower Achieve with Poe.


Who could best benefit from participating in a LEAP program?

LEAP is designed to work with youth considered “at risk” for substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors. Some aspects we look for in the youth we serve are:

  • Problems at school (failing grades, suspensions, expulsions, truancy, or dropping out of school)
  • Involvement with law enforcement or the courts (arrests, detention, adjudication, warnings)
  • Have one or both parents, legal guardian, or caregivers who have one or more documented child abuse or neglect reports, investigations, or substantiations involving DSS (WCHS-CPS)
  • Has one or both parents, legal guardian, or caregivers who have problems with substance abuse.

A LEAP staff member will individually screen each youth to determine the youth’s strengths and qualifications for the program. Most youth meet at least one of the above criteria but rarely there is a child that would not, and we will try to accommodate them.


How long do the screenings take?

The individual screenings usually take about 15-30 minutes. The staff will need a private area to talk with each youth on site.


How many LEAP sessions will our youth attend?

It depends on the science-based curriculum chosen to meet the needs of the youth as well as the goals of the school or community sites. It could be as few as 13 sessions or as many as 90 sessions.


Why should my school/program/camp agree to start at LEAP program?

LEAP programming is a high quality experience for youth that could benefit from prevention programming.  In addition, there are benefits that that schools/programs/camps will receive such as:

  • Engaging and highly interactive program for site youth
  • Improved behaviors by LEAP program involved youth
  • Better site ratios and decreased staff time needed during LEAP group times
  • Access to other Poe programming and camps
  • Leadership opportunities for youth such as the Poe Teen Health Advisory Council membership & Tobacco Prevention Leadership Opportunities
  • One free two hour Drugs Uncovered program for parents and site staff (a $400 value!)
  • Or an hour of Drugs Uncovered Lite.


What role does the school/after school staff play in the implementation of LEAP?

  • We need your help with selecting youth that you meet the criteria and could benefit from this kind of group experience.
  • Assist with sharing the Parent Permission Forms with the youth and getting them returned.
  • Assist LEAP staff in establishing a program schedule that is mindful of the school calendar and testing commitments.
  • Securing space for individual screenings with youth.
  • Securing space for program sessions.
  • Educating school/after school staff about youth’s participation schedule.
  • Site staff participation in-group session is encouraged but not required.
  • Share feedback on LEAP staff performance.
  • Share feedback on youth progress and assist with attendance tracking.
  • Access to TV/DVD, WiFi if possible

What is the age group the LEAP program looks to serve?

We typically serve 5th-12th graders, in elementary, middle and high school groups.


Who could best benefit from participating in a LEAP group?

All youth could benefit from the LEAP program.  A LEAP staff member will individually interview each youth to determine what might be challenging the youth’s success at school, at home and in the community, as well as their personal strengths and goals.


What are some of the goals of the LEAP Program?

  • Leadership & Teamwork Skills
  • Positive Communication Skills
  • Anger Management Skills
  • Reinforce Healthy Decision Making


What will youth need in order to participate in a LEAP group?

Each youth will need to have their parent/guardian sign the LEAP participation program form in order to be in a LEAP group. There is no cost to participate in the program.

How many youth can be in a LEAP group?

The group size goal is about 10-12 youth.


How long do the LEAP group sessions last?

Each session usually runs a minimum of one hour.  Some sites have been able to accommodate longer sessions, particularly during the summer months and at after school programs.


How many LEAP sessions will our youth attend?

The LEAP program could be as few as 8 sessions or as many as 90 sessions depending on the chosen curricula and site.  LEAP must use program curricula that have been researched to prove their effectiveness with youth.


How often will the LEAP group meet?

That depends on the curricula chosen and the goals at the site where the LEAP group is meeting.  If possible, it is recommended that LEAP groups meet at least twice a week.





Who do I talk to if I have questions?

You may call the Poe Center for Health Education at (919) 231-4006 and ask to speak with someone from the LEAP program.