Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP) is an innovative and unprecedented program operating in the Florida female correctional system. LEAP offers entrepreneurship, employment, life skills training and support programs dedicated to preparing incarcerated women to successfully re-enter society. LEAP’s founders recognized that the incarcerated women they encountered while serving in outreach programs needed long term support. LEAP strives to serve women scheduled for release within 12-18 months. The program is the only entrepreneurship/employability curriculum preparing female inmates in South Florida with the necessary skills and training to start a small business or gain employment and become contributing society members upon release.
The Entrepreneurship portion, presented by Barry University, is the primary focus of LEAP’s program. It educates participants on how to start a small business, marketing strategies, business management, and financing a business. All participants (LEAPers) write and present a polished business plan. The Employability portion of the program includes résumé preparation, job search skills/tips, case studies and role playing. It is designed to inspire work ethics, integrity and provide career advice specific to the barriers ex-offenders will confront. Life skill classes include presentations on anger management, journaling, problem solving, effective speaking, listening, self-esteem and personal relationships.