The Latino Educational Advancement Program (LEAP) is an academic success initiative offered by Hispanic-Latino Affairs at the University of Florida. Designed to assist first-year Hispanic/Latino students acclimate to college, this program includes semester-long weekly workshops that provide participants with information regarding the academic resources available to them at UF, as well as some of the organizational skills needed to balance their academic workloads. LEAP concludes with a dinner ceremony at the end of the semester to celebrate the students who have completed the program and will be moving on to conquer whatever may lie ahead of them while at UF.
Although this program may target Hispanic/Latino students through cultural and linguistic elements, we welcome all first-year students with open arms because we understand the difficulties that many students face when transitioning to college and moving away from home.
The purpose of LEAP is to provide first-year Hispanic/Latino students with the tools and resources they need to pursue a successful academic career here at UF. In addition to helping students acclimate to college, we aim to expose our students to the extensive Hispanic/Latino community here in Gainesville so they can access the support and guidance needed throughout their college careers. Most importantly, the LEAP team and everyone here at HLA is excited to help make UF your home away from home.
Hispanic-Latino Affairs aims to empower the Hispanic/Latino community through advocacy, cultural education, and of course, student development. We not only want to see more Hispanic/Latino students at UF, but we want to see our students graduate. By creating and utilizing programs such as LEAP, we hope to increase the enrollment and graduation rates of Hispanic/Latino students at UF.
For this program, we want to foster a sense of community and unity among our Hispanic/Latino student body. To do so, we pair our freshmen participants with mentors in groups of two to three. Since we require our mentors to be juniors, seniors, or graduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA, our mentors provide guidance and advice from their own first-hand experiences, while leading by example through their outstanding academic performance. LEAP mentors help conduct activities during our weekly workshops, and are available to mentees outside of these scheduled meeting times.
Every LEAP workshop revolves around a topic related to academic success. Some of the topics that we may touch upon include:
- Hispanic/Latino inclusion in higher education
- Organization and time management
- Learning styles and study tips
- Libraries and on-campus resources
- Degree programs and scholarship opportunities
- Service learning and study abroad
- Well-being in the academic environment
Each workshop approximately lasts one hour and includes a special guest speaker who discusses the weekly topic, a small-group activity led by a mentor, or a visit to an office on campus that relates to the topic. By organizing our workshops in this way, we hope to foster a fun and interactive learning environment that will keep students engaged throughout the workshop.
For more information on LEAP or to complete an application, contact LEAP Coordinator, Karina A. Vado, at firstname.lastname@example.org