LEDA News – Summer 2019


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2019 LEDA Career Institute Comes to NYU Law

LEDA Career Fellows at the 2018 LEDA Career InstituteThis year’s LEDA Career Institute will be hosted by New York University School of Law. Our newest class of LEDA Career Fellows comes from 34 states and represent 59 colleges. In addition, 90% of our Fellows identify as first-generation college students. This year’s class, expanded to 180 Fellows from 150 in prior years, will soon have the opportunity to engage with LEDA’s terrific employer partners, including: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ropes & Gray LLP, Myriad360, NBA, PIMCO, and Spectrum. Fellows will receive coaching from seasoned professionals, learn about career opportunities in a broad range of industries, and begin developing the skills needed to navigate the job search process.

The LEDA Career Institute is the entry point to the LEDA Career Network. Now in its third year, the Career Network extends our leadership development efforts by addressing the impact of income inequality in the area of career development. After the Career Institute, Fellows receive ongoing support with pre-career exploration, interview skills, internship searches, career planning, professional development, and employer engagement throughout their college years. We would like to thank New York University School of Law for its hospitality and look forward to meeting our new Career Fellows this summer in New York!

LEDA would once again like to recognize the 2018 Career Institute sponsors that have contributed to the ongoing success of this program: PIMCO, Bloomberg LP, EY, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, CoStar, Insight Venture Partners, Morgan Stanley, and Ropes & Gray LLP.

Cohort 14 College Admissions

LEDA Cohort 14 Scholars Jessenia and Ji HongCongratulations to the 100 LEDA Scholars in Cohort 14 for their outstanding college admissions results! 98% of the Cohort was admitted to at least one Barron’s “Most Competitive” institution, including 69% who were admitted to at least one Ivy League school, MIT, or Stanford. LEDA continues to uphold its tradition of exceptional achievement, with 98% of Scholars admitted to a top college over the past five years. Click here to see Cohort 14’s full admissions results.

LEDA Cohort 14 Scholar ChristopherLEDA’s highly personalized college guidance process supports students every step of the way, beginning when Scholars arrive at the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute and continuing throughout Scholars’ senior year in high school. Individualized advising, college campus visits, access to a wide breadth of informational resources, and a supportive community of peers not only distinguish LEDA’s program, but also serve as key factors in our success.

“At LEDA, the college application process is truly a group effort,” said Jahnelle McMillan, LEDA’s Director of College Guidance. “We are here to support Scholars through matriculation and beyond.

LEDA’s comprehensive approach to college guidance extends beyond college applications to include other critical aspects of the admissions process. Our College Guidance Counselors work with every Scholar to submit financial aid documents and external scholarship applications. Cohort 14 Scholars were ultimately awarded significant institutional and external financial aid.

LEDA Cohort 14 Scholar GabySome of the most notable scholarships awarded to Cohort 14 this year include: the Gates Foundation (13 Scholars), Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (9), Horatio Alger Association (8), Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds (4), Coca Cola (4), Hispanic Heritage Youth Award (3), Ron Brown (3), Golden Door (1), and U. S. Presidential Scholars Program (1) Scholarships.

We look forward to updating you in our next newsletter about how our Scholars are thriving in college and developing into our future leaders!

Congratulations, Cohort 14!

The LEDA Community Grows

LEDA Core Values and LEDA4lifeCohort 15 on the Princeton University campus

Welcome to the 100 LEDA Scholars of Cohort 15! Our newest Scholars come from 39 states and encompass a wide range of ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. 86% will be first-generation college students. Cohort 15 arrived on Princeton University’s campus on June 15 and spent the summer at LEDA’s Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute. Stay tuned for a full summer recap in our next newsletter!

LEDA’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

LEDA Scholars at LEDA's 15th Anniversary CelebrationLEDA Scholars at LEDA’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

On April 16, LEDA marked 15 years of serving more than 1,400 extraordinary young leaders. We celebrated our amazing LEDA Scholars and Career Fellows as we looked back on our tremendous history and ahead to the future. We were also thrilled to set a number of milestones, raising a record-breaking $1 million to continue transforming leadership and transforming lives as we enjoyed the company of more than 320 guests and Scholars.

One of the evening’s honorees was Arun Alagappan, Founder of Advantage Testing and the Advantage Testing Foundation and a founding LEDA Board member, who received the LEDA Hero Award in recognition of his relentless support of LEDA and our Scholars. Our other honoree was New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer for his innovative leadership and tireless commitment to diversity and inclusion. The celebration also featured guest speaker Lisa Opoku, Managing Partner at Goldman Sachs.

LEDA 15th Anniversary Celebration - Arun with Mouhamed and KiaLEDA 15th Anniversary Celebration - LEDA Scholar YeniferLEDA 15th Anniversary Celebration - LEDA Scholar Viviana
LEDA Scholars Mouhamed and Kia present the LEDA Hero award to founding LEDA Board member Arun Alagappan.LEDA Cohort 6 Scholar Yenifer (Amherst ’16) spoke about how the LEDA Community not only helped her to persist, but to thrive.LEDA Cohort 9 Scholar Viviana (Yale ’18) reflected on the importance of the LEDA Community in her development as a leader.

Per LEDA tradition, the highlight of the night was hearing from two LEDA Scholars who shared their perspectives on the impact LEDA has had on their lives. Said LEDA Cohort 6 Scholar Yenifer (Amherst ’16), “I had my LEDA family to remind me that I was smart enough and strong enough to pull through. Knowing that LEDA has my back has allowed me to strive for goals that are unfamiliar and scary.”

Cohort 9 Scholar Viviana (Yale ’18) shared that “leadership is fundamentally symbiotic. Communities and leaders cannot exist without one another. I developed my leadership at LEDA and modeled it on LEDA’s own leaders.”

LEDA is grateful to everyone who made our anniversary celebration such a success, and we look forward to sharing more stories about our Scholars and Fellows, more outstanding results, and more about the future of leadership throughout our milestone year.

LEDA would like to recognize the following sponsors for their support in making our celebration a night to remember:

LEDA President

Advantage Testing

LEDA Provost

Nan Rothschild Cooper and Michael Cooper Strada Education Network


Fred and Sylvia Fogel Goldman Sachs Myriad360 Paul, Weiss
Ropes & Gray Willkie Farr and Gallagher Tony and Nanar Yoseloff

Videos of our Scholars, honorees, guest speaker, and the evening’s highlights are available on our YouTube channel at, and additional photos are available at

News from LEDA’s Board of Directors

The LEDA Board of Directors recently welcomed three new members: Eden Abrahams, Andrew Fisher, and Hilary A. Parker.

Eden Abrahams

Eden is an executive coach and facilitator who draws on her professional development expertise and business acumen to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve their goals. Before founding Clear Path Executive Coaching in 2008, she advised executive teams in both public and privately-held companies on strategies to advance their business objectives in complex situations.

Andrew Fisher

Andrew began his career in strategy consulting before founding Myriad360 in 2003. Myriad delivers industry-leading technology solutions to transform and secure clients’ IT strategy, infrastructure, and business. In addition to setting strategy and vision for Myriad, Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for TheaterWorksUSA.

Hilary Parker

Hilary is the Vice President and Secretary of Princeton University. She has a key role in advancing the University’s strategic priorities and functions as the president’s chief of staff. At Princeton, she has also held positions in the offices of the Executive Vice President, the Dean for Research, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Prior to joining Princeton, she was a writer and science teacher.

In Memoriam

Gail Furman

LEDA mourns the passing of the late Dr. Gail Furman, a long-time Board member and life-long advocate for under-served youth. Gail was fiercely dedicated not only to LEDA, but also to expanding opportunities for all young people. Click here to learn more about the Dr. Gail Furman Scholars Fund, established to pay tribute to her extraordinary legacy.

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