Yale College and LEDA Announce Partnership to Lower Barriers to College Access and Increase Engagement with Underserved Communities


NEW HAVEN, CT and NEW YORK, NY – February 20, 2024 – Yale College and Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (“LEDA”), the preeminent national nonprofit empowering promising young leaders from diverse backgrounds through educational opportunity and professional development, today announced a strategic partnership designed to lower barriers to college access and increase engagement with college applicants from underserved communities.

Beginning in the summer of 2024, Yale College will host a portion of LEDA’s signature program, the Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute, on its New Haven campus, where rising high school seniors in LEDA’s applicant program will have the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and gain first-hand exposure to one of the most esteemed institutions in higher education. Since 2004, LEDA has been providing this innovative curriculum, along with immersive exposure to on-campus residential life, to promising high school students thanks to the leadership, support, and partnership of Princeton University. The Summer 2024 program will serve as a foundation for Yale College and LEDA to explore a more comprehensive partnership that would provide deeper exposure to Yale for students from underserved communities.

“On behalf of the whole Yale College community, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to LEDA at Yale,” said Pericles Lewis, Dean of Yale College and Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature. “We are honored that LEDA’s Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute chose to spend their final week with us in New Haven. LEDA Scholars have contributed greatly to our campus community across academic disciplines, extracurricular interests, and, of course, throughout our residential colleges. We look forward to introducing the whole LEDA Cohort to all that our wonderful institution and surrounding city have to offer.”

“LEDA is a recognized leader in the national effort to improve college access for low-income students,” said Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid. “Deepening our involvement with LEDA is one way we can affirm our sustained commitment to identifying and attracting high-performing students of all backgrounds.”

“We are thrilled that Yale embraces the critical importance of engaging with students from underserved communities in order to grow the pipeline of future leaders in our country,” said David Garza, Executive Director at LEDA. “Since our inception in 2004, nearly 100 LEDA Scholars have elected to matriculate at Yale as a result of its dynamic and engaging environment, and we are thrilled that this partnership will further empower even greater numbers of rising leaders to apply to this great institution and reach their academic and professional objectives.”

LEDA’s program is designed to equip exceptionally promising students from underserved communities for success in college and beyond. The five-week Aspects of Leadership Summer Institute program covers critical areas for high school students ranging from test prep and writing instruction to leadership training and guidance on developing lists of target colleges. For the past two decades, Princeton University has hosted the Summer Institute in its entirety, and LEDA is grateful to be continuing the fruitful partnership with Princeton while expanding its relationship with Yale.

The partnership with Yale College builds on a program LEDA previously established in 2023 with Yale Law School called LEDA Legal. LEDA Legal is designed to expand the pipeline of underrepresented, low-income students attending top-tier law schools nationwide. The program aims to help high-achieving participants explore legal careers, navigate the application process, and ultimately gain admission to the best law schools in the nation.

About LEDA
Founded in 2003, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) empowers a community of exceptional young leaders from under-resourced backgrounds by supporting their higher education and professional success in order to create a more inclusive and equitable country. LEDA’s vision is an inclusive and equitable America where leadership reflects, celebrates, and supports diverse perspectives.

Media Contact
Claire W. Gallagher
Senior Director of Advancement and Strategic Initiatives
(914) 960-1689 |

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