A Nonprofit Community Enterprise

LEAP Goes Virtual

“I am so grateful for these retreats. They offer the opportunity for blind and visually impaired youth to stay connected at all costs. We share ideas, laugh, and learn from one another. These retreats remind us that no barrier will set us apart.” -Participant comment from recent LEAP retreat

Research shows COVID-19 stay-at-home policies have created dramatic mental health issues for the general population, and it can be significantly more concerning to a population already vulnerable to social isolation. This summer’s LEAP (Learn, Earn, and Prosper) program is offering a virtual weekly retreat for young people who are blind or visually impaired, high school through college age, who find themselves isolated, alone, and perhaps scared, with minimal outlets.

Each weekly retreat features a different educational theme that connects high school and college-age youth from across the nation in conversation and laughter in their own homes, through instruction, guest speakers, student facilitation, and peer learning groups.

Inspirational guests will share their own stories, such as a two-time world record holder and three-time Paralympic Medalist Pam McGonigle from the greater Pennsylvania area, and participants will also take part in interactive projects, plus fun and educational activities such as movie nights, trivia, and shared meals.

While developing the weekly retreat concept with professionals from other parts of the country, LEAP Program Manager Kaelyn Modrak discovered the demand for a program like this one would be substantial. This proved to be true, as they started with 14 students and reached 30 within a few weeks. Spaces are still available and if you would like more information, please email kmodrak@resourcevt.org.

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