A Nonprofit Community Enterprise

Learn, Earn, and Prosper


Preparing blind and visually impaired youth for a brighter future by gaining life skills, work experience, and community involvement!

Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP) provides blind or visually impaired youth the opportunity to gain the skills needed to become independent, confident, and productive with the outcome of increased employability.

Check out some Quick Facts about LEAP!


Begin your journey to independence!

What is LEAP?

Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP) provides pre-employment transitional services to youth and young adults who are blind or visually impaired. LEAP typically offers residential programs, in which students have lived in college dormitories and practice independent living skills.

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Due to COVID-19, LEAP has successfully transitioned into the virtual world, where we offer platform-based educational workshops, remote work based learning internships, and skill camps!

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Once public health regulations allow, LEAP plans to continue with a hybrid programming model of virtual and residential settings. Youth and young adults who are blind and visually impaired from all over the country can enjoy LEAP and cultivate their professional and personal development.

Who can enroll in LEAP?

Young men and women who are blind or visually impaired ages 14-24 years old.

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We also accept and strongly encourage applications from out of state individuals!

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ENROLL TODAY!

As a LEAPster or LEAP Intern, what type of training will I receive?

You will receive training in pre-employment transitional services:

 

  1. Work based learning
  2. Workplace readiness training
  3. Instruction in self advocacy
  4. Social and emotional development

Programming Opportunities


Learn more about the different programs offered to find out which experience might be best for you!

The deadline for submitting registrations for our Summer Virtual Educational Workshops, or LEAP SkillShops, will be June 4, 2021.

Thank you, and we look forward to receiving your registration!

In the summer of 2021, LEAP will be proud to offer in-person day programming to residents of Vermont.

These are paid positions and students may apply and will be competitively interviewed for the available positions.

Please check out our 2021 Virtual Programming flier for more details, or fill out an application below!

LEAP will be offering Summer 2021 virtual work based learning programs.

These are paid positions and students may apply and will be competitively interviewed for the available positions.

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Please check out our 2021 Virtual Programming flier for more details, or fill out an application below!

 

Culinary Camp is an immersive culinary experience virtually held through the online audiovisual platform ZOOM. Participants will be provided with a gift card to their most convenient local grocery store, from which required ingredients and produce can be purchased. Over the course of four weeks, participants will practice and acquire novel culinary skills and learn about the foundational themes of culinary practice including kitchen safety, nutrition, gastronomy, and sanitization.

Objectives for Students:

  • Self advocate for safety! Please provide supervisor(s) with all necessary information to mitigate accidents during a virtually facilitated culinary event;

  • Approach the kitchen with a growth mindset to cultivate kitchen independence;

  • Have fun and actively take part in conversation!

 

Fill out a registration form here!

The Vermont Community Garden Network is offering a five-week ZOOM series of hands-on teaching for people of all experience levels to learn how to grow and enjoy microgreens and salad vegetables. All you need is a small growing space with at least a few hours of sunlight, and we will send you the rest. Even if you’re new to gardening, growing your own food is FUN, easy to learn, and good for you!

  • Session one: Review kit materials and schedule, plant radish and salad greens seeds, plant life cycles and maintenance of a salad garden;

  • Session two: Container and indoor gardening, gardening basics, prepare and plant a microgreens growing tray;

  • Session three: Garden maintenance, soil, sun and water, diagnosing and tending to garden problems;

  • Session four: nutritional value and culinary uses; prepare and taste a microgreens appetizer;

  • Session five: Learn how to harvest, share recipes: Prepare and taste a salad with homemade dressing.

In partnership with the Vermont Community Garden Network.

WEB CODING WITH DR. LUDI

Check out our informational materials here!

Interested? Fill out an application!

Student Testimonials


Find out what our past LEAPsters and LEAP Work Based Learning (WBL) Interns have said about their time at LEAP!

Summer 2020 WBL Programs

One thing I didn’t realize till the program ended is that it changed my thinking on blindness even more and I think I may have finally realized that although I act like I accept my blindness I don’t always do around my close friends and I am now able to.

 

– Youth Advisory Council, WBL Intern, Summer 2020

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Even virtually, LEAP created an opportunity for us to share, connect, and learn. We got to pick up new skills and strengthen existing ones in all different areas, not just social or mobility or daily living. It felt like a dynamic, comprehensive program where each student could decide which sessions would be most beneficial for them.

 

– Storytelling, WBL Intern, Summer 2020

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I learned that I had leadership skills within me, which I had always doubted before, as well as learning how to effectively work with others in a professional setting.

 

– Youth Advisory Council, WBL Intern, Summer 2020

Fall 2020 WBL Programs

The LEAP program is a wonderful, supportive community in which we can laugh, learn, and form ever lasting friendships. I don’t know of any other program that is so supportive in meeting the emotional and educational needs of blind and visually impaired youth: LEAP is my second family!

 

– LEAP Intern, Interview Project, Fall 2020

 

Virtual ZOOM Retreats

One lesson I will take with me from LEAP is to step out of your comfort zone, say yes to every opportunity and embrace adventure. Treat your seemingly insurmountable barriers as challenges that can be overcome.

 

Virtual Retreat Participant | 2020

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I am so grateful for these LEAP Virtual Retreats. We share ideas, laugh and learn from one another. These retreats remind us that no barrier will set us apart.

 

– Virtual Retreat Participant | 2020

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The LEAP program means friendship and community for young adults with vision differences. I learned how to communicate and advocate regarding my visual needs. The greatest impact of LEAP for me is happiness.

 

Virtual Retreat Participant | 2020

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Business Enterprise Program


BEP is a proud partner of LEAP

In 1936 the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 U.S.C. Section 107 et seq.) established the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program, more commonly known as the Business Enterprise Program (BEP). Here in Vermont, the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) is the state licensing agency administering this program. BEP is a self employment program. The federal and state laws governing this program require that candidates are to be legally blind, a U.S. Citizen, and must complete our training program.

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Licensed Operators are trained to run one of DBVI’s food service facilities as self-employed entrepreneurs, keeping 100% of the profits! Our facilities consist of cafe and vending machine operations, located in federal and state building throughout Vermont. Qualified candidates are assigned to facilities as they become available.

For more information contact:

 

Pam Schirner

BEP Program Director
pschirner@resourcevt.org
802.233.2338

Are You Ready to Make a Change?

Contact Us

Instagram: @learnearnandprosper

For Telecommunications Relay Service Dial: 711

LEAP:

Kaelyn Modrak

LEAP Program Manager
kaelyn.modrak@vermont.gov
(802) 777-1921

BEP:

Pam Schirner

BEP Program Director
pschirner@resourcevt.org
(802) 233-2338