with eyes open wide
ALL organizations which help children from poor families succeed, are awesome in my book. But what jumped out at me in regards to LEDA (Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America) is that they don’t accept kids based on race, but mainly on families who make less than $55,000 per year.
I find this really important. Although you will usually find me pulling for the minority races, we should never forget that the universally “superior” white race also deals with poverty. We are not immune.
The kids that this program accepts are in the top 10% of their class, after having taken some of the most difficult classes that their school offers. What these kids lack are great teachers to help them excel on standardized tests (such as the SAT and other entrance exams for universities) and role models to push them to succeed.
Every year, a group of 60 stellar students are chosen from New York City schools and they spend their summer before their senior year of high school at Princeton studying ethics, political theory and public policy, and being tutored by some of the best teachers for standardized college exams (pro-bono, might I add).
Of course the results are very good. Out of the more than 500 students who have gone through this program, about 75% end up at top-tier colleges and 30% to ivy league schools.
How could a program like this, backed with so much good, fail?