Maine Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP)
All of Maine’s youth deserve equitable opportunities for education and career success. Yet, youth in foster care have historically fallen behind their peers in the general population in these areas. As one response to this issue, Maine has joined a national effort called Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential (LEAP) which is being led by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and adapts two evidence-based models to build solid pathways for young people from high school to post-secondary education and careers. One of these models, Jobs for the Future’s Back on Track, prepares young people for a smooth launch into a postsecondary career pathway and supports them during their first year in college. The other, Jobs for America’s Graduates, helps youth earn a high school credential, develop professional skills and gain employment or enroll in postsecondary education.
Maine LEAP is also a systems improvement effort focused on creating supported and seamless education and career pathways for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood. Maine LEAP partners include Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services, Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG), Goodwill Industries and Eastern Maine Development Corporation. These organizations are deepening and expanding their longstanding partnerships in ways that will enhance their collective impact on the education and career outcomes of youth who have experienced foster care. For more information on Maine LEAP visit www.yceme.org.