Every year since its inception in Lancaster County in 1989, Project Forward Leap (PFL) has given roughly 700 disadvantaged middle school and high school students a chance at a quality education, and Millersville University has been there every step of the way. Now, as the Philadelphia-based nonprofit’s 25th anniversary approaches, PFL will hold a benefit gala at the Ware Center on Nov. 13 to celebrate the impact of PFL in Central Pa.
Millersville and Project Leap Forward are longtime partners in education. Working alongside Messiah College and Bryn Mawr College, PFL and its partner colleges motivate at-risk youth in the community, driving them to raise their standards and show them that college is a realistic achievement in their futures. The organization provides children with a summer education beginning in middle school, and then follows them through high school with Saturday enrichment programs during the school year.
Dr. Melvin Allen, president and co-founder of PFL said, “Project Forward Leap has chosen as its anniversary theme, Empowerment, Transformation and Achievement, because it aptly describes the work of PFL with disadvantaged students.” He added that “The keys to our success are early intervention, rigorous and engaging instruction especially in science, technology and mathematics and mandatory parental involvement. “ The mission of PFL is to close the gaps of academic achievement between students with academic promise put at-risk by serious socio-economic disadvantages and their advantaged peers and by serving as a catalyst for raising achievement standards in their schools.
The keynote speaker for the gala, Dr. Lorraine T. Dean, is a PFL alum and graduate of McCaskey High School. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biological basis of behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. She then earned the Doctorate of Science in Society, Human Development and Health from Harvard University School of Public Health. She is a Fulbright Scholar and is currently is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics.
In addition to the gala, Millersville will host the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Summit on Diversity Nov. 12 and 13. On Nov. 13 at 10 a.m., Project Forward Leap will hold a workshop at the summit titled “Empowering Students to Achieve.”
For more information on Project Forward Leap, visit its website or call 215-568-2344.