Thumbs Up from Ted Kennedy
The Leadership and Literacy Foundation and Little Sprouts were recognized by Senator Ted Kennedy for Project STRIVE and their collaborative efforts to bring the program into Lawrence at River Walk Mills.

New Programs

  • The foundation received a Teaching for Diversity Grant from the Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA to prepare an outreach program for low income children. The program addresses mind, body and spirit through yoga.
  • With the $5,000 grant from Banknorth, the foundation created a the Financial Literacy Program to teach money management skills to 35 STRIVE participants.
  • New Balance awarded the Foundation and After School Partners $5,000 to implement a program for school age children which teaches them problem solving, classroom communication skills, and community awareness.
  • In a collaborative effort with Innovative Kids Publishing, the Foundation designed a literacy-based kit for children preparing to start kindergarten. In return, Innovative Kids donated over 1,000 books to the Foundation. The books were distributed to the Early Reading First classrooms and at-risk communities.


Project Strive

Created in 1998, Project STRIVE is a GED and leadership program for at-risk youths who have dropped out of high school in the greater Merrimack Valley. The program runs the full year and meets Monday-Friday for 20 hours per week, leaving time for work experience and internships. The program is funded, in part, by the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board as an
Out-of-School Youth (OSY) program.

Sponsorship Program
The program costs $4,899 per student. You can sponsor an at-risk youth in the STRIVE program. We greatly appreciate any donation to this indispensable community program.

Each youth in the project STRIVE program:

  • Is selected based on entry criteria such as proof of low income, residency, employment barriers, and willingness to improve.
  • Participates in all STRIVE classes and receives all materials necessary for class participation
  • Has access to all workshops, trainings, and certifications offered by the Leadership and Literacy Foundation
  • Works at a local business as a paid intern for at least 10 hours per week in a field identified as an attainable career choice

As a STRIVE youth sponsor, you receive:

  • Weekly and monthly reports and evaluations on the sponsored participant's progress, employment status, and next steps
  • Letter of proof of tax-deductible donation
  • A sense of satisfaction knowing that you have made a difference to at-risk youth and the larger community by helping to generate an employable, effective member of society
Program Components
The following components make up STRIVE:

Academic Achievement

  • GED preparation course
  • Computer literacy course
  • College preparation courses in conjunction with Northern Essex Community College
  • On-site tutoring

Positive Social Behaviors

  • Personality testing and self-awareness
  • The power of change
  • Team building and valuing differences

Employability Skills

  • Resume writing
  • Portfolio creation
  • Interview skills
  • Conflict management in the workplace
  • Effective communication

Leadership Development

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
  • Prioritizing and Time Management
  • Decision Making
  • Working Effectively as a T =Team
  • Project Management and Completion

Citizen Training and Life Skills

  • The Economy and Me
  • Financial Planning and Budgeting
  • Parenting Skills
  • Healthy Relationships

Work Experience

Job Shadow - To learn hands-on work maturity skills, students shadow professionals in a variety of career fields.

Internship - Participants are placed in local businesses as paid interns to learn the basics of being employed: responsibility, maturity, teamwork, problem solving, interacting with others, and career and life choices.

Job Placement - Project STRIVE staff work with participants to place them in career building occupations with strong job growth and potential for promotion.

Literacy Works

The Foundation distributes literacy grants to organizations and individuals in need through a collaborative venture with Little Sprouts Child Enrichment Centers.

Literacy for Life
The Foundation distributes books to nursing homes, hospitals, and other organizations in the community through our Literacy for Life program.

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