PLATINUM2022

MindLeaps

New York, NY   |  www.mindleaps.org

Mission

MindLeaps creates educational paths for the most vulnerable children in the world through a creative arts program that is built on data-driven metrics.

Ruling year info

2005

Executive Director

Rebecca Davis

Main address

116 West 23rd Street Suite 500

New York, NY 10011 USA

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Formerly known as

Rebecca Davis Dance Company

EIN

20-2041093

NTEE code info

Dance (A62)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

“Lack of access” is usually cited as the most common reason children do not go to school (HRW 2016) but the underlying causes are more informative: unstable home lives, and fees associated with “free” education (uniforms, supplies). Many lack a supportive home life, struggle for basic necessities and services, and are unaware of what social services may be available to them. Their circumstances can turn them toward a life of begging, drugs, prostitution and petty crime. Even children who have access to education are dropping out because they do not believe that a bright future is even possible for them. Without the basic necessities of life or any sort of programmatic intervention or support network, such boys and girls have no possibility of self-sufficiency, and no chance of positively participating in their communities. Uganda, one of the countries MindLeaps serves, has a school dropout rate of 68%, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Rwanda

MindLeaps’ permanent Rwandan staff worked with 90 vulnerable children daily in order to provide a "catch up” program for vulnerable youth and out-of-school youth who have never had the chance to go to school and become literate. The program consisted of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition.
• IT classes to introduce children to technology and the outside world.
• English Language training to provide valuable job skills.
• Boarding school sponsorship to fully re-integrate children back into civil society.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

MindLeaps program in Guinea serves street youth and out-of-school youth who have never had the chance to go to school and become literate. The program consists of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition
• English Language training
• Daily meal provided to each student

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

MindLeaps program in Uganda serves street children and refugee youth who have never had the chance to go to school and become literate. The program consists of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition
• English Language training
• Food provided to each student

Locations:

- Kampala
- Oruchinga Refugee Settlement
- Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people

MindLeaps program in Mauritania serves vulnerable youth who have never had the chance to go to school and become literate. The program consists of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition
• English Language training
• Daily meal provided to each student
• Relief supplies distribution to families

The MindLeaps Building Our Bodies and Our Lives Program for young girls in Nouakchott funded by Together Women Rise addresses challenges girls face in Mauritania by offering the opportunity for an education and the sustained ability to make positive life decisions through psychological health and nutritional support. The goal was also to stimulate a transformation in the community as to how girls are viewed, treated and valued. As the program continues beyond the initial one-year project, and levels of female literacy increase as more girls are enrolled in school, more families will see the value in educating their daughters.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

MindLeaps program in North Macedonia serves youth to make better life decisions and be a part of community-building. The program consists of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition
• English Language training
• Classes on business entrepreneurship

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth
Children and youth
Children and youth

MindLeaps’ first-ever New York City program launched on January 11, 2022. This pilot project is organized in partnership with the community-centered non-profit Children of Promise located in Brooklyn, New York.

Children of Promise is the first and only after school program and summer day camp in NYC specifically designed to meet the needs, interests, and concerns of children whose parents or guardians are incarcerated.

Through the MindLeaps Dance & Data program at Children of Promise, four MindLeaps dance teachers worked with 20 children, ages 8 & 9, twice per week, for 1.5 hours each class, over the course of six months, from January through June 2022. The program is designed to support 7 specific social-emotional and cognitive skills, thereby increasing the children’s emotional resilience and positive life decision-making.

Through the MindLeaps Dance & Data program at Children of Promise, four MindLeaps dance teachers worked with 20 children, ages 8 & 9, twice per week.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children who have knowledge of quantitative concepts, spatial relationships, and sequencing. Children show interest and the ability to apply measuring, categorizing, and sequencing in real-life situations.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

MindLeaps has an extensive M&E system (“Tracker”) that assesses students’ development of cognitive skills and social emotional learning.

Number of children who have the ability to use language for expression and to communicate with others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Students take English and IT classes. The dance class focuses on language skills and verbal development by teaching names of dance steps, anatomical terms and narrative stories through choreography.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Street children are sponsored to go to formal education yearly. These are long-term commitments to youth, 5 years or more. Because of this, MindLeaps limits the number of new scholarship recipients.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

MindLeaps has seen that breaking this cycle and providing one student with a path to a decent living wage leads to a better chance of success. The mission of MindLeaps is to fully and completely transition underserved youth to a stable life in school or the workplace, with the readiness, determination and confidence to become independent. MindLeaps works to ensure that street children and out-of-school youth in post-conflict and developing countries go to school, enter the workplace, and create a positive impact in their communities. The organization does this by using a kinesthetic-based curriculum to improve the cognitive skills of youth. The program provides dance, computer and academic acceleration courses, daily meals, health and sanitation workshops, and counseling sessions through its holistic approach to rehabilitation.

The MindLeaps program utilizes a comprehensive core dance curriculum to develop cognitive skills and social-emotional learning, while incorporating individualized monitoring to determine when youth have reached improved levels of critical thinking.
The curriculum is built around five progressive modules, designed to meet students at their ability level, both physically and socially-emotionally. Youth join 2-hour sessions, 3 times per week, taught by highly trained instructors.
The extreme rigor of the class is one of the key reasons why students are motivated to keep returning day after day: they improve and see that, often for the first time in their lives, they are capable of self-betterment.
Over the course of each class, multiple exercises focus on seven key cognitive and noncognitive skills: self-esteem, teamwork, language, grit, discipline, memorization, and creativity.
During classes, dance teachers are able to track each student with the app. The resulting real-time analytics, viewable by teachers and organizational heads, allow staff to make critical decisions around each child’s improvement, their growth of emotional regulation, school readiness, or extra needs for attention and services.

MindLeaps works with teachers, dancers, social workers and researchers to ensure that street children are able to leap forward in life through education. The organization works with local staff in each country who are rigorously trained by MindLeaps. The organization has simultaneously started a revenue generating path to support the breadth of its impact: leveraging the data-driven dance model to serve new communities. MindLeaps is licensing our model to large international organizations and NGOs, and exploring a NYC-based program. The organization also partners with local governments and companies, including Ruben's Shoes from Canada and the local government of Guinea to distribute shoes through the interior of the country, under the official slogan, “One Pair of Shoes for Each Child". MindLeaps also has partnered with SOS Pairs Exchanges and Children of Promise to create programs in Mauritania and New York. MindLeaps works with social workers that are a part of the local staff in each country. A social worker follows the regularity of the child at school and monitors the support provided to the household.
Through MindLeaps International Artists' Fund (IAF), world renowned performers bring awareness to the needs of Rwanda's street youth. The fund works with dancers - such as Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre and LaMar Baylor of The Lion King - to travel to the different locations to teach youth. MindLeaps has built a measurement and evaluation system (M&E) system called "Tracker". This software measures the changes in cognitive skills and social emotional learning of youth. It is used by teachers and researchers to track and analyze the progress of the students. Teachers and analysts are then able to discuss the adjustments that need to be made in the classroom to improve the progress of the students.

Today MindLeaps operates permanent centers in Rwanda, Guinea, and Uganda which also serve as hubs for expansion of the model through partnerships with other organizations in East and West Africa and the Balkans. MindLeaps began work in Rwanda in 2010 under its former name, RDDC, and between 2011-13 partnered with FidesCo Rwanda (now Centre Cyprien et Daphrose Rugamba – CECYDAR) to administer a dance and IT program for street children in Kigali. In 2014, MindLeaps registered as an international NGO in Rwanda and expanded to operate its own permanent year-round facility in Nyamirambo, Kigali. To date, the center has served over 1,500 out-of-school and vulnerable in-school youth. In Guinea, MindLeaps and Association Benka-Fissa launched a partnership in 2011 to create dance and language/literacy training in Kindia. The program provided a safe learning environment for boys and girls ages 10 to 19 who faced poverty, lack of access to education, and unstable family lives. In 2016, MindLeaps partnered with local NGO Guinea Edugrade to offer a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) summer camp program for vulnerable youth. In 2017, MindLeaps went on to open its own center in the capital city of Conakry, providing a permanent safe space to continue its full dance and education programs year round. In 2021 MindLeaps purchased land for a new center in Guinea, which will be completed in 2022. In 2017, in Kampala, MindLeaps partnered with HIAS an international NGO facilitating the resettlement of refugees around the world, to work with urban refugee children. In 2021, MindLeaps opened its first center in Uganda, located in Kampala. In addition, MindLeaps serves children in Oruchinga and Rwamwanja Refugee Settlements in Uganda. MindLeaps partnered with SOS Pairs Educateurs in Nouakchott in 2017 to run its first program in Mauritania. In 2019, an expanded program was funded by Together Women Rise (togetherwomenrise.org). In 2021, the Mauritania program received support from the US Embassy to launch programs to reduce poverty and promote inclusion through the advancement of girls, women, and collaborative activities among ethnic groups. With COVID-19 suspending classes for thousands of MindLeaps students, MindLeaps created the Virtual Academy to help them continue their education. The Virtual Academy teaches concepts such as entrepreneurship, communication, project management and budgeting, child development, and inclusion. Through the Virtual Academy, MindLeaps taught basic skills to give students a competitive edge as well as kept connections with students to ensure they did not relapse in such a difficult time. In its next level of expansion, MindLeaps received seed funding to launch a USA program in 2022.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

MindLeaps
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

MindLeaps

Board of directors
as of 08/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ramie Arian

Ramie Arian Consulting

Kathleen Bakarich

Hofstra University

Michael Maguire

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Richard Paulson

Bank of America

LaMar Baylor

Disney's Lion King on Broadway

Catherine Smith

Dance 101

Richard Abeeku Mills Robertson

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Julia Henkels

Keystone

Thea Parent

Taylor English Duma LLP

Kathy Gallo

Goodstone Group

David Hartman

David Hartman Consulting

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/8/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data