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

Show more contact info

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

Street children will form entire lost generations in some developing and post-conflict countries. Without the basic necessities of life nor any sort of programmatic intervention or support network, such boys and girls have no chance of positively participating in their communities; instead, they will result in begging, drugs, petty crime, and prostitution. Street children need a comprehensive program that can reform their aggressive behavior from street life and equip them with skills that are in demand in their country's labor force – thereby opening the way to employment and self-sufficiency. The mission of MindLeaps is to fully and completely transition underserved youth from a life on the streets to a stable life in school or in the workplace. MindLeaps students who graduate from boarding school or vocational training school break their own poverty cycle.

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 street children daily in order to provide a "catch up” program for street 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

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

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

MindLeaps program in Mauritania serves refugees and youth with special leaning needs. The program consists of:

• Dance training to reform behavioral patterns and increase cognition
• English Language training

Population(s) Served
Refugees and displaced people

MindLeaps program in Mauritania 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

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 grants and research funding awarded to the institution

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

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Foundation, government, and corporate grant donations.

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 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 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.

In 2020, MindLeaps served 290 more students than the previous year. Over 82 more local staff have been employed and 216 school sponsorships have been given. Most importantly, MindLeaps fulfilled its primary goal and saw more children permanently exit street life and return to school than ever before in the organization's history.
In March 2020, Mindleaps expanded to North Macedonia in partnership with Youth Community Center Cair to attract vulnerable youth to this safe space.
MindLeaps was able to launch a Virtual Academy and create an emergency food and sanitation distribution in response to COVID-19. The Virtual Academy has been able to track some of the most vulnerable youth during COVID-19, keep active lines of communication with youth who are in danger of falling into risky behavior who may need additional interventions to stay safe and maintain a sense of schooling and structure for the youth. There are now over 229 youth enrolled in the Virtual Academy.
Since the launch of the Virtual Academy, MindLeaps’ lead researcher, Dr. Janelle Junkin is working with the software engineers that built Tracker to look at an automated way to collect data on the participation of the students.
During the pandemic, many dancers have led virtual classes for the public to continue to support MindLeaps from afar. They continue to share their passion and knowledge with us online through Moments with Mindleaps, a weekly interview with the Executive Director of MindLeaps and artists or educators working with vulnerable communities.
The future of MindLeaps lies in growing its model to rehabilitate and reintegrate street children through multiple sites in Rwanda and Guinea, followed by replicating the model in other post-conflict and developing countries – especially across the continent of Africa where dance is often a huge attraction to youth.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    MindLeaps serves uneducated, vulnerable youth in developing countries who are at-risk of dropping out of school, have never gone, or are illiterate. These include refugee children and other youth in poverty.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • 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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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 6/28/2021
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 6/17/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data