Educational Institutions


A Gateway to Learning and Leading

aka LE.O

Buena Vista, VA


Our mission is to secure and administer valuable undergraduate scholarships and educational opportunities for qualified and under resourced Palestinian students from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan and beyond. We believe that education and intercultural exchange is the essential path to peace, stability and development. Our Mission is to help prepare Palestine's future scientists, policymakers, educators and entrepreneurs.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Deya Leonard Dresner

Main Address

221 West 21st

Buena Vista, VA 24416-3117 USA


Higher educational opportunities for Palestinian youth





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

One of the main needs that LE.O addresses is the monetary one. Simple costs like SAT, TOEFL, application fees, visa fees... can be a big hindrance to many Palestinian students in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt. We work with the students to prepare them for these tests and pay for it. In addition to the lack of funds in most families we support, there is a gap in the educational systems that our Palestinian students belong to which makes it hard for them to be successful in applying to universities. The fact that most schools don't have a college counselor that can guide students leaves the students alone in navigating the application process. After our students arrive on scholarship to their respective universities our work continues to support their needs in adjusting to a new culture, educational system and many other problems that arise thereafter.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Internship Placement

Undergraduate education placement

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our main mission is to help prepare Palestine's future scientists, policymakers, educators, business men and women, and entrepreneurs. We believe that education and intercultural exchange is the essential path to peace, stability, and development. We aim to change families' lives one student at a time by offering opportunities that are otherwise unattainable or unreachable to most of our students.

Our volunteers, who are alumni of the program, partners and different professionals create a holistic support system for our current students. This mentoring relationship is fostered at the start when we first get the application. The assigned mentor(s) first guide the applicant through the application process and supports their various needs being it preparing them for SAT, TOEFL, choosing their university list, Common App application, CSS Profile... Then depending on the results a mentor from the school they get is assigned for them to answer any questions in preparation for their arrival. Students are all connected through our private Facebook group and throughout their studies and beyond they are encouraged to reach out to any of our community members for guidance. The founder and executive director is also always reachable and follows up with their news and progress academically or otherwise. In addition to that, our partners in different countries also provide on the ground support for our students and applicants. We rely on our regional partners in identifying applicants and their needs.

The organization is almost entirely run by alumni volunteers who work closely with the executive director on the various needs of LE.O. We rely heavily on the generous support and donations from our community who value our work and understand our mission. The money that is donated is almost entirely used for students' expenses with very small part of it being utilized for running and maintaining our website and promotional materials and other miscellaneous administrative expenses. In addition to the support we receive from our regional partners.

Our progress is not only tangible to our students but it also extends to their families that rely on them for support. Our progress as an organization can be seen in the increased support and donations that we receive from people who follow our stories and news and really see the advantage of our organization and want to be part of its progress. We see our progress in the achievements of our students who go on to become young professionals who are driven and want to give back an opportunity to others like the one they received. We publish newsletters at least monthly for our external stakeholders to keep them informed about our students needs and progress.

We have 56 students in our community. We have also partnered with 16 institutions in 6 countries that offer very generous scholarships valued at around 9 million dollars. Our students go on to pursue masters and PhD programs in the US and abroad. LE.O is growing at a very fast pace thanks to our supportive community of alumni, students, donors and volunteers. We are working on addressing more than what we initially planned on doing and extended our support to Palestinian students who require gap funding for their programs, support in getting jobs and internships. We are working on adding 4-5 students a year and would like to increase that number depending on our available funding.

How We Listen

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

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), community meetings/town halls, facebook group.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: the people we serve, our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: it is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, the people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome.

External Reviews



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Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/19/2020


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Gender Identity
Female, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

No data

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

No data


No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more


We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Policies and processes

We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.