A Gateway to Learning and Leading

aka LE.O   |   Buena Vista, VA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 47-5027611


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 info


Executive Director

Deya Leonard Dresner

Main address

221 West 21st

Buena Vista, VA 24416-3117 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Higher education

Youth organizing

Population served info

Children and youth


Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms

Show Forms 990


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Internship Placement

Matching students with potential future employers in the countries where they reside

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

We prepare under resourced Palestinian youth for undergraduate education and match them with existing scholarships .

Population(s) Served
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 alumni (regardless of last date of enrollment) who submit updated contact information to the alumni office within the most recent academic year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


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.

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.

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

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?

    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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    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

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Deya Leonard Dresner

Deya' gained a perspective of the challenges Palestinian youth face in attaining an undergraduate education from years of experience managing key elements of international programs focused on educational opportunities for under-privileged Palestinian youth. She served as Director of Donor Relations for AMIDEAST and as the Director of Development and Student Relations for The Hope Fund. Through this grassroots experience, Deya' knows what works and what doesn't. She brought this perspective and vision to the creation and mission of LE•O.


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 02/16/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Deya' Dresner

Leonard Education Organization Inc

Term: 2016 - 2022

Fred Rogers

Carleton College

Diya Abdo

Guilford College

Neeran Saraf

Self Employed

Hadeil Andelfattah

Assistant Principal

Farouk Shami

Farouk Systems

Mohammed Salhout


Steve Baldridge


Tarek Ghandour


Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/19/2020

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/19/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. 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.