LEAP’s Second Chance Soirée

CIM Consulting Helps Throw the Party of Empowerment

Guest, Commissioner Higgins and Executive Director Mahlia Lindquist

More than 200 guests gathered at the Coral Gables Congregational Church in support of the LEAP organization, which educates women as they transition out of Florida prisons. My company, CIM was hired to organize and promote the organization’s first annual Second Chance Soirée, a fundraising event celebrating ten years of second chances for incarcerated women.

James Judd

The event was a HUGE success. Everyone danced to the beats of DJ Oly, sang along to familiar tunes of local celebrity singers Leesa Richards and Brenda Alford, heard compelling testimonials from LEAPers Zo and Café, while comedian and host of NPR’s Snap Judgement James Judd made them laugh. LEAP’s eloquent Executive Director Mahlia Lindquist spoke of the incredible work the organization does, and reminded audiences of the power of second chances and compassion.

LEAP’s one-of-a-kind prison re-entry program for women combines essential employability and life skills, entrepreneurship, self-love, and mentorship. In Florida, only 14% of incarcerated women have access to educational programs. By providing programming that includes entrepreneurship, employable skills training and trauma-informed substance abuse classes, LEAP has seen that less than 5 percent of its graduates return to prison, in comparison to a 50 percent recidivism rate nationally!

Marilyn Figuereido and Sidney Sterling

My company’s work in the non-profit sector has brought with it a lot of awareness around important issues. I’ve learned about great causes and have had the opportunity to work alongside South Florida’s most fervent ambassadors for change and challenging the status quo. Enter LEAP, acronym for Ladies Empowerment and Action Program. Compassion was a reoccurring theme throughout the evening, says guest Commissioner Eileen Higgins, “I’m inspired by organizations that lift women up and empower them through love, support and compassion. Thanks for all that you do!”

In total $50,000 was raised to support the organization’s day to day operations including running and maintaining a transitional house, overseeing and managing the Dragonfly Thrift Boutique — where LEAP graduates are given the opportunity to work, because jobs for women coming out of prison are almost impossible to come by — and in-prison education programming. Still interested? Visit LEAP here, where the organization proves education is more effective than incarceration.

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