“The essential thing is not knowledge, but character.” Joseph Le Conte



Thirty-five percent of Houston's youth are living below the poverty level.

1 in 4

1 in 4 adults in Houston fails to earn a high school diploma. Research is evident that attendance and engagement are related to success, especially for economically disadvantaged children.


More than sixty four percent of students in Houston's public schools are deemed at-risk of dropping out of school.


Seventy-four percent of youth in the Greater Houston Area are considered "economically disadvantaged."


Houston has the 5th highest high school dropout rate among the nation's 50 largest cities.


Ninety percent of the students that LEAD serves live in poverty and receive free or reduced lunch.

FACTS AND FIGURES PROVIDED BY: factfindercensus.gov, Children at Risk, A Blueprint for Community Action

LEAD exists to...


Poverty is one of the primary factors that prevents youth from succeeding. Low literacy rates, high crime rates, and poorer overall health are related social ills. LEAD exists to reduce these statistics and empower Houston's underserved and under-resourced communities.


During the summer months, we connect at-risk middle school students in Houston with an outstanding outdoor experiential education. Student LEADers earn the opportunity to explore the great ourdoors, have access to first class teachers and guides, and create new experiences.


Research suggests place-based and outdoor experiential education instills long lasting benefits including improved academic performance, leadership skills, self-concept, personal development and interpersonal skills - a toolkit we provide our LEADers to be successful.


Students who have a vision for themselves and who have a deeper understanding of their own social emotional learning have the tenacity to accomplish goals and the resilience to bounce back from adversity. These skills are the basis for success in school and life.



"The trip helped me in so many ways - even with my geography class! I became stronger and learned to persevere. I think we all did." -- Alexis A.

"Thank you all so much for taking such great care of our kids...for nurturing, teaching, and giving them these experiences." --Donna D.

"My daughter is still telling me about all the fun she had at summer camp with LEAD. She is so happy, and I am so grateful for LEAD and all of the experiences my daughter had with them." -- Janine S.

"I appreciate the LEAD program for taking such care of my son. Thank you for showing him that the world is his and that he can do whatever he wants to do in life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart." -- AJ B.

"I personally want to thank the entire staff at LEAD for coming in to my son's life, being a positive influence, and shaping his future." -- Derrick G.

"My level of patience has increased, and my leadership skills have improved. I am more outgoing and open to meeting new people. Also, I take the initiative when people need help." -- James A.