Dear Friend,

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

LEAD’s Board of Directors and I would be delighted for you to support our Mardi Gras Masquerade on Fat Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at The Astorian. More than 300 guests gathered at our previous charity masquerade. Delicious food and king cakes, great live music, parasol decorating, coveted auction items, and more added to our party with a purpose. Join in the fun! Help us reach our $300,000 goal this year.

LEAD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that prepares youth for success by providing life skills and exposure to new opportunities. Each year, LEAD serves hundreds of middle school students from over 30 of Houston’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.  Our children are being left behind, and they are not given a chance to reach their full potential. A zip code should not determine a child’s future. 

Since 2004, LEAD has stepped in and provided the necessary tools and skill sets to overcome obstacles. Our fundraising event supports life-changing programs, including:

  • Weekly social emotional learning classes in schools
  • Monthly community service projects and field trips
  • Summer overnight camps in Texas and Jackson, Wyoming

Our proven program improves the well-being of youth and strengthens their sense of belonging. Four years of research, performed by University of Houston’s Department of Psychological Health and Learning Sciences and funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, reveals that LEAD works! Our program changes a child’s trajectory and is three times more effective than comparable programs. 

A student LEADer shared, “LEAD changed me. I actually thought about dropping out of school, but now I hope to go to college and appreciate more about our world.” 

Financial support from conscientious sponsors sustains our mission. Invest in us and make a positive impact in the community.



Dejon B. Hawthorne

Executive Director