Youth Initiative

She was two when she was locked in a dark, dingy hut by her own parents for two weeks…

while they left to visit relatives in another village in India. Reshma, now 18, does not remember how she survived, but the pain of her abuse by her parents is still fresh.


Reshma is recovering from being unwanted.



Growing up is never easy, but without a positive adult influence, it can be nearly impossible. Millions of children throughout the world don’t have a caring adult guiding them through life. As a result, they don’t achieve – they get sucked into a destructive cycle of poverty, crime and broken relationships.


Since 1976, Leadership Foundations (LF) has worked to help young people like Reshma through programs like the Leadership Foundations Youth Initiative (LFYI). This initiative connects young people around the world with caring mentors who help fill in the gap between the realities that urban youth face and what they need to flourish. LFYI’s mentors provide vital skills, values and modeling needed for young people to rise above their circumstances and become leaders themselves.


Over the years Leadership Foundations has worked in numerous cities with the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and other groups who care about youth. We’re excited now to extend this work in partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame (BHOF) and Communities In Schools (CIS).


LF-stacked-logo         BHOF_3C.eps       CIS_LOGO_CMYK



Leadership Foundations partnership with the BHOF and CIS will work in new areas to accomplish these four outcomes:

  • Expanding 1:1, group and peer mentoring services for thousands of young people in cities around the world;
  • Improving youth outcomes in areas of educational achievement, job readiness, and social skills by using Evidence-Based Practices (EBP);
  • Lowering risk behaviors that contribute to delinquency through the use of EBP; and
  • Strengthening mentoring programs through collaborative community approaches resulting in long-term effectiveness and sustainability.

Please consider supporting this cause with the LFYI and its new partners—BHOF and CIS—so that young people like Reshma and millions of others will not be unwanted but instead will thrive.


Donate Now