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2022 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lead-Up International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Development, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Lead-Up International is an organization that seeks to close gaps and break cycles of violence and poverty through innovative peaceful leadership and empowerment programs with horses in order to train, strengthen and empower young leaders to be and bring change to their communities.

Results: 500 youths have participated in the Lead-Up Discovering Non-Violence Workshops around the world since 2015 when the first Lead-Up Workshops were held in Jocotenango, Guatemala. As of August 2021 Lead-Up International has held workshops in the USA, Guatemala, Brazil, Uruguay, UK, Ireland, Austria, Germany, and South Africa. Since March 2020 20 youths in Guatemala have graduated from the Lead-Up Vocational Program and accessed decent employment and 2 youth-lead social transformation initiatives have been established and supported through Being the Change.

Target demographics: At-risk youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 67 at-risk youth participated in the Lead-Up Discovering Non-Violence Workshops in 5 different countries, 15 youth from Guatemala graduated from the Vocational Program and accessed decent employment, and 2 youth-led projects were established in Guatemala.

Geographic areas served: Lead-Up International is an organization with global impact

Programs: Discovering Non-Violence: A set of workshops that teach at-risk youth about non-violent communication, trust-based relationships and empowered yet peaceful leadership through lessons with horses and specifically through the embodied experience of Join-UpĀ®. Lead-Up Vocational Program: A 5 to 8 week program which uses an innovative and holistic approach to vocational training, addressing the complex psychological and emotional factors that often prevent at-risk youth from accessing and retaining decent work. Being the Change: A mentoring program that consists of follow-up and empowerment actions to encourage the Lead-Up Champions to lead and coordinate their own projects, activities and social transformation initiatives with the direct support of the organization.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that Lead Up has been doing with young people and horses is unique. I worked in the UN in Guatemala after the war and my conclusion was that it would be more effective to find new ways of working with the younger generation instead of trying to rebuild broken state institutions. Lead Up is a great example of that, creating spaces for deeper transformation, working intimately with young kids, allowing them to find their own voices and supporting them and respecting their own visions and rhythms.

Amy H.15

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great example of a non profit doing tangible and impactful work with hard to reach youth !

Eva V.1

Advisor

Rating: 5

LeadUp does beautiful work!!! It is amazing to see how the young leaders change and get so much more involved from and with the heart! Life and future changing!!! Really recommended to support!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the fortune to visit many times and work closely with Lead-Up and the associated project of Urban-HeArt and Championes Cafe. I have had the privilege to witness from up close the transformative effect of these NGO and the projects on individuals and on the community as a whole.
Such a Blessed and Amazing Project
Kudos to you All

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome organization! Such a great vision for the future

Rory C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

The world would be a happier and more forgiving place if we could have more opportunities like this. Well done and keep up the great work. Xx

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing non-profit. Such a wonderful, gentle and effective way to effect lasting change for these kids that really need it. The self love and support they learn and find helps them get out of often toxic environments and be their own and thrive.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great nonprofit! I have had the pleasure to work with Lead-Up International and to see the amazing work that they do. I will continue to support them :)

Muijres M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The work they do is so progressive and causing a lasting change from within. Never witnessed such a powerful experience!

velvetvsb

Donor

Rating: 5

It has been amazing to see first hand how Lead-Up International's innovative methods of working with horses and at-risk youth works so well to teach these young people about leadership, non-violence and hope.

Daniel R.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just had a Lead Up workshop in California where I was able to witness the unbelievable impact of the methodology on a group of youth that grew up in very vulnerable conditions. This experience deeply impacted me and my family as well.

This is definitely a transformational experience that helps people feel unconditionally accepted, face fears, gain confidence and discover previously ignored leadership skills!

2 Marina Kuperman V.

Donor

Rating: 5

I think this is one of the best organizations out there. Their philosophy, their care, and support for these kids and families.

I've been a donor for a while now, and can see the true benefits of this program, see the kids I support having real opportunities for work and to get out of their situations.

And the best part, I see them becoming strong leaders in their communities and inspiring others to start changing.

This is all done thru the love and soul of Katie, who started the program and runs it.

SO grateful for such a program to exist.