“In order to ensure sustainable success for Palestinian students, I believe we must review and support all the challenges they will face, from preparation for an American undergraduate education all the way to their return home for work. LE•O shepherds the adjustment to life in a new country and culture, addresses personal difficulties, secures suitable host families, reviews changes in scholarships and identifies beneficial summer internship opportunities.”
Deya’ gained this perspective from years of experience managing key elements of international programs focused on educational opportunities for under-privileged Palestinian youth. She served as Director of Donor Relations for AMIDEAST and as the Director of Development and Student Relations for The Hope Fund. Through this grassroots experience, Deya’ knows what works and what doesn’t. She brought this perspective and vision to the creation and mission of LE•O.
In the Leonard family, Deya’ (half Palestinian—half American) is the second generation to focus on the education of Palestinian youth. Her father, Dr. Graham Leonard (PhD Harvard University), an educator, worked for the United Nations and universities in the Arab world. This provided Deya’ with a cross cultural understanding of the challenges LE•O scholars face. And, she knows the obstacles students must navigate to be well positioned and receive the full benefits of American educational opportunities. Deya’ received her primary education in England. She came to the United States as a freshman at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and studied linguistics and education.
Her strong relationship, program and team-building skills include internship programs, mentoring partners for students, graduate school and job placement support, and most recently Friends of LE•O support groups in the students’ countries of residence. Deya’ has worked closely with over 30 American colleges to create sustainable programs to ensure a student’s success in future leadership roles and fulfill their true potential.
“The success the LE•O effort depends on sharing resources among our partners and sharing the financial burden among our supporters. Everything we do expands opportunities for bright deserving Palestinians youth. Our shepherding approach enhances personal development through guidance and academic mentoring. This sets LE•O apart from all others and assures ultimate success.”
Andy has over 40 years’ experience in mission-oriented fundraising and non-profit communications program management. The majority of his career was spent as a community newspaper editor and publisher and group newspaper owner. He won the General Excellence Award for Newspaper Publishing in 1988. He began his career in New York City as an editor, graphic designer and foreign correspondent (Asia) for the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, then as a public relations writer and photographer for Episcopal Mission Society of New York.
Andy founded and is the creative director of The Mariner Companies (Mariner Media, Mariner Publishing and Harbour Books) in 2004. The company serves the communications needs of over 20 non-profit organizations in addition to industrial clients and government agencies from Vermont to Florida.
Nancy served as Operations Manager of The Hope Fund for many years, multi-tasking the organizations daily operations from student affairs to financial and administrative support for fundraising. At LE•O she will apply her broad knowledge to planning and scheduling, business and financial management, and regular interaction with all the staff members, board members and our student scholars.
FundRaising is paramount to the long-term success of LE•O. Nancy will interface with our marketing and development consultants to prepare, proofread and edit brochures and fundraising materials, newsletters and other documents. She will provide the financial backup to reach the organizations goals for the benefit of our student scholars.