LEAP Program Students Perform Community Service Project

August 06, 2014

The Peaceful Reflections Gardens at Saint Leo University was abuzz with activity on Wednesday morning, August 6, as 35 students and several student Peer Educators from the Saint Leo University LEAP program helped enhance the grounds with new plants, footlights, and general clean-up of the area through weeding, trimming, and grass pick-up.

The project was part of a community service project organized and coordinated by Dr. Veronika Ospina-Kammerer, associate professor of social work, School of Education and Social Services. Dr. VOK, as she’s affectionately known among students, enthusiastically championed the effort, purchasing the plants and directing the landscaping work. The students surprised her by wearing “I DIG Dr. VOK’s Garden” t-shirts.

LEAP (Learning Enhancement for Academic Progress) is a program for a small number of carefully selected students who attend an intensive, four-week curriculum in the summer prior to their freshman year. These students arrived on campus July 12 and depart August 8. LEAP is designed to ease the transition from high school to college and provide the academic support, skills training, and guidance to prepare students for college success.

The experience allows students to sharpen needed academic skills, improve time management and study skills, develop significant peer, faculty and staff relationships, and become familiar with the university and with the resources for success available at Saint Leo University.

“The LEAP program is an exciting and challenging endeavor that offers participants the opportunity to succeed and be an integral, permanent part of the Saint Leo University community,” said Heather De Ronde, administrator for student academic progress in the Office of Academic Affairs at Saint Leo. “The LEAP program affords these students a leap ahead of their peers, as they enter the university this fall,” said De Ronde.

Since 2007, nearly 360 students have participated in the LEAP program.

For more information about the LEAP program, contact Heather De Ronde at (352) 588-8497, or heather.deronde@saintleo.edu.