Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance

About LEAP

Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) was created in 1994 as a not for profit Foundation to further, promote and expand upon existing community service of lawyers in Greater Kansas City with a specific focus upon initiatives intended to encourage young persons in their pursuit of an education.

LEAP is a unique, joint professional effort comprised of

To view the LEAP Board of Directors, click here.

LEAP has been honored by the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Associations, and in 1997 received the ABA National Civic Literacy Award.  In presenting LEAP with the award, the ABA emphasized the cooperative nature of this educational consortium of lawyers. The National Civic Literacy Award recognizes “conspicuous, sustained effort by a law firm or public law office to contribute to the advancement of literacy at a local, state or national level.”

Who does LEAP support?

Through LEAP the lawyers of Kansas City have raised over $1.8 Million for the educational benefit of disadvantaged children.  LEAP’s designated beneficiary is Operation Breakthrough.  Founded in 1971, Operation Breakthrough’s mission is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.  The center also strives to support and empower the children’s families through advocacy, referral services, and emergency aid.

Operation Breakthrough has utilized LEAP donations to fund a state of the art computer lab, well informed school counselors and before and after school enrichment programs.  Each year, LEAP’s fundraising efforts culminate at its Mardi Gras Luncheon typically held on Fat Tuesday.


Donor Levels:
Platinum Plus (over $10,000)
Platinum ($5,000-$10,000)
Gold ($2,500-$4,999)
Silver ($1,000-$2,499)
Bronze ($500-$999)
Emerald ($250-$499)
Purple Amethyst ($100-$249)
Yellow Zircon ($25-$99)

To make a donation to LEAP for the benefit of Operation Breakthrough simply mail your check payable to LEAP.

c/o Mark Parrish, Treasurer
221 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 200, Independence, MO   64050

Click here to donate online.


LEAP has also benefited Operation Breakthrough by asking lawyers of Greater Kansas City to volunteer as Mentors and Study Buddies.  

What is a Study Buddy?

LEAP Study Buddies volunteer at Operation Breakthrough to read one on one with children, help with schoolwork, and give time and attention to children who need a friend.

Why Be a Study Buddy?

Having consistent care attention and encouragement has worked wonders for the children already receiving regular tutoring and mentoring. Some of the great outcomes seen at Operation Breakthrough include increased focus, effective problem solving and improved scholastic achievement and behavior. By giving only two hours a week or month a Study Buddy can have a tremendous impact on the education and development of the children served by Operation Breakthrough.

What Does it Involve?

Tutors and kids meet at the center any day Monday through Friday between 4 and 6 pm. They are encouraged not only to do homework, read, tutor but also to talk, share play games and interact in the Center's 10,000-volume library. Volunteers can participate on a weekly or monthly basis.

To volunteer as a LEAP Mentor or Study Buddy contact Tasha Miller, Volunteer Services Coordinator at Operation Breakthrough, (816) 329-5233 or

Click here to learn more about the Mardi Gras luncheon.

To learn more about Operation Breakthrough go to