Education for Children

Liberty LEADS

Liberty LEADS at Bank Street College is a New York City–based dropout prevention and college access program that has served more than 1,500 students between 5th and 12th grade since 1989. Founded to empower underrepresented youth, our program makes an impact in the lives of students every day by helping them attain higher education, embrace leadership engagement, and create a positive future for themselves and others.


Liberty LEADS group

Our Mission

Empowering Underserved Youth in New York City
To provide underrepresented youth with access to the resources necessary to realize their potential and make positive contributions to society.

At a Glance

  • 92%
    Of Our Students Are Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Meals
  • 54%
    Of Students Come from Households Where English Is Not the Main Language Spoken
  • 90%
    Students Were Admitted and Started College
  • 96%
    Students Have Graduated from High School on Time
Three Liberty Leads students standing outside of the Liberty Suite.

History of Liberty LEADS

The Liberty LEADS Program brings together two well-established Bank Street initiatives. The Liberty Partnerships Program began at Bank Street in 1989 to prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of high school. In 2000, the Institute for Leadership Education Advancement and Development (I-LEAD) was founded to prepare promising high-achieving students from under-resourced parochial schools to become competitive applicants for admittance to selective colleges and universities.

In 2005, these two programs merged and Liberty LEADS was born. Today, we are able to support all types of learners through a holistic approach implemented in a strong, supportive environment.