The Story of LEAP
Mark Melter, Native Oglala Lakota and co-founder of LEAP, is the grandson of Bernice McGaa, who grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Since 2009 Mark and his family have dedicated time and resources to help the people of Pine Ridge by organizing donation drives for clothing, food and school supplies. On one of the 12-hour return trips from delivering donations, Mark and his uncle Bill discussed what they could do to continue to serve the Lakota People.
While the product bought out was needed and appreciated, Mark and Bill knew it was not the long term answer to break the cycle of dependency and poverty. They asked the question, “What is the best avenue to help the children of Pine Ridge?” and agreed the answer is, “Education!” The rest of the way home they created the vision for LEAP.