In 1992, a beautiful young woman, Leslie K Bedford was tragically taken from the grasp of those who love her by a senseless and random act of violence, while picking up a co-worker in need of a ride to work. She was a confident young woman striving to fulfill her own dreams while mentoring girls close to her to reach their dreams.
Pivoting from a place of loss, grief and a pursuit of healing, Phyllis Bedford and George Bedford started The non-profit 501(c)(3) Leslie K Bedford Leadership Academy (formerly Leslie K Bedford Memorial Foundation) in 1994, to carry forward Leslie’s legacy – bridging the dream of one to many.
During those twenty years, we can confidently say that we moved from grief and healing to achieving results and excellence. The Founders believe all girls are talented and gifted with a unique purpose to offer to the world. They worked hard to make the Academy a place where girls could discover and grow individually and collectively. Its mission was to guide girls to navigate their personal journeys and maximize their potential.
LKB’s Resume of 20 Years of Service to the Community
Between 1994 and 2014, we served over 5,000 girls making a positive difference in their lives without regard to ethnicity, race, religion or national origin. Developed with the help of educators and business professionals, our Building Block curriculum focused on strengthening girls to master the primary tasks of their developmental stages, guiding them in their progress toward independent living.
Block 1: Dedicated to fourth and fifth grade girls.
Fostered social skills to help girls cope with the pursuit of fitting in; we nurtured their dreams, academic capabilities, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Our results were girls with the tools to transition into middle school where they were expected to work more independently and take more responsibility for themselves with confidence, focus, organization and prioritization.
Block 2: Devoted to sixth through eighth grade girls.
Raised girls awareness and offered support to help them handle rapid cognitive, emotional, physical and intellectual changes at this awkward and difficult phase. Our results were girls becoming more resilient to face their challenges of health, relationships, peer pressure and education in order to transition into high school.
Block 3: Offered to ninth and tenth grade girls.
Cultivated skills within girls that led to self-awareness, decision-making, problem-solving and goal setting, taking full advantage of the social and academic process. Our results were girls more equipped with life skills and a self-identity to combat negative aspects of their everyday environment to stay on the right path for graduating high school.
Block 4: Focused on eleventh and twelfth grade girls.
Promoted attainment of mental, emotional and academic readiness within girls; equipped them with tools necessary for graduating high school, entering and completing higher learning with self-confidence, ethical fortitude and a standard of high achievement. Our results were girls with the tools to achieve goals and make meaningful contributions to society.