Monday, August 1, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris made a surprise visit to LEAP’s Dragonfly Thrift Boutique. LEAP (Ladies Empowerment & Action Program) is a nonprofit re-entry program providing transformational opportunities for women who have experienced incarceration. During her visit, the Vice President met with LEAP graduates, listened to their stories, and offered her support for the LEAP program and second chances.
“It was a momentous day for LEAP and all formerly incarcerated women who are desperate for a fresh start,” said Executive Director Mahlia Lindquist. “Scant attention is given to the specific needs of women transitioning from prison. With her visit to LEAP, the Vice President changed that. She treated our women with respect, warmth and empathy. She listened to them. And in doing so, she shined a light on our women and how programs like LEAP help change lives and communities for the better.”
LEAP Store Manager and Graduate Nancy DeNike showed the Vice President around the store, where she discussed the need for more reentry programs like LEAP. Dragonfly employees and program graduates Lori Collins, Danielle Estes, and Launa McMurry became emotional when meeting with the Vice President. They shared how the LEAP program has impacted their lives, and how they have reunited with their children, are in recovery, and living a life they never could have imagined thanks to LEAP.
“She gave us hope, she said she was proud of us and that she believed in us,” said Cheyanne Guzy, Dragonfly Assistant Store Manager and LEAP Graduate. “It’s hard to put into words what this visit meant to us. The Vice President of the United States took the time to listen to us.”
Before leaving the Dragonfly, the Vice President purchased a set of appetizer plates. LEAP is a nonprofit organization in Miami, FL that empowers women who have experienced incarceration through in-prison programming, transformational opportunities, housing, employment, and advocacy. Dragonfly is LEAP’s social enterprise and 100% of all proceeds support women who have experienced incarceration.