Leadership Team

Introducing LEAP’s New Board!

Program Director

Basma Eid is a first generation Arab-American born to Egyptian immigrants raised in Rochester, NY. She has been a member of the LEAP family since 2012 when she first volunteered with Project SHINE. Since then, her love and commitment to justice and self-determination for all oppressed people has brought her back to Lebanon year after year. Her work with LEAP motivates her to continue to organize for dignity across communities and she currently is the Lead Trainer at Enlace, an international alliance of worker centers and community organizations fighting for the self-determination of working people. Basma received her Masters in Labour, Social Movements and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2014. She’s based in New York City.

Education Director

Jackson Gzehoviak has worked with LEAP since 2014 as an Education Coordinator and Curriculum Lead. He has been involved in refugee education for eight years and has worked in various positions with ESL programs, refugee resettlement agencies, and tutoring companies. Jackson holds a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University, as well as language certification in Arabic, Polish, and Russian.

His current academic interests are in the intersection of community mental health programs and language acquisition. Jackson is a certified ESL teacher for Omaha Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, where he specializes in working with students with limited or interrupted formal education. He is passionate about children’s rights, intersectional social justice, and the Palestinian refugee community. Jackson looks forward to working with the Board in the years to come!

Advocacy & Outreach Director

Moné Makkawi has been involved with LEAP since 2013, when she first volunteered with Project SHINE. Her professional development within LEAP has taken form as a teacher, Project & Community Coordinator, and member of the Advisory Board. Moné has worked on issues of restorative justice on various levels as a teacher in California, a member of various SJPs, and organizing as a Joint Delegate in NYU’s Graduate Student Union. She is a first year Ph.D. student in NYU’s department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. She works on issues of infrastructure, refugees, and space in Lebanon, with the hopes of developing her activism and pursuit of social justice through academia. Moné is looking forward to the future of LEAP, and working to amplify the voices of Palestinian refugee youth and communities.

Learn about our Board of Directors: responsible for driving LEAP to meet its strategic objectives and fundraising goals; and our LEAP Advisory Board: serve as volunteer-staff of LEAP by coordinating and executing its work to ensure the smooth implementation of its educational projects and advocacy efforts.

LEAP Program

LEAP is a grassroots volunteer program established to provide educational empowerment projects to support the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of refugee-youth in Lebanon so they may become agents of change. As an apolitical humanitarian US-based organization, LEAP aims to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees in general, but particularly in Lebanon, to American volunteers.

Support LEAP

LEAP relies on the support of generous donors to sustain its projects. Click here to find out how you can support LEAP, or donate online:

Mailing List

Please join our mailing list for regular updates from LEAP.

Get in Touch