Hello from LALA!
Four months of 2023 have gone by, and we hope you were able to make the best out of them. Here in LALA, the beginning of this year has been very eventful and full of work!
2022 was a year of laying the foundations to really turn LALA into a rocketship for impact in Latin America. Wih your help, we are making it happen. Let´s take a look at some of the results we are most proud of, in different critical areas of our model.
"No stone unturned; no gem unfound": our Outreach efforts
This past year, our Bootamps scaled 50%, from 460 to 692 students. Over the last 12 months, our community of Lalíderes grew from 1278 to 1970 young leaders from 18 countries. Excitingly, we are finding hidden gems that the traditional system is missing.
In Brazil, for example, Black student representation grew from 28% to 46% in just one year. Continetally, low income admits grew from 33% to 67% and female admits climbed from an already high 70% to an astounding 75%. Altogether, 70% of LALíderes to date come from underrepresented backgrounds and our efforts to DEVELOP and CONNECT them are also working, and scaling. On the Camps side, even as we’ve grown, we’ve maintained LALA’s exceptionally high quality, with an average NPS of +95 in 2022.
A thriving Ecosystem: a lifelong fellowship of leadership opportunities
The last day of camp our students become “Lalíderes” and enter a lifelong fellowship and network, where they get access to a range of opportunities, both in-house and from partner organizations. Lalíderes often describe this as a “Disneyland of opportunities”. The main clusters of interventions include: Mentorship, University Access, Internships & Careers and Applied leadership opportunities at LALA.
Let´s take a look at the ley figures in each of those signature programmes.
Our Mentorship Program continues to grow. Our database now includes 500+ mentors, and we’ve made more than 300 tailored, hand-made mentorship matches. If you have not done so, I’d love you to consider Mentoring a Lalíder. The time commitment is very light, mentees describe it as life-changing, and mentors describe it as profoundly inspirational and a great way to develop their own skills and give back to the world. Take a deeper look at how the program works, here.
In terms of the University Placement Program, we continue to place LALíderes in the best universities in Latin America and the world, and collectively they’re receiving millions of dollars in need-based financial aid. Last year, Lalíderes won US$13M in college scholarships. The return on investment is hugeand here’s the quick math: each new LALíder costs us, all in, under US$2,000. Each time one of them gets a full ride scholarship in the US, that’s around US$300,000, when you add all four years. That’s a 150x return. You’d expect this to be a rare event, but this is happening for dozens and dozens of Lalíderes.
One of the LALideres that were part of the 2022/2023 cohort, explains the structure of the program and its importance to his journey “My University Placement mentor helped me a lot with weekly calls to follow the application process, support with essays, creating a very strong community of people who are applying, having this community for me was one of the most important parts.”
When it comes to the Intership Program, this past season alone, we trained 100 Lalíderes, and placed 30 of them at 10 partner organizations. Over the last 2 years, this program has put US$85K in the pockets of our Lalíderes. You have no idea how impactful these stipends have been for many of them, especially as the Pandemic and the recession have hurt many of their families’ finances.
If you run a business or social enterprise, this is another program I’d love you to consider, as it can be a triple win: You get access to highly-selected talent, they get training, networks and stipends, and—together—we make an investment in those who may become the job creators of the future. Find more information here.
Now let´s take a look at the Applied leadership opportunities at LALA. This past year hundreds of Lalíderes returned to build LALA with us through both paid professional and unpaid leadership positions. 20 Lalíderes were part of our core team, and 244 participated in 5 paid and 17 volunteer leadership roles. Collectively, these traineeship opportunities added up to 23,000 hours of applied learning for these Lalíderes… and are a big reason why our impact has far exceeded our budget!
Welcome to the LALA House, in Medellín!
In order to prepare LALA for a post-Pandemic world, thanks to the generous support of the Efrusy Family Foundation this past year we purchased our first building! The so called LALA House, is the first piece of what will become an urban campus to create rich, immersive residential programs in the city of Medellin. If you’re ever traveling by Medellin, hit us up! We’d love to show you around.
This is particularly great news as our IN-PERSON CAMPS will be having a comeback in the next season - one in English in June and one in Spanish in July, both in the LALA House.
We welcomed many new members to our team that will help us in the mission of finding, developing, and connecting young leaders from around Latin America - including a Chief Operating Officer, Alia Whitney-Johnson, and a Director of Development & Strategic Partnerships, Oriana Torres. To learn more about them and all the other incredible professionals joining our efforts - check our website.
Looking ahead: 2023 priorities
2023 will be an exciting but tricky year for LALA. After 5 years of consistently delivering within budget, this is our first time navigating a recession, and we don’t yet know how it will affect philanthropic giving in the region.
In response to this climate, our three overarching priorities this year are:
- Strengthen our foundations for disciplined and impactful scale. Given the economic climate, 2023 is not a year to grow blindly.
- Grow and diversify our funder base, to include more supporters From different countries, and also across the spectrum of Foundations, corporates, individuals and families.
- Strengthen our core programs, including our return to in-person programs (two Bootcamps) and finding new monetization strategies that don’t depend on philanthropy. We will focus on the core model that has gotten us here and is already having so much impact.
Our 3 invitations to keep transforming the leadership landscape of Latin America!
Firstly, we invite you to connect with us. Do you want to understand our programs better? Do you want to get to know one of our Lalíderes? Do you want to nominate a Lalíder? Do you want to provide feedback? Let us know, we are just an email away!
Second, we invite you to Grow the Movement. Now that we've gone through this update, if you can think of people who would resonate with our mission, please let us know. We’d love to meet them.
And finally, I invite you to keep investing in our Mission. Most donors don’t give in the first half of the year, and many will likely give less because of the recession. Help us beat this cycle. Oriana, our new Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships is eager to hear from you and discuss how LALA packs more punch per dollar than other education, youth & leadership development models! She can be reached at email@example.com.
As we grow and scale our work - we can´t thank you enough for all your help.
Thank you for walking with us. Your support is amplifying our impact across Latin America.