Life-skills, Empowerment, And Development Services (LEADS) Inc. seeks to strengthen families and individuals. Our FREE core programs are as follows:


Fabulous Relationships and Intimacy Education that Nurtures Development – FRIEND


The FRIEND Camps offer the same, evidence-based healthy relationship training program as HEARTS, but the curriculum has been adapted to be age appropriate for middle school youth (ages 11-14).

Middle school youth face many challenges today:

  • Early adolescence is a developmental stage that psychologists often refer to as “separation individuation.” Youth may begin rebelling against parental values. They desperately want to find their individuality.
  • They must deal with social pressures, which today are exacerbated by the media, texting, snapchat, twitter, or face-book. Most kids today are carrying a phone, camera and computer in their pocket! This has a number of positives, but it can also lead to big trouble.
  • Peer pressure is another pitfall for youth. Choosing friends wisely and learning to recognize a healthy relationship is vital in helping youth avoid risk-taking behaviors associated with adolescence.
  • Early romantic relationships may begin in middle school. Some kids will dive right into boy-girl relationships in middle school. Others will stay on the sidelines, while some may not seem interested at all. Helping youth set boundaries, demand respect, recognize healthy relationships, and know how to keep their eyes on their goals, is important for their success in school and in life.
  • Dealing with bullies is something most all youth must face sooner or later. This can be in-person bullying or cyberbullying. Knowing how to handle this all-to-common problem is important for youth. Unchecked it can destroy their self-confidence, lead to depression, and even be physically dangerous.
  • Middle school youth can be volatile as their emotions may, at times, overwhelm them. In FRIEND camp youth learn positive communication skills that help them explain their feelings and assist them in getting along with others.
  • These are just a few of the challenges facing young adolescents today, and the LOVE NOTES, abstinence-based healthy relationship curriculum presented in the FRIEND Camps helps youth make wise decisions. It gives them the tools that will help them navigate the difficult, rocky road of early adolescence.

This project was made possible by Grant Number SR20000837 of the HHS Youth and Family Services Bureau


Life-skills, Empowerment, and Development Services (LEADS) has received a two-year grant from The Office of Population Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  LEADS and its community partners will host 32 Health Education And Relationship Training Services (HEARTS) Camps in South St. Petersburg annually. Each HEARTS Camp will meet on two consecutive Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

At each of the FREE camps, youth will receive breakfast, lunch, and snacks, while trained facilitators (one male, one female) deliver the 13 healthy relationship lessons from Love Notes, a curriculum developed by the Dibble Institute. The non-profit Dibble Institute promotes relationship training for youth—especially in the context of dating and romantic connections. The goal of the HEARTS Camps is to help young people 14-19 years of age to build a foundation for healthy romantic relationships now, and for lasting, positive family environments in the future.  Lessons include art, video, music, and discussion.

Love Notes builds skills and knowledge for healthy and successful relationships with partners, family, friends, and co-workers. It is designed to help young people make wise relationship and sexual choices. Wise choices will assist them in achieving their education, employment, relationship, and family goals, while poor relationships and sexual choices may create barriers to these goals. The communication skills and self-awareness components of Love Notes are key to all kinds of relationships in life. For example, these soft skills increase successful and cooperative interactions in the workplace. Employers report that soft skills are vital for the success of young people entering the workforce.

Youth who complete the program will receive a $50-$75 Amazon gift certificate.

Families who would like their youth to attend should call 808-218-5396 or 727-307-8379.


This project was made possible by Grant Number TP1AH000197 from the HHS Office of Population Affairs.


The Incredible Years ®

Two significant Key Findings of the National Prekindergarten Study (NPS), conducted at the Edward Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University are:

  1. Prekindergarten students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of their older peers in the K-12 grades.
  2. The likelihood of expulsion decreases significantly with access to classroom-based behavioral consultation.

The prevalence of the expulsion of preschool children has not changed since 2005 when Yale professor Walter Gilliam shocked the nation with the first research showing that preschoolers are expelled at three times the rate of children in kindergarten through 12th grade. He showed that young African-American boys are most vulnerable to what he calls “the capital punishment of schools.”

The Incredible Years is a series of three separate, evidence-based, multifaceted, and developmentally focused curricula for parents, teachers, and children. This series is designed to promote emotional and social competence; and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavior and emotional problems in young children. 

  • Short-Term Goals:
    • Improved parent-child interactions, building positive relationships and attachment, improved parental functioning, less harsh and more nurturing parenting, and increased parental social support and problem solving
    • Improved teacher-student relationships, proactive classroom management skills, and strengthened teacher-parent partnerships
    • Prevention, reduction, and treatment of early onset conduct behaviors and emotional problems
    • Promotion of child social competence, emotional regulation, positive attributions, academic readiness, and problem solving
  • Long-Term Goals:
    • Prevention of conduct disorders, academic underachievement, delinquency, violence, and drug abuse

LEADS provides services to families by offering free parenting classes at schools, in churches, and pediatric clinics.  Classes implement The Incredible Years and are offered on weekends and weekday evenings.  The programs strengthen parent-child interactions and attachment, reduce harsh discipline and foster parents’ ability to promote children’s social, emotional, and language development.

THE NEED FOR PROGRAMS LIKE The Incredible Years AND Child/Adult Montessori Program Services (CHAMPS) IS GREAT

Among those children most in need of a school readiness experience are those with behavior problems. They are most likely to exhibit continued learning and behavioral difficulties and to drop out of school.

Two Key Findings of the National Prekindergarten Study (NPS), conducted at the Edward Zigler Center for Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University are:

  • Prekindergarten students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of their older peers in the K-12 grades.
  • The likelihood of expulsion decreases significantly with access to classroom-based behavioral consultation.

Children expelled from prekindergarten are much more likely to be ill-prepared for school, and are likely to be among those most at risk for school failure. The LEADS programs address this need by providing teachers and parents with the skills to support positive child behavior. Our programs are offered in African-American and Hispanic communities, but LEADS serves families of all ethnicities.



24/7 Dad ®

Research into the family continues to confirm the importance of two parents as the best basis for bringing up children. One common problem in the last few decades is the absence of fathers, and the corresponding rise of families headed by single mothers.

Developed by parenting and fatherhood experts, 24/7 Dad® A.M. and P.M. teaches men the characteristics they need to be good fathers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Used by a wide variety of fatherhood leaders and fatherhood organizations across the country, research shows 24/7 Dad® successfully changes fathers’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills.

Loving Couples Loving Children and Bringing Baby Home (companion curricula)


Bringing Baby Home is a newly redesigned, research-based two-day course designed to equip participants to help couples successfully prepare for the transition to parenthood. Even the best relationships are strained during the transition from duo to trio. This research-based workshop, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman and presented by Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educators, helps to prepare parents for the most important and rewarding job they will ever have: raising a child.

The Art and Science of Love: Thousands of couples have benefited from this world-renowned weekend workshop. They will learn research-based skills that will dramatically improve the intimacy and friendship in their relationship and help them manage conflict in a healthy, positive way. The workshop is designed for all couples in a committed relationship. If a couple has a strong relationship, this workshop will provide insights and tools to foster further closeness, friendship, and trust. If the relationship is distressed, this two-day workshop will provide you a greater understanding of the relationship and a road map for repair.

“Education is the great engine to personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of a mine, and that the child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation.” -Nelson Mandela

Research demonstrates that a baby’s ability to learn begins on day one. Infants are taking in everything in their vast new world. They will learn in their own unique way from everything the parents introduce to them. Mama and Me assists parents in their important work of helping to educate their young children from six months to age five.

This parent participation preschool invites mothers, fathers, grandparents and other childcare providers of children ages 6 months-5 years to join with trained childcare professionals in a nurturing, educational setting.