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Aug 11, 2020

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Rebecca Davis and Bashir Karenzi of MindLeaps — a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the education of vulnerable children around the world through creative arts. Davis, who is the Founder and Executive Director of MindLeaps, holds several degrees and had an extensive dance career prior to taking over the nonprofit. Karenzi, who is Technical Director at MindLeaps, hails from Rwanda, holds a degree, boasts an accomplished dance resume, and speaks five different languages.

Both Davis and Karenzi have witnessed first-hand the lifechanging impact of dance on societies and the world and have dedicated their lives to helping vulnerable populations succeed through the arts. On the podcast, they deep-dive on MindLeaps’s incredible mission, retell some of their most inspiring stories, detail how the company works on an operational level, and look back on an amazing journey that got them to where they are today.


Moving Quotes:

“Many times, I think dance is seen as entertainment or as a discipline that we do with our bodies. But dancers have really seen how it’s changed the way they think about themselves and their world. It has a huge effect emotionally and mentally.”

“We are strong because we were broken.”

“Dance triggers a belief in possibility — if I can do these steps that I only see on TV or only see ‘cool kids’ doing, then there’s an understanding that I can do more in life and I’m capable of it."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

2:58: Rebecca and Bashir describe their organization — MindLeaps — including what they do, where they operate, and how many are involved in their program.

7:46: Bashir discusses the MindLeaps curriculum, who the program is targeted towards, and the end goal of the program’s graduates.

13:41: Rebecca and Bashir share some of the most inspiring success stories from their time working alongside the MindLeaps students and teachers.

16:54: Rebecca describes the incredible way her company measures the success of its program.

20:16: Rebecca and Bashir explain how they prepare their leaders to be effective coaches and mentors for the MindLeaps students.

26:06: Rebecca discusses why she believes her program has a 95 percent success rate in the areas where it operates.

28:46: Rebecca recaps her incredible journey that led her to eventually founding MindLeaps. 

36:55: Rebecca discusses how she eventually filed for 501(c)(3) and organized her nonprofit, as a young woman in her mid-20s.

39:24: Rebecca provides information around how to donate to MindLeaps.

40:31: Rebecca and Bashir end the conversation by projecting their ultimate vision for the MindLeaps project.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Rebecca Davis

Bashir Karenzi