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Leonardo Leal overcame numerous obstacles, including homelessness,
to graduate first in his class at Braden River High School and earn a full             scholarship to Stanford University, where he is now a freshman.
Without the help of his Foundation-funded legal aid attorney, he might not be in college today.

One student's path to Stanford

by Nancy Kinnally

Growing up in San Juan del Rio, Queretaro, a city on Mexico’s central plateau, Leonardo Leal realized from a young age that knowledge would be the key to his future.

His grandmother Magdalena raised him until he was 12, and although she had little education herself, she instilled its importance in her grandson.

“She explained to me the realities of life, how if I didn’t have a good job I would suffer and my family would suffer and how I would create a cycle of poverty, so I learned a lot from that,” said Leal, now an 18-year-old freshman attending Stanford University on a full scholarship.

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Sometimes, kids need lawyers, too.

Ashlyn Sikes

Ashlyn Sikes                       

That's why The Florida Bar Foundation, since the early 1990s, has funded special annual grants to both statewide and local organizations for legal assistance to children.

Among them were Ashlyn Sikes, a second-grader whose special education needs were met because of legal assistance provided by a Children's Legal Services grantee.

One hundred percent of all donation support the Foundation's Children's Legal Services grant programs.

Please give generously to the End-of-Year Campaign for Children's Legal Services online at:


Foundation rated as four-star charity

The Florida Bar Foundation rates among the

best run charities in the nation, according to Charity Navigator, the leading independent evaluator of U.S. nonprofits.

The Foundation, the only statewide organization that funds civil legal services for the poor, received a four-star rating, the highest possible, for the 2010 fiscal year.

It has received the top rating for four of the past five years. More than 90 cents of every dollar spent by the Foundation go directly to programs that carry out the organization’s mission.

Charity Navigator issues ratings from zero to four stars for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.