What We Do

"We all have the power to be agents of hope and change.”
francine a. lefrak
A new graduate of the Francine A. LeFrak Computer Training Program shows off her certificate.
what we do

Foundation History

We believe that “Talent is Everywhere BUT Opportunity is Not,” and that if everyone used their personal talents to help others find opportunity, the world would be a better place.

We believe in being true partners with our grant recipients.  We are working side by side, removing barriers, tracking progress, and changing lives. ‍

Founded in 2009, our work has focused on the marginalized, including those living in extreme poverty, who survived the Rwandan genocide, and

those who have been in the justice system. Today, we impact thousands of women on an annual basis.

The programs we invest in provide skill building including financial literacy, business, computers and technology, and artisanal skills. We also provide emergency micro-grants to remove barriers to each woman’s success.  

Here are some of the milestones from the programs we support:

Workforce Development

Annually, more than 500 women in New York City receive high-level, competitive tech training, and are supported through mentorships, workshops, and job placement.

Each year 900 low-income New Yorkers receive job training to establish family sustaining careers in carpentry, construction, commercial driving, maintenance, cable and networking services, production assistants, post-production positions, customer service and specialized workforce development positions.

50 Rwandan women, Congolese and Burundi refugees receive artisan and business training to begin their own basket weaving businesses each year. 

200 residents of homeless shelters in Brooklyn and East Harlem received computer skills that will help them get jobs with upward mobility, helping them and their families rise out of poverty.

150 women who were in the justice system in New Jersey participated in a program to develop business skills, entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy.


32 students from East Africa have been named LeFrak-Friedberg Scholars. These talented young people have the opportunity to study at renowned universities in the US preparing them for successful careers in engineering, business, international relations, agriculture, and medicine. 

Upon graduation each student returns home to better their communities. 

400 students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who were at risk of not returning to school, receive micro-grants to remove economic barriers and help them continue their education and follow their dreams.

400 low-income women receive micro-grants, attend financial literacy training and business coaching.


110 young girls attend secondary school in Rwanda as Same Sky Scholars at the FAWE school.  They are in a STEM focused high school program and are preparing to attend University in Rwanda.

Many are now enrolled in universities in Rwanda with the goal of becoming nurses, midwives, optometrists, agricultural scientists, dentists, and civil engineers.

Our Bridge2Rwanda scholars gathered for a dinner at the Harvard Club during their 2020 visit to New York City.

foundation news

Our Recently Funded Programs

Grace Institute Training Program Assistance

The Foundation has entered into an agreement with the Grace Institute of New York City and has provided books for their training programs.  The Grace Institute's workplace development programs are designed to support women who are working towards elevating themselves out of poverty by helping those who were once "invisible" become visible, productive workers.

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Computer Training Income Building Program

The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation recently funded the establishment of a Computer Income Building Program at Women in Need (Win) of New York City, a homeless shelter for women and children.  The program is an extension of Win’s income building training and will positively impact ~80 women on an annual basis. The program was funded by a grant from the FAL Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Federal Credit Union Foundation.

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Through targeted partnerships with organizations, we provide access to job training, education, technology, and financial fluency programs.

meet the grantees