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DEYA DRESNER - PALESTINE

International Contribution to Arab Society –
In the Leonard family, Deya’, whose mother is from Nazareth and father from Tennessee, is the second generation to focus on the education of Palestinian youth. Her father, Dr. Graham Leonard (Ph.D., Harvard University), was an educator in the Middle East. This provided Deya’ with a cross-cultural understanding of the challenges LE•O scholars face. She knows the obstacles students must navigate to be well-positioned and receive the full benefits of a university education far from home. Deya’ spent her childhood in Lebanon, and her primary education was in England. She came to the United States as a freshman to attend Hampshire College, Massachusetts, and studied Linguistics, Anthropology, and Education. Before working in the NGO field for the past 15 years, Deya’ spent 31 years in the fashion industry internationally. She began her career as a runway and print model; then acted in commercials and movies; and later moved on to producing fashion shows, special events, and advertising campaigns. She sits on the advisory board of Challenge to Change. And in 2022, the Leonard Education Organization (LE•O) received two awards, an Accreditation from the United Nations and the prestigious Takreem Foundation Award for International Contribution to Arab Society. Deya’ currently resides in NJ with her husband, Dr. Bradic. She has a son by her late husband, two stepdaughters, and seven grandchildren.