Leslie Noel is the Founder and Director of the Peter Pan Foundation. She has 15+ years of experience in teaching, directing, philanthropy and the performing arts. An award-winning leader, Noel started the Peter Pan Foundation in 2007. Her passion for kids, her nurturing, fun loving and energetic style have helped to take the Peter Pan Foundation from just a handful of participants to hundreds. Noel has received such honors as Diablo Magazine’s Threads Of Hope award, the Comcast Bay Area News Group Hometown Hero Award, and the AT&T Community Spotlight Award. Noel is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of the Peter Pan Foundation.
Along with running The Peter Pan Foundation, Noel is also an active singing teacher and performer in the bay area. Favorite roles include Maria in West Side Story and Emma in Jekyll & Hyde, winner of the East Bay Critic’s Award. She was the opening singer for Franc D’Ambrosio’s Broadway tour at the Dean Lesher. After undergoing a severe illness at age 17, and losing a dear friend and student in the summer of 2006, Noel turned down an offer to pursue Broadway, and chose to pursue her true passion of philanthropy. Noel started the Peter Pan Foundation to channel her love for all people and the performing arts, with a desire to help those with life limiting illnesses and disabilities. Noel quickly found that with her ability to inspire others she truly had a gift, and has spent 10+ years helping teens to fight depression, substance abuse, suicide, and just ‘bad days’. This passion has caused the Peter Pan Foundation to grow into an organization-and lifestyle, dedicated to helping others.
“The Peter Pan Foundation was founded to inspire children of all ages to find their inner talents and confidence; to help them to reach their personal potential and find the best versions of themselves, on and off the stage. They are instilled with confidence, develop strength of character and enhance creativity, all the while engaging in philanthropy. This enables them to have the strength to help others around them. As cheesy as it sounds, I had a dream for a world where everyone has ‘happy thoughts’. Everyone wins. There is always a reason to keep going and keep smiling. Having nearly died in a hospital, I know how those moments feel when you just don’t know if you can go on… but I also know the power of a smile; of a laugh; of a friend. I know the power of ‘yourself’. The Peter Pan Foundation was created to help everyone find that power and strength within themselves, to teach them to use it for good, and to inspire them to make a difference. My dream is for the sick, for the sad, for the lost, and for those in need… but it is truly for ALL of us. Because at the end of the day, we ALL need a happy place. Everyone, from patient to doctor, from those in need to those who give… everyone has a little Peter Pan inside; a child who never truly grew up, but who has the power to teach the world to fly.”
– Leslie Noel