2015 Grant Recipients

5th Year Grant

Agency Background: The Higher Ground Youth Center serves at-risk students and their families with an after school program. The center started in 2007 and averaged 30 – 40 students daily. This number has grown to 130 students daily and now offers tutoring, mentoring, counseling, and recreational programs including sports, art, music, finance and career classes, and dance. Initially focusing on middle school students, Higher Ground now serves high school students with a program called Junior Life Changers which teaches ethics, financial responsibility, and life skills.

Focus of 2015 Grant: Child and Family Advocacy A systematic approach in which a specific staff person meets with parents, teachers, community members and other people who have influence on the child to ensure that we are creating a relevant mapping for the student. This staff person also oversees the mapping process and manages the students in Higher Ground ensuring that goals are met for each student. Supporting this project will support two things at once; It will supporting the pre-existing after school program and also the re-engagement center program for students who have dropped out. This method is beginning to get recognized on a national level. Recently HG was featured in the US Department of Education website: http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/04/higher-ground-in-tucson/

Measurable Results: Several measurable outcomes are expected. HG wants to see academic grades improving, a decrease in negative behaviors, grit/resilience factors, improvement in students overall communication and presentation skills and increase in school attendance.

Contact: Jansen Azarias, Executive Director jansen@higherground.me