2018 Grant Recipients

8th Year Grant-$20,000

Agency Background:  Higher Ground’s mission is to reach individuals, transform families, and elevate the community one life at a time. For 10 years, Higher Ground has specialized incomprehensive support to critically at-risk students suffering from the effects of childhood trauma and poverty. Higher Ground is the only nonprofit in Tucson that addresses both poverty and trauma in HG youth. Using HG’s proprietary RTE Life Map, we go an inch-wide and a mile-deep to find out what each child needs, then provide them with the social-emotional skills and family support to overcome individual adversities and graduate from school.

Focus of 2018 Grant: Family Stabilization and Suppor

To increase HG impact across Pima County, Higher Ground partners with the

Pima County Juvenile Court Center (PCJCC) providing enriched social-emotional

and educational interventions to youth on probation and with Tucson (TUSD) and

Sunnyside (SUSD) Unified School Districts for social-emotional learning and

vocational education to students suspended from school.

In collaboration with TUSD and SUSD, Higher Ground is the lead agency in

creating the community-school infrastructure in Tucson’s high-needs

neighborhoods. By providing comprehensive services at individual school sites,

they can meet the immediate and long-term needs of children living in poverty so

they can succeed, thrive, and eventually give back to the community.

Measurable Results: Data and results drive their work at Higher Ground.  Chronic absenteeism has been identified as a key warning sign that a child is at risk of school failure.  Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student missing 10% or more days of school in a given school year, which at minimum translates into 18 days of lost classroom instruction. In Pima County the average student attendance rate is 85% compared to 95% state wide. On average the children of Pima county are losing 27 days of classroom instruction in an academic year.  Community-school coordinators quickly identify children who are chronically absent and assemble the support services the child and family need so children have every opportunity to stay in school and be successful.

The primary measurable outcome of Higher Ground is to reduce student absenteeism in our community-school sites below 10%.

Contact: Rob Lester, Development Director, rob@higherground.me