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Higher Ground


A Resource Center

Reaching Individuals, Transforming Families, Elevating Communities 
                                                      ...One Life at a Time.

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Higher Ground


A Resource Center

Reaching Individuals, Transforming Families, Elevating Communities 
                                                      ...One Life at a Time.

The Experience

We are a place of transformation. It's a place where our youth experiences metamorphosis, developing the necessary grit and skill to achieve the full potential that they ought to be. It's not a program; it's a catalyst for community transformation.  It's a place where academic practices, youth development methods, recreational programs, and relationship filled mentors are all practiced at the same time.

Our model is currently redefining youth development. We don't fit students in a cookie cutter approach, rather, we fit our programming to whatever the need of the student is. Our services are not limited by what we can do, rather, we are partnered with other organizations, churches, businesses, government, schools and other programs for any need that a youth may have.

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Reach

The need is out there. Tucson has one of the highest crime rate cities. Arizona has one of the worst educational achievements in our country. The United States is lagging behind when it comes to education performance. Our prison rate is growing exponentially while our graduation completion rates are dropping. Youth behavioral issues are at all time high, and poverty is prevalent in our communities. 

Our future is at-risk. We need to invest in it now.

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Transform

Higher Ground utilizes collective impact through community partnerships. Often times, a youth has strengths in their lives that come from both within and from outside influences. These partnerships include the youth, their families, schools, churches, other community members, other organizations, businesses, civic leaders, government, and other individuals. Transformation is built by the investment of many, not by a program or method.

It takes a community to raise a child. We are a catalyst to a youth's community.

Elevate

Our methods creates positive outcomes in a youth's life. Our holistic approach produces strong academic achievement, decrease in negative behaviors, increase in grit and resilience traits, and happier families. In addition to individual testimonies and stories, our youth is elevated from the person being served, to the role model now serving others. They then become a mentor, volunteer, coach, or a teacher to another youth to inspire more transformation. 

We are more than just a safe place, we are a launch pad.

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Each has a story


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Each has a story


Every student that comes to our program gets an individual assessment that covers their strengths and weaknesses, their risks and obstacles.

Higher Ground started 7 years ago in Mr. Jansen's living room after he met his now wife, who had a 10 year old son at the time. Mr. Jansen began tutoring him, and soon Timmy began inviting his friends over to receive help with their homework. He also noticed that besides being academically behind, all of them had a sense of hopelessness and was facing overwhelming odds. 

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Eventually, Mr. Jansen married Timothy’s mom and he became his son. He then talked to our local church and Pistor Middle School, he saw a great need with our youth and thus Higher Ground Youth Center was born. Soon after Timothy began helping tutor and coach at Higher Ground as he himself was experiencing it's life changing impact.

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After 5 years of Higher Ground, Timothy, graduated from Cholla High School. His risk factors – divorced family, low income neighborhood, high crime neighborhood, and low performing schools – stated that he is 8 times or more likely to drop out of school.  Now, 18, he is the first of his dad's family to go to college. His plan is to come back to Tucson and be a part of the legacy of Higher Ground.

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Each has a solution


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Each has a solution


Community Engagement

We partner and support our schools and their staff. We tutor, provide different in school programming and assist in any capacity our resources can.

We do not want to reinvent the wheel. We partner with other organizations who target a different area of our families. We build bridges with programs they are already at.

Customized Programming

No student is ever kicked out of our program nor do they age out. We customize our programs based on what a student needs. Our variety of programming ensures that we can engage any student and meet them where they are at. We avoid duplicity by creating individualized plan that involves other activities they are involved in.

Meaningful Relationships

Our focus is on building relationships, with both youth and their community. We create a relationship filled environment that allows our students to come back several years later, even as adults, whenever they feel hopeless or has a lack in their life. We are also able to extend these resources to their families and people around them because of the trust we build. 

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We show the way


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We show the way


Life Mapping

We use a resource mapping method for each student that allows us to identify every obstacle they have for success, goals and dreams they want to achieve, and create a focused plan that addresses gaps in their lives. Using this method we are able to create predictive gaps to ensure that we are changing our services as their needs change. In addition, we ensure that students do not become dependent to the services we provide by ensuring that we are developing grit and necessary skills for them to navigate their circumstances. This increases their potential for success even after they are no longer in Higher Ground. 

From the moment they come into Higher Ground, we interview students, family members, and teachers to have a holistic picture of the their risks, trauma, strengths, community engagement, and positive influences. We then create a programming that fits what they need and want utilizing other organizations in the community and our own programming. Through continued relationship with the youth and their surrounding community, we are able to help them develop and begin to help them set their goals and identify paths to achieve it. From there, we continually evaluate their paths and ensure that we catch any gaps or potential obstacles to ensure continued development.